“We’re delighted to bring Ray Scott to the stage in support of our Federation anglers,” said Dean Kessel, BASS’ Vice President of Operations. “There’s no better way to commemorate our first week in Celebration (Fla.) than by hosting the Federation Championship in our new backyard. Having the founder of BASS here makes it even more special.”
The BASS Federation was Scott’s brainchild in the 1970s – a grassroots organization of anglers who would spread the gospel of fishing, fun and healthy competition. Today, the Federation is comprised of 2,800 locally organized clubs whose members participate in a range of activities including tournaments, youth programs and conservation initiatives.
The local clubs are organized into 46 states, the District of Columbia and six international Federations (Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and Zimbabwe), which are in turn organized in five geographic divisions (North, South, Central, East and West).
The top angler from each of the five geographic divisions will earn a berth into the 2005 CITGO Bassmaster Classic in Pittsburgh, July 29-31.
In the 1960s, Scott was an Alabama insurance salesman with a dream. He knew that bass fishing was extraordinarily popular and that bass anglers were yearning for information and the opportunity to compete. In 1967, Scott held the All-American, the first modern bass tournament, at Beaver Lake in Arkansas. A year later he formed the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and launched Bassmaster Magazine.
In the 1980s, Scott sold BASS to a group of investors led by Helen Sevier. They subsequently sold BASS to ESPN in 2001. On April 25, 2005, BASS relocated its offices to Celebration, Fla., after 37 years in Montgomery, Ala.
BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite 50 series, 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 (407) 566-2208 or visit www.bassmaster.com.