NASCAR and bass fishing

About the author

Kevin VanDam

Kevin VanDam

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

We spent most of last week talking about the ups and downs of professional bass fishing. In my mind that's important. Fans need to understand that fishing is knowledge-based but it isn't done with scientific precision. Some things are out of your control. You have to learn to deal with them.

That's true for recreational anglers, too. Don't get discouraged or think that the forces of nature are after you because things go wrong from time to time. Look at my season this year for inspiration. I had a tough period, but in the end, hard work and perseverance paid off. I'll be fishing in Alabama next month.

That's one of the most important fishing lessons you can learn. Sometimes you can make a good hookset and the fish shakes loose. It's nobody's fault. It just happens. If you blame yourself, or overanalyze everything, it'll get into your head and kill you. Accept the fact that not everything will go your way.

Last week was great at Daytona. I fished with Jamie McMurray on Lake Lloyd, a 29-acre body of water right in the Daytona International Speedway. After that, we ate lunch and then did a little driving at the High Performance Karts from the Richard Petty Driving Experience. The whole thing was a blast.

After that we — the family and some of the boy's friends — headed out for a short vacation. We went to a major lake and rented a houseboat. We grilled out, swam and did some fishing. (Yes, I towed my boat along. You never know when the bite might get hot and you'll need it. It's best to be prepared.)

From there I hope to be at the Coke Zero 400 cheering Jamie on towards another win. I get to be an honorary race official this year. That's about as good as it gets as far as I'm concerned. I'm a big NASCAR fan, you know.

This year could be extra special because McMurray has a chance to become only the fifth driver in history to win the Daytona 500 and the Coke Zero 400 (formerly the Firecracker 400) in the same year. He could join the likes of Fireball Roberts, Cale Yarborough, LeeRoy Yarbrough and Bobby Allison. That's a real group of drivers — the best in the sport.

If you're in the neighborhood, make sure you check out the race. We have a special ticket package available called Reels and Wheels. It includes a race ticket, a Sprint Fanzone/Pre-Race Pit Pass and admission to the Fishing 101 Fan Forum with Jamie and me.

Once that's done, I'll be off to ICAST — the fishing industry's biggest new products show — and from there it's east to Alabama. Immediately after that, it'll be time to start filming for my sponsors. We'll talk about all that later.

Remember, it's all about the attitude.

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