It's a family tradition

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Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

In the world of professional bass fishing, Kevin VanDam is at the pinnacle and arguably the best in the world.

Did our family have a good time last Monday evening! Nicholas, Jackson and my nephew Steve fished a local tournament here with my old bass club. It's a typical Monday night event, about 3 1/2 hours long with most of the club members qualifying as regulars.

The lake we fished holds a nice mix of largemouths and smallmouths. Nicholas fished with me. We caught a limit — one of only three — that weighed just under 11 pounds. That put us in fourth place, one spot outside the money. We might have done better but we just couldn't get that one big fish we needed.

Jackson fished with Steve in another boat. They didn't catch a limit, but they did boat a smallmouth that weighed almost 5 pounds. That was good enough for big bass honors and some money. Jackson was really fired up about it.

I was pleasantly surprised at how many questions Nicholas asked. He wanted to know all about everything we were doing. He wasn't there just to throw whatever lure I picked out for him into whatever spot I pointed at. He wants to be more than a robot.

Steve said the same thing about Jackson. I think both boys understand that successful fishing is a matter of putting lots of things together at the same time. They know it's more than being lucky or simply being in the right place at the right time. I'm proud of that. It means they've been paying attention.

It was also nice to see my old friends and have the opportunity to fish with them again. It reminded me of what it was like in the old days. I'll tell you those days weren't bad, not bad at all. We don't get to do enough of that sort of thing. My work schedule is brutal. It really cuts into scheduled activities like local tournaments.

And speaking of work I'll be getting everything ready for the rest of the year this week. That means filming for sponsors.

I like to do that. It's a privilege to work for the companies and people who support me, but it's not as easy as it looks on the surface. Everything is live. You have to catch fish almost on command and with specific lures and equipment. It's not like you have a choice.

If it's a topwater commercial, you throw topwater. If it's a crankbait film, you throw crankbaits. Sometimes we have to do it at a specific time of the day, in a specific location on the lake or river. Often I'm required to use a specific color lure.

I don't suppose I have to tell you that the fish don't always cooperate. At times they're in one mood and the ad people are in another. It can be a challenge. Nevertheless, it's a challenge I enjoy.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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