You may be aware that former President George H.W. Bush is an avid angler. I understand that our 41st president’s favorite fish is tarpon, but that his range of fishing extends to fly fishing, too. Recently, when interviewed at a charity bonefish tournament in Florida, President Bush stated, “It’s a combination of hunting and fishing, because the excitement when you see them coming across the flats with the tails in the air and the noses in the mud and they stir up the mud… It’s the closest to hunting and fishing together that I’ve ever done. And I’ve done a lot of fishing since I…became unemployed. Put it that way.”

Few people are aware, though, of how the former president helped our sport while in public office. Recently, he was honored by the American Sportfishing Association for his work. Read the ASA’s press release to learn more.

george bush fly fishingYesterday, several of the nation’s sportfishing industry and fisheries conservation leaders met with former President George H. W. Bush to honor his lifelong efforts to conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitat. The delegation, led by Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, met with Bush at his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, a week after Bush celebrated his ninetieth birthday.

The American Sportfishing Association’s (ASA) President and CEO Mike Nussman presented the former president with the inaugural KeepAmericaFishing™ Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of the recreational fishing industry and our nation’s 60 million anglers. The award, named for the former president, recognizes Bush’s leadership and lifelong personal commitment to recreational fishing and the conservation of our nation’s fisheries and wetlands. Launched by ASA in 2010,KeepAmericaFishing was established as a way for anglers to get involved in advocating for clean water, abundant fish populations and plenty of places to go fishing. In addition to this award, ASA presented its inaugural Fisherman of the Year award to Bush in 1986.

“During his administration, President Bush, an ardent angler and outdoorsman, was responsible for signing into law some of the most important legislation ever drafted to conserve our nation’s fisheries and their habitat,” said Nussman. “Today, the sportfishing industry and anglers recognized his lifelong commitment to our nation’s natural resources with the first KeepAmericaFishing Lifetime Achievement award for his extraordinary efforts to advocate for fisheries conservation and habitat restoration.”

Photos: Keys Discovery (top); Great Lakes Angler (above)