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President Bush reels in angler champs

March 25, 2008 |  8:38 am

There are a lot of loud-mouths in Washington, but none with the large mouths of the trophy fish that Alton Jones and Judy Wong have caught.

Jones, an angler from Waco, Texas, who won the 2008 Bassmaster Classic -– and $500,000 -– and Wong, an angler from Many, La., who won the Women’s Bassmaster tour and $60,000 in prizes (a little problem with gender equity there), arrived at the Oval Office this morning for some recognition by the angler-in-chief.

"I've got the fishing champs of this year," President Bush said at the White House reception for the Bassmasters.

"And I thought it was important to welcome these champs here to the White House so that -- you know, to encourage people to fish," the president said. "There's nothing better than fishing.''

"This is a good, clean sport," Bush continued. "It's a sport that requires good conservation in order to make sure our fisheries are good, and I love to welcome the champs here. And so we're glad you're here. The people of Louisiana and Texas are proud of you."

Jones, who has fished with the president, said: "You know, fishing with you, I've got to say that President Bush is actually a very good fisherman and a great conservationist.

"And I'm really not sure who's working who here. I'm hoping to get an invite to fish on his lake in Crawford, and he's looking for a free fishing guide.''

"I'm a good fisherman," Bush said, "Sometimes I'm a good catcher-man."

-- Mark Silva

Silva writes for the Swamp of the Chicago Tribune's Washington bureau.