Fly Life Magazine
Announcements

Monte Burke on the most sporting President in U.S. history

George H.W. Bush Was The Most Sporting President In U.S. History

In Islamorada, Florida Keys, former President George Herbert Walker Bush will always be the First Angler. Days before being sworn into office as president in January 1989, the president-elect flew into the Marathon airport and headed to Islamorada to squeeze in two days on the water. ‘I’m one of the classic fishing conservationists,’ Bush told gathered reporters. ‘We’re going to prove that over the next eight years by going fishing, demonstrating a keen personal interest in going after the wily bonefish or the elusive tarpon or the redfish or the snook.'” Kevin Wadlow Free Press Staff

Monte Burke / Forbes Contributor / December 1 2018

President George Bush presents an award to a tournament angler at the George Bush-Cheeca Lodge Bonefish Tournament hosted by Curt Gowdy, left. Cheeca Lodge photo.

George H.W. Bush, who died last night at the age of 94, lived an impressive life—President and Vice-President of the U.S., director of the CIA, ambassador to the United Nations, chairman of the Republican National Committee, U.S. envoy to China, U.S. Congressman, father of a U.S. president and father of the governor of Florida.

One thing, too, he will be remembered for is his incredible sporting life

To be sure, there have been many sporting presidents in the history of the United States. Trump plays golf. Obama played golf and basketball. Clinton was a jogger and a so-so golfer. Ford played football on two national title-winning University of Michigan teams, and was the squad’s MVP in 1934. Eisenhower played football at West Point. Kennedy was a golfer and a photogenic touch-footballer. Teddy Roosevelt liked to hunt.

But none of them was quite the match for George H.W. Bush, in terms of the breadth of the sports in which he engaged, and the longevity of his sporting career.

George H. W. Bush’s Sporting Life, March 2010

 The most sporting man to ever inhabit the Oval Office is only inactive by his own standards. Since 2007 he has reeled in (solo) a 145-pound tarpon, fished with Russia’s then president Vladimir Putin in Maine (“I don’t think he could be called an accomplished fisherman,” says Bush), played doubles tennis with Anna Kournikova (she hit him in the rear end with her first serve of the match) and hit a 200-yard drive to kick off Tiger Woods’ golf tournament. Last summer he jumped out of an airplane from 10,500 feet.

He no longer wades the brawling rivers of maritime Canada, where he once fished for Atlantic salmon. He can’t shoot quail or pheasant. He last played a full round of golf in late 2006, before his most recent hip surgery.

But the most sporting man to ever inhabit the Oval Office is only inactive by his own standards. Since 2007 he has reeled in (solo) a 145-pound tarpon, fished with Russia’s then president Vladimir Putin in Maine (“I don’t think he could be called an accomplished fisherman,” says Bush), played doubles tennis with Anna Kournikova (she hit him in the rear end with her first serve of the match) and hit a 200-yard drive to kick off Tiger Woods’ golf tournament. Last summer he jumped out of an airplane from 10,500 feet.

This year Bush is planning to visit the Houston Astros’ spring training camp, fish the flats of the Florida Keys and zoom around at speeds of up to 70mph in the choppy Atlantic Ocean off his summer home at Walker’s Point in Kennebunkport, Me. in search of striped bass. All this will just take him through the month of May. ‘Sports are good for the soul, good for life,’ says Bush. He recalls the edgy anticipation he had before a big game in college. ‘I loved that feeling. I still do.'” Monte Burke

Read complete story . . .

 

Like this Article? Share it!

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.