Ray Scott – The Start of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society

The Bass Boss and the man behind the advent of competitive bass fishing, Ray Scott, Nov 15, 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

The Bass Boss and the man behind the advent of competitive bass fishing, Ray Scott, Nov 15, 2014. Photo Brenda Serrano.

This past weekend I was invited to an event in Florence, AL by former Elite Series angler Jimmy Mason. The event was to be held Friday night and would feature Alabama fishing greats, Bill Huntley, Ray Gresham and Tom Smith. The trio, sitting at the head of a conference room in the Florence, AL Visitor’s Center, told stories of the old days of fishing in Alabama and on the Tennessee River impoundments. It was an awesome meeting and soon we’ll be posting some of those stories here in the Bass Fishing Archives – after we get done with the editing. [Read more…]

More Tournament Associations – American Angler

American Angler Cover Winter 1978Competitive bass fishing has a history that dates back to 1955 when a group of anglers in Texas started the Texas State Bass Tournament. Not long after that in 1960 Hy Peskin started his World Series of Sportfishing which took state champions from all over the east through the Midwest and pitted them against each other in an international championship event. The problem with this event was the rules were always a moving target and the anglers could weigh in essentially any fish, as long as they had fins – although black bass took more points than the other creatures.

Then in 1967 a man by the name of Ray Scott changed all of that. Rained out of a day’s fishing one day he sat in his hotel and envisioned bass fishing being a sport much like bowling or golf – a professional sport where anglers could become stars and make a living by casting and catching bass. By 1968 the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society was born. [Read more…]

The Chattanooga Bass Club and Bass Anglers Sportsmans Society

The first officers of the Chattanooga Bass Club. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

The first officers of the Chattanooga Bass Club. Pinned to Harold Sharp’s shirt is the first B.A.S.S. patch ever handed out. It now resides in Ray Scott’s office in Alabama. Photo courtesy of Harold Sharp.

[Editor’s Note: Harold Sharp sent me an email regarding a post we made that had a picture of Stan Sloan holding a limit of fish. I initially said the picture was from the first Ray Scott event at Beaver but Harold told me that caption was wrong. He attached a picture of the first B.A.S.S. patch to the email and gave us this story. Reading stories like this makes me think of a few things. First, it’s nice to know the history of the sport. Next it helps me understand how much work Ray Scott, Harold Sharp, Bob Cobb and all the others had to do to get B.A.S.S. started, and third it makes me mad when greenies say that sportsman only hurt the environment. I hope you enjoy reading about our past.]

In June of 1967, I read a small announcement in the Chattanooga Times morning paper about a bass fishing tournament to be held on Beaver Lake, AR. It listed the name of Bob Treadway from Chattanooga that was fishing the tournament, so I looked Bob up in the phone book and gave him a call. He was operating a small grocery nearby so I drove over to ask him some questions about the bass tournament. [Read more…]

B.A.S.S.: More Than a Tournament Organization Part Two

Permission Ray Scott

Editor’s Note: This is Part Two of a two-part series on what B.A.S.S. stood for in the early days of the organization. In this part, Ray Scott talks about what he did to help fight pollution and bring safer boating to the industry. To read part one, click here.

Over the course of the last six months we’ve talked a lot about B.A.S.S. and the events held in the early 70s. We’ve also delved a little bit into the rules that Ray Scott implemented in his tournaments along with the horsepower race. What we haven’t really touched on, though, is what it meant to be a part of B.A.S.S. (with the periods and all their glory) and why everyone displayed, with pride, the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s sticker and patch. [Read more…]