NEW ORLEANS - BASS founder Ray Scott on Sunday became the second recipient of the BASS Outstanding Achievement Award, accepting a custom crystal trophy at the final weigh-in of the 2003 CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer.

Scott established BASS in 1968 and directed its membership, conservation, publishing and tournament operations until he sold it in 1986. In 2001, ESPN purchased the organization and instituted the Outstanding Achievement Award, which honors one recipient annually for contributions to the sport of bass fishing. Legendary angler Rick Clunn won the first award at the 2002 Classic.

"It is impossible to think of outstanding achievements in the world of bass fishing without thinking of Ray Scott," said Dean Kessel, Vice President and General Manager of BASS. "It was Ray's vision that set us on the path to where BASS is today, and we are grateful to him for his courage and the determination to serve everyone from our BASS Federation members to CastingKids to the 61 pros who competed here this week.

"Ray's blueprint was the first step in the evolution of BASS. We honor that with this award and our promise to continue elevating the sport, conserving the resource and bringing the excitement and authenticity of bass fishing to more people than ever before."

Scott, never shy when he has the chance to promote anglers and the sport, said he is thrilled to receive the award.

"I'm just a 6-foot-2, 220-pound monument to the fishermen who want knowledge," Scott said Friday. "I'm very happy they recognize that."

BASS is the world's largest fishing organization, sanctioning more than 20,000 tournaments worldwide through its Federation. The CITGO Bassmaster Tournament Trail is the oldest and most prestigious pro bass-fishing tournament circuit and continues to set the standard for credibility, professionalism and sportsmanship as it has since 1968.

Sponsors of the CITGO Bassmaster Classic presented by Busch Beer include CITGO Petroleum Corp., Busch Beer, Chevrolet Trucks, Yamaha Outboards, Mercury Marine, Skeeter Boats, Triton Boats, Lowrance Electronics, Flowmaster Exhaust Systems, Kumho Tires, Progressive Insurance, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Diamond Cut Jeans, MotorGuide Trolling Motors, and BankOne.

Associate Sponsors include Bryant Heating and Air Conditioning and G3 Boats.

Local sponsors include the State of Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, the Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation, and Jefferson Parish.

For more information, contact BASS Communications at (504) 304-2563.