by RWS Staff
The Past: It’s a done deal. A record of events. You can see it, touch it, and know what it is.
1960 – Looking back on a simpler time in this country when the average cost of a new house was $12,700, average rent was $98, Gasoline was 25 cents a gallon, a loaf of bread was 20 cents, and you could get a new car for $2600. You could even take a selfie but it was a little more cumbersome with the Polaroid Land Camera and was considered pretty darned expensive at about $93.
And, in the sleepy little burb of Lakeland, Florida Sylvia Watts gave birth to twin boys – Greg Duward and Bryan Christopher.
2018 – Today the average cost of a new house - $369,400, average rent $2000, gasoline $2.80, loaf of bread $2.50, new car $36,270. And a selfie? That’s about $400 on the low end to $1500 at the top.
And, in the dark recesses of one man’s mind (yes, it was Gritter) an idea was born. An idea that would grow into a very special event. An event that will expose, celebrate, and nurture the competitive redfishing industry by showcasing the best redfish anglers in the country. These are the teams that consistently perform at a very high level and, due to their constant presence in the media, are the most influential group of redfish anglers in the world. These are the teams that will make up the 2019 Redfish World Series www.facebook.com/RedfishWorldSeries/
The Future: it’s a funny thing. It is not recorded because it’s not here yet. You can’t see it. You can’t touch it. You don’t have any idea what it contains. But…..we are all flying headlong into it.
Back in 1960 no one knew that home prices, rent, gasoline, food, and photos were going to become so expensive. No one knew that a World Series would come to mean something other than baseball. And, no one knew that these two infants - these Watts boys - would go on to become a couple of the most celebrated outdoorsmen and anglers of their time.
They grew up around water. They waded. They swam. They watched. They fished. They studied.
The water, the salt, the air, the pure joy of being outdoors soon intermingled with their blood and they became one with the environment. They followed, they observed, and they learned all about the creatures of the water, their habitat, and their habits. They became the quintessential hunters of the watery world they loved so well.
Then, came the competitions.
In their late teens and early twenties, they stalked the local bass competitions and became feared opponents. In the mid-1990’s they got interested in saltwater competition. They fished competitively for reds, snook, and trout with Bryan winning the SFFA Grand Champion title on the fly rod in 1997. In 2000 they fished the inaugural Herman Lucerne event in Flamingo, FL chasing six different species over two days. They won that event. And, in 2001, they backed it up with another victory in the same event. To this day they are the only team to win successive titles in that event.
The bit was in their teeth now and there was no turning back.
In 2000 the IFA came along and began their redfish series. The Watts boys were there too. Over the next several years they notched back to back wins, Championship Titles, Team of the Year, and were a constant and persistent force to be reckoned with. Their pervasive success continued with the ESPN Redfish Cup where they were the 2003 inaugural Port Aransas Cup Champions followed by a Championship win in Venice, LA and, subsequently, Team of the Year honors.
Additionally, they have won Team of the Year on the FLW redfish tour, have an uncountable number of Top Ten finishes, and may be the only team to hold Team of the Year honors on all three of those tours.
Not only have they been incredibly consistent with their competitive prowess, but they have contributed widely to the advancement of the sport of competitive redfishing. Their very notoriety brought much interest and involvement by anglers and industries to the sport. They helped make competitive redfishing a topic of general conversation thereby increasing its visibility and popularity.
Current Day: The Watts brothers are much more sedate now and don’t get on the water competitively as much as they have in days past. This is mostly because their days and weeks are consumed traveling and building the brand for one of the finest fishing products in the world – Power Pole! www.power-pole.com/
Oh, they still travel to competitions regularly. But now they are there as Power Pole company support instead of as competitors. This makes the other competitors happy on both accounts.
It is for good reason that these guys are known around the industry as the Godfathers of competitive redfishing. It is also for good reason that they are the first Legacy team invited to compete in the 2019 Redfish World Series in St. Bernard parish Louisiana www.sbpg.net
It remains to be seen if their competitive juices, their desire to win, their innate talents can be re-ignited, stoked to a high intensity, and brought once more to the pinnacle of victory in the fiery crucible of competition just one… more… time.