Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Gunner Heads to Ray Scott Championship

Dalton “Gunner” Pratt of Terrell, TX, is eagerly participating in the Ray Scott Championship on Lake Seminole this week, marking his 7th appearance in this prestigious event. As a member of the American Bass Anglers since 2001 and having affiliations with the Military Bass Anglers Association (MBAA) since the early 80s, Pratt brings a deep reservoir of experience to the waters of Lake Seminole—a venue that, despite his extensive angling background, presents a new challenge for him

Reflecting on his illustrious journey, Pratt’s narrative is not just about fishing but also about a life dedicated to service. Starting his career in the Air Force as a tail gunner on B-52 G and H models, he transitioned to a boom operator in the 71st Air Refueling Squadron aboard the KC-135 after the phasing out of the B-52 guns. This pivot in his military career did not diminish his trajectory, as he eventually retired as a Chief Master Sergeant after 29 years of commendable service. Following his military retirement, Pratt continued his commitment to public service with the Texas Department of Transportation, from which he has only recently retired.

Pratt’s passion for fishing began early in his military career, serving as a bridge to new communities and friendships. “I started fishing with the MBAA at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth. Finding the local bass club was all it took to make instant friends. This sense of community was a constant as I moved from base to base, providing a welcoming environment and invaluable local knowledge, whether I was in California, Illinois, Oklahoma, or Bossier City,” Pratt recalls.

Now, focusing solely on the American Bass Anglers, Pratt praises the organization for the consistency and integrity of its tournaments. He notes, “The reason I fish ABA is because of the exceptional organization of the tournaments. The consistency across events, coupled with the professionalism and friendly service from the staff, showcases the integrity of these competitions. The rules are clear and adhered to, ensuring fairness for all participants.”

One of Pratt’s cherished memories is from an Open Series event on Lake Palestine, where an issue with the national anthem soundtrack led to a spontaneous, collective acapella performance by the anglers, a moment of unity and patriotism that still gives him chills, especially as a veteran.

When asked about his first venture onto Lake Seminole for the championship, Pratt’s anticipation is palpable. “I have not been to Lake Seminole before, but I’m always excited about the prospect of fishing new waters and learning different techniques. What I’m particularly looking forward to is the chance to see the fish respond to a chatterbait—one of my favorite lures. Beyond the competition, I’ve also looked into local restaurants and am eager to dive into the local cuisine. Each tournament is a unique adventure, and I’m thrilled to be a part of this one,” Pratt expresses, his enthusiasm for the upcoming challenge and the experiences beyond the water as vibrant as ever.

About American Bass Anglers

American Bass Anglers, committed to providing low-cost, close-to-home tournaments, offers an exciting platform for individual angler progression. With the support of industry-leading companies, ABA continues to advance the sport of bass fishing.

For more information about the ABA Professional League and other series, visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

American Bass Anglers is proud to be sponsored by Caymas Boats, Mercury Marine, T-H Marine, Power Pole, RT Outdoors, Optima Batteries, Hotel Planner.com, and LurePartsOnline.com.

About American Bass Anglers: American Bass Anglers is dedicated to organizing affordable, local tournaments for weekend anglers while offering opportunities for individual angler advancement. To learn more about American Bass Anglers, including the Team Series, American Fishing Tour, American Couples Series, annual Military Team Bass Tournament, ABA Team Series, Top 150 Solo Tour, and Pro League, all presented by Caymas Boats, please visit www.americanbassanglers.com or call (256) 232-0406.

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