2023 Inductees

Texas Saltwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Nathan Watson

Nathan WatsonNathan Watson’s interest in saltwater fishing began in his childhood with his love of the fishing boats he saw and rode on in Galveston and his family summers in Port Aransas fishing the jetties and taking offshore trips to fish for kingfish.

At the age of 28, Nathan bought his first offshore fishing boat, a 38’ Egg Harbor. It didn’t take long before he realized he needed a larger boat to accommodate his three young boys. He soon moved up to a 45’ Hatteras, which he named “Three Suns” and docked Port Aransas, Texas. Port Aransas is where he met many great friends and fellow offshore fishermen who shared his love to prank each other during fishing tournaments.

In 1981, Nathan moved up to a 55’ Hatteras called “Hideout”. In the late 1980s, he purchased a 48’ Egg Harbor. Nathan and his crew competed in many of the billfish tournaments along the Texas coast, including among others the Deep Sea Roundup, TIFT, Poco Bueno, Port A Masters. Nathan competed in billfish tournaments along the Texas coast for 40 years.

Nathan purchased a 61’ Buddy Davis in the early 1990s and began travelling more. After this new “Hideout” took its first trip to Isla Mujeres, Mexico to experience the sailfish bite the Watson family made a tradition of going to Isla every spring and would return to Port Aransas for the summer.  The traveling and Texas tournament fishing continued in the late 1990s, when Nathan bought a 55’ Merritt, which he used to fish tournaments and travel to Mexico, Florida and the Bahamas.

In 2002, Nathan purchased a 60’ Rybovich. One of the highlights on this boat was when Nathan, his sons and crew travelled through the Panama Canal. The boat docked at the Flamenco Marina in Panama for over two years and actively fished the Zane Grey Reef at the Tropic Star Lodge.

Each visit to Panama, Nathan, his sons and crew would live on the boat for 10 days at a time tied to a mooring ball at night off of the Lodge. The “Hideout” would fish every day for Black and Blue Marlin. The trips would yield 20-30 Marlin per visit.

The tournaments and the international travels were quite memorable, but Nathan’s true joy surrounding his 48 years of boat ownership and sport fishing has been sharing his passion with his family. Nathan has had countless fishing trips with his sons and daughters and he has instilled the love of the sport in them. Some of their most treasured times have been sitting in the cockpit with their dad watching the lines, listening to good music and fishing stories and catching up on life. Nathan has fourteen grandchildren and they have all had the opportunity to go on “Papa’s boat”.