Original Caption: President Bush (center) joins top bass fishing pros Orlando Wilson (left) and Roland Martin for a charity tournament in Alabama. The boat in the background contains Secret Service agents. The Atlanta Journal, April 1991, photo: Gary Laden/Special.

In today’s Friday Finale historical photo, we feature two professional touring anglers – Roland Martin and Orlando Wilson – along with a former president, George Bush.  The year was 1991.  The occasion was the Eagles of Angling Bass Tournament, hosted by Ray Scott at his private ranch as a benefit for the Pintlala Baptist Church.

Of particular interest from the story is how Roland Martin and Orlando Wilson got picked to be the late President’s partner for the event.  According to the news story, Wilson recalls, “We threw darts at a poster of Saddam Hussein.  Fortunately, Roland and I landed closest to the bull’s eye and drew the president as our partner.  I didn’t sleep at all on Friday night.  I was sure I would wake up and discover that I was dreaming.”

While the threesome did poorly in the event, it turns out they had a good excuse.  The Secret Service agents were located in a pair of boats that shadowed the President’s every move.  This included putting themselves right over some good holes, inadvertently spooking the bass.

But the pair were very complimentary of the President, saying he was a serious angler, a good caster, stayed after it during the entire tournament, and landed a limit of bass by himself.  Interestingly, Orlando said, “As I was ready to tow my boat back to Atlanta, I noticed that the president had left his personal tackle box in the boat.  His name was engraved on the box.  I haven’t decided yet if I should keep it or give it back.”

What eventually happened to that box? The story never said. Perhaps it’s still sitting over at Orlando’s house.