Staying true to B.A.S.S.'s principles

The exercise of preparing my column for B.A.S.S. Times is always a period of reflection for me – wondering what’s happened that might be interesting, what’s on the horizon.

This time I got a little help from the “band” of conservation directors (CDs) in the state B.A.S.S. Federation Nation (BFN) and my two trusted advisors and B.A.S.S. Times writers, Gene Gilliland and Mike Allen. I often get inspired by this bunch of folks – my colleagues and friends.

While talking with them about my July column and other things via email, I was reminded by Gene Gilliland and Oregon BFN CD Chuck Lang about the founding principles of B.A.S.S. those 43 years ago – the 10 things that founder Ray Scott set forth for B.A.S.S.

I talk about being “relevant” in my column in this July 2012 issue of B.A.S.S. Times, and I am taking the liberty of repeating Mr. Scott’s 10 principles here. Those with an asterisk – a full 50% – are conservation-related and are still relevant to the work and ideas of B.A.S.S. Conservation today:

Founding Principles of B.A.S.S., Ray Scott, 1968:

1. To organize the bass anglers of America.

2. To stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major participation sport and elevate it to a place of prominence.

3. To improve our skills as bass anglers through the exchange of expert bass-catching techniques and ideas.

*4. To offer our state conservation departments our organized moral and political support and encouragement.

*5. To promote full adherence to all conservation codes.

*6. To demand adequate water standards and legal enforcement of existing regulatory standards.

*7. To detect and report any polluters and call public and political attention to the crime.

*8. To encourage private and governmental study necessary to maintain quality fishing and fish habitat and to ensure quality fisheries for ourselves and future generations.

9. To promote and encourage youth fishing. Kids don't just go fishing — they are taken fishing. We must instill in our youth an interest in and love for this great sport.

10. To present national championship bass fishing tournaments. These tournaments will bring together the nation's most dedicated bass fishermen, and the publicity derived from them will stimulate public interest in bass angling.

Sometimes, the more we change, the more we stay the same. Staying true to these conservation principles seems the right thing to do, now and for the future.

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