BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama promoter who helped found the bass fishing industry has died.

A longtime aide says Ray Scott died late Sunday of natural causes. He was 88.

Scott founded the first professional bass fishing tournament in the late 1960s.

Anglers could win money based on the weight of the fish they caught over several days on a lake or river.

He used to emcee the Bassmaster Classic, a huge tournament which draws thousands of spectators.

Scott became a fishing buddy to presidents while also popularizing the practice of catching and releasing fish, now a standard practice for anglers.