When Lester Wray crossed the stage at the recent St. Croix Bassmaster Open at Lake Eufaula in Oklahoma, the cheers from the crowd were as loud as they were at just about any other time in the derby.
And it wasn’t because Wray was hoisting bucket-mouthed bass for everyone to see. Far from it.
His catch that week was humble — a single bass on Day 1 weighing 1 pound, 10 ounces, and another on Day 2 for 1-7. His overall weight of 3-1 placed him 76th of 118 co-anglers entered in the tournament and left him buried beneath a bevy of visiting competitors.
The ruckus for Wray was as genuine as it comes though. The 75-year-old Native American, a resident of McAlester, Okla., which hosted the Open, is a bit of a legend in these parts. He’s spent his…