MONTGOMERY, Ala. - BASS, the worldwide authority on bass fishing, today announced the return of Ray Scott to the organization he created more than three and a half decades ago.

Plans call for Scott to meet and greet spectators and BASS members attending the CITGO BASS Federation Championship presented by Busch Beer in Tulsa, Okla., April 22-24. Going forward, he will focus his efforts on espousing the benefits of BASS membership.

"Pride and passion are key ingredients in the BASS recipe for success and Ray recognized this back in 1968 when he created what would become our sport's largest fishing organization," said Dean Kessel, BASS Vice President and General Manager.

Scott is recognized around the world for turning a recreational activity into what would mature into a national pastime and way of life for more than half a million BASS members who receive Bassmaster Magazine and the millions more who follow the sport on ESPN, in print, at events and on Scott's legacy of conservation, competition and education has made him - and his trademark cowboy hat - one of the most recognizable figures within the sporting community.

Scott says he wants to focus his efforts on growing and strengthening the BASS Federations in particular.

"I am proud of the entire BASS membership," said Scott. "but I have always had a special affection for the BASS clubs and Federations. No group of individuals is more committed to the bass resource and environment, and particularly to youth participation in the sport."

Scott is expected to appear at other marquee events, including this summer's CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer in Charlotte, N.C., and select Bassmaster Elite 50 tournaments beginning in April.

"When I brought together 106 fishermen from 13 states back in 1967 for my first tournament in Arkansas, few of us there could have imagined the extent to which BASS and the sport would grow," Scott said. "And now ESPN has broadened the horizons of the organization dramatically. It's a fact that no one does sports like ESPN. Plus, I am impressed with their creativity and their dedication to BASS. For example, the new Bassmaster Elite 50 series is a groundbreaking concept that will have an exciting impact on the tournament world."

In the spirit of Scott's strides to elevate the sport of bass fishing, the all-new, four-event Bassmaster Elite 50 series will award $1.6 million to the top 50 anglers in the world, who will compete in the no-entry-fee tournaments for invitations to the Classic, slated for July 30-Aug. 1. Another five berths will be awarded to the world's top amateur anglers at the Federation Championship in Oklahoma.

"I can't wait to go to Tulsa," added Scott. "So much bass fishing history is there. It's the home of my greatest friend and the very first lifetime member of BASS, Don Butler. Don won the 1972 Classic at Percy Priest in Nashville.

"I want to meet every Federation president and as many BASS members as possible during championship week."

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. Later this month, BASS introduces the all-new Bassmaster Elite 50 Series, a four-event, no-entry-fee circuit featuring a $1.6 million prize purse for the best anglers on the CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail presented by Busch Beer. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (334) 551-2375 or visit