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A Common Passion

Tuesday, May 22, 2007
by Ray Scott

There's a very special energy when you get a roomful of people together who share a common passion.

I felt that energy – and then some – when I attended a conference recently on one of my favorite subjects conducted by one of my favorite friends. I'm speaking of Texan Bob Lusk, a noted fishery biologist and consultant and editor of Pond Boss magazine, who conducted his first-ever Pond Boss Conference & Expo.

It was an unqualified success thanks to his thoughtful planning and sheer enthusiasm. I originally planned to attend the first day only, but called my wife to tell her I was having such a good time I was going to stay for both days.

It all took place in Arlington, Texas, not far from Dallas. For a mere $95, participants were treated to 2 days of highly knowledgeable speakers and presenters who addressed every aspect of pond/lake management, especially for good fishing. Plus, they enjoyed one-on-one time with a great group of exhibitors who shared product information at their booths that comprised a handy little expo.

Photo: Ray Scott Outdoors
Noted fishery biologist and Pond Boss editor Bob Lusk (right) recently organized the Pond Boss Conference & Expo in Arlington, Texas.

I was especially glad to see my friend Zach Sweeney of Sweeney Feeders, who both spoke and exhibited. I've used Sweeney automated feeders for both my fish and whitetail deer for many years. They're virtually indestructible.

Lusk has done a great job with his Pond Boss magazine – a specialty bi-monthly publication dedicated to managing private waters. He told me last year that when he travels and gathers groups of clients and subscribers together, he's always noted the high degree of camaraderie the pond enthusiasts enjoy. That gave him the idea for the conference.

His instincts were dead-on. The conference was like a friendly class reunion of all the people you really wanted to see again.

Lusk is a big ol' bearded fella with a ready smile. I'd sure never peg him for a professor-type, but I've never seen anyone who can communicate like this guy. He can translate all the scientific concepts and jargon into layman's terms everyone can understand. Add to that, he retains a wonderful enthusiasm for his subject. He can get as excited as a kid about a new discovery, an idea or a project. His passion has developed into well-deserved reputation in his field.

As many of you know, I share Lusk's passion for "small waters." I've been fooling with lakes for about 40 years, and I still do in my new enterprise Ray Scott Legacy Lakes. I found developers were interested in "name-brand" fishing waters as well as private individuals who wanted a Ray Scott-designed lake.

Actually, my involvement got very serious a number of years ago when I produced a video/DVD series called Great Small Waters – a complete guide to creating your own fishing waters. It was in response to the constant questions I'd gotten over the years from individuals wanting guidance on their bass-fishing lakes. I've said many times, more people ask me pond/lake questions over the years than any other subject.

Lusk and I and many others believe the brightest future of bass fishing will be in ponds and small lakes – so–called "private waters." With public waterways getting increasingly inhospitable to fishermen, it's a natural course. Obviously. management can be much more controlled.

We both believe there's an excellent chance the world-record bass will come from some "great small waters" somewhere. And it'll always be a source of pride for me that bass superstar Rick Clunn caught his personal best – a l3-pound, 15-ounce lunker – during a fundraising tournament on my private lake.

Many don't realize the number of small ponds and lakes in this country. It's astronomical. Every time I'm in an airplane I'm still astounded at the number of ponds 'n puddles that dot the countryside below me. I know from personal experience that many of those little waters represent a whole lot of fishing dreams.

When the First Annual Pond Boss Conference & Expo concluded, I realized that most in attendance were fishermen in some degree or another and that the black bass was at the top of the list in interest. Once again, this wily green critter has gathered people together in a fun and positive way.

(Good news – Bob Lusk plans to conduct another Pond Boss Conference and Expo next year. Contact the Pond Boss office at (903) 564-6144 or (800) 687-6075 for more info.)

To order Ray Scott's complete guide to creating Great Small Waters, visit, or call (800) 518-7222.

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