Click here to continue 1 / 12 B.A.S.S. founder Ray Scott celebrates his 80th birthday on Saturday, Aug. 24. Photo: B.A.S.S. 2 / 12 He held his first bass tournament at 33 and founded B.A.S.S. when he was only 34 years old. Photo: B.A.S.S. 3 / 12 As most all fishermen did in the early days, he initially kept limits of bass to show off – until an epiphany in 1972 convinced him that bass were too valuable to keep. Photo: B.A.S.S. 4 / 12 Scott decreed in 1972 that all tournaments would be catch and release affairs. The 1971 Texas Invitational was one of the last in which anglers brought in their catches on stringers. Photo: B.A.S.S. 5 / 12 This photo of Scott next to the original live release trailer brought wide attention to the “Don’t Kill Your Catch” mantra. Photo: B.A.S.S. 6 / 12 Creation of the Bassmaster Classic boosted professional bass fishing to a new level ... Photo: B.A.S.S. 7 / 12 ... . and attracted politicians, including then-Gov. Bill Clinton, of Arkansas, shown here during the 1984 Classic at Pine Bluff, Ark. Photo: B.A.S.S. 8 / 12 Another political leader, former President George H.W. Bush, became good friends with Scott and eventually ensured enactment of the vital Wallop-Breaux amendment to Sportfish Restoration. Photo: B.A.S.S. 9 / 12 A fatal boating accident that took the life of Scott’s friend inspired him to promote boating safety — including mandatory PFD use and kill switches in all boats. Scott also became an ardent opponent of stick-steer boats. Photo: B.A.S.S. 10 / 12 Scott stayed busy with his various enterprises after selling B.A.S.S. more than 25 years ago, but he still finds time to fish on his private lake in Pintlala, Ala. ... Photo: B.A.S.S. 11 / 12 ... and, once in a while, on his favorite lakes in Mexico and Canada ... Photo: B.A.S.S. 12 / 12 ... but fishing in Alabama, especially with light tackle, is how he stays connected with the fish that changed his life. Photo: B.A.S.S.