MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Famed angler Ray Scott, founder of Bassmasters, is remembering with fondness the time he spent in fellowship with the late President George H.W. Bush.
Scott said he met Bush when the former congressman and CIA chief ran for president against Ronald Reagan.
“I knew right away he was a gentleman beyond reproach and I signed up to be his Republican chairperson for Alabama,” Scott said. “But it was bass fishing that cemented our personal bond. We share with our nation and mourn the loss of President George H.W. Bush - a very good friend, a true patriot and great friend of the bass fishing community.”
Bush and his late wife Barbara would come to Pintlala to fish with Scott, and also worship at Pintlala Baptist Church, Scott said on Monday.
"He definitely loved to fish and always admired the pro anglers," Scott said.
Scott said he once visited Bush at his Maine home where the friends took a ride in Bush's speed boat, named Fidelity III.
Scott said he remembered that Bush joked that he favored Scott’s lake for actually catching fish. “I’ve never caught fish going this fast,” Bush said to Scott. “Ray, when I want to catch fish...I go to your lake.”
Scott’s description of Bush’s character mirrored the views of so many who have remembered the statesman who died on Friday at the age of 94.
“His friendship was not only a highlight of my life, it changed my life. He was without a doubt - other than my own father - the finest man I have ever known,” Scott said. "Now he joins his lovely wife Barbara and will fish on the shores of the big lake in the sky. Rest in peace Mr. President, I hope you catch a big one.”