Lakecaster Online

Fishing With "THE PREZ"
By Ed Snyder

"This all came about when Tom Harkins, Owner/CEO of the Casa Ole' Mexican Restaurant Chain invited me to attend Ray Scott's annual Church & School Benefit Tournament held in Montgomery AL. "Mr. Scott, who is the founding father of the National Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society holds this event every year on a private lake at his home. "This invitation was a great honor for me to be able to join the celebrities and honored guests who were there to enjoy a fun weekend as well as raise funds for Ray Scott's Church. Among the many celebrities who were there were Jim Bagley of Bagley Baits, Tom Mann SR of Mann's Baits, Blake Honeycutt, Ray Mursky of Strike King Baits, Earl Bentz of Triton Boats, and Bob Cobb, and the ESPN Sports Television crew.

This special event had a minimum tournament requirement age of 62 or older, which eliminated me as an angler but placed me in a golf-cart as an official "VIP GOLF-CART OBSERVOR" instead. But despite my unqualified age difference there were 97 senior anglers fishing this event that ranged from 62 years to 85 years of age, which represented over 30 years of Ray Scott's lifetime "leader-board" of fishing friends who had started with him in the beginning years of the Bassmaster's. Among this very distinguished group of angler friends were former President George W. Bush SR, a close friend of Ray Scott, and proud father of our present U.S. President, George W. Bush JR, as well as another close friend, the Honorable Governor of Alabama, Tom Singleton.

The tournament, fished from the bank only, was strictly a catch & release affair with anglers using 4-lb test ultra-lite tackle to catch "NOT" the largest bass of the event, but to see who could catch the most bass of from under12 inches for the heaviest weight of the tournament. Each tournament angler paid an entry fee of $500 that benefited Ray Scott's church & school, which, after the four hour tournament and special benefit auction that included George W. Bush's "gold-seal" Presidential fishing license, Ray Scott managed to raise over $135,000 dollars for his church and bible school projects.

"This was a great honor for me to be with such men as Ray Scott, a highly respected leader in the sport-fishing industry and who has done more than anyone else to elevate the "profession" of bass tournaments, and to be able to "rub elbows" with fellow anglers such as President George W. Bush SR, or "THE PREZ" as we all referred to him there at Ray Scott's Annual "Golly" Benefit Shin-Dig".


The Prez" meets Bob "McBass" Sealy
< photos by Ed Snyder >

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