If you’re a gambler, here’s one for you.
Pick James Watson, a longshot, to win the Bassmaster Classic. Then go one step further and guess the exact weight of his three-day catch.
If you do, you’ll hit the jackpot. In honor of Watson’s first Basssmaster Classic, he and his sponsors have come up with an unusual deal — you overcome those odds, and you win $100,000 in cash and prizes, including a fully rigged Ranger bass boat.
For Watson, that contest only adds to the excitement of competing in the Classic, which take place Friday through next Sunday at Grand Lake in Oklahoma.
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“I feel that this will give some people an extra reason to follow me and this year’s Bassmaster Classic,” said Watson, who lives in Nixa, Mo. “This is an exciting event, and I am thrilled to be here.
“I want fans to be a part of that excitement.”
Participants can go to the website Watson4win.com to sign up before the boats launch Friday.
For Watson, the stakes are even higher than they are for the participants in that contest. Should he pull off a giant upset and win, he would receive $300,000 and the prestige that goes with taking the championship in bass fishing’s Super Bowl.
Keep in mind, this is no ordinary tournament. It is bass fishing’s high-profile showcase, complete with a weigh-in in a large arena, a big outdoors show, thousands of fans and television coverage.
Watson isn’t exactly in the spotlight. This is the first time he qualified for the Classic, and he is overshadowed by the sport’s stars, guys like Kevin VanDam, Michael Iaconelli and Aaron Martens.
But that hasn’t affected his confidence. Watson is familiar with Grand Lake and knows plenty of good places to fish there. He is hoping many of those spots will pay off when he competes in the biggest tournament of his career.
“I’m past the ‘just happy to be there’ phase of my career,” he said. “I’m going into this to win it.
“This would be huge for my career. It would make me so much more marketable.
“It’s going to be tough, going against so many great fishermen. But my confidence is sky-high right now.”
Daily weigh-ins during the Classic will start at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the BOK Center in Tulsa. Fans can watch the weigh-ins at the website bassmaster.com.