During the past several years, Ray Scott of Montgomery, Ala., president of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, has been making a big noise among bass fishermen, and not with the megaphone which he is carrying on his shoulder. Here, Scott watches the final weigh-in at the Texas Invitational Tournament held recently on Sam Rayburn. (Times photo by Reeves Field), March 1974, The Shreveport Times.

We’ve featured this photo once before, but there were some interesting quotes in the full write-up that we can now share with readers since these posts are being hosted on the main Bass Fishing Archives website. Keep in mind, this story was from 1974 while BASS was still in its infant years, yet some of the quotes speak to not only the profitability of the venture for Ray, even just half a dozen years into the venture, but also to some of the “hot topics” that are still discussed to this day.

Here are some of the high points of the article. Note there was no byline of who wrote the article.

For Alabamian Ray Scott, BASS Is Big Business

The Author: “To the founder of the 150,000-member Bass Anglers Sportsman Society (BASS), fishing and fishermen are a business, and a very profitable one at that.”

Ray Scott: “To me, BASS is a business, just like any other business. Bass fishermen have made me a millionaire. But there’s nothing I can do about that…except enjoy it,” Scott said when I talked with him on the final day of the Texas Invitational on Sam Rayburn recently.

“But I’ve never been motivated by money for the sake of money, but rather what I can do with it in order to see my business grow.”

“I try to instill in my people at BASS that no business will continue to make money unless it can sell the same man twice. The more I can do for the American bass fisherman, the more they will want to do business with me…at $10 a throw.” The $10 to which Scott was referring is the annual membership fee charged by BASS.

“Any man who is good enough will put up his $200. But very few people are making any money as a direct result of the tournaments. However, a combination of tournament winnings and related revenues, such as endorsements for tackle manufacturers should they become successful, might serve as a financial inducement.”

The Author: “Scott believes, however, that the prestige factor motivates most to try their hand at competitive bass fishing.”

Ray Scott: “They are motivated by competition. It is stronger in some than in others.”

“The professionals could unionize, but I feel that we’re working in their best interest now. Under our new policy, BASS doesn’t make anything off the tournaments. All the profits now go to the Bass Research Foundation (which was founded by BASS),” Scott said.

The Author: “Scott is very big on playing by the rules, and it is perhaps this more than anything else which has contributed to his success.”

Ray Scott: “The only way to ever have any order is to set specific rules within the framework of being legislated. We don’t make rules we can’t enforce. That’s why we don’t have any bums in this thing. And every rule must be enforced to the letter, no matter who is the offender,” he said. “That’s the only way it will work.”