Our freedom to 'Take :10'

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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.

I'm really pleased with what we did last week at the Strike King outdoor writers get-together. We put together some really serious instructional materials. One of the things I'm really excited about is the new Bassmaster.com Take :10 video series.

Basically BASS filmed a ton of 10-second instructional spots to give anglers a quick look at tips and techniques they need to know. It's the kind of stuff that'll help you guys catch more fish every time you go out on the water.

I did a bunch of them, but so did the other guys. Denny Brauer, Greg Hackney, Mark Davis, James Niggemeyer and Mark Menendez all weighed in with their "secret" tips. I'd say that altogether we filmed at least a 100 of them. Make sure you check them out on Bassmaster.com. They should be up by the first of the year. They're the real deal.

There should be some really good stuff coming out in magazines over the next few months, as well. Most of the better ones were represented, and their writers did a good job of getting interviews and flushing out stories about new baits and techniques, so you know the articles will be good.

This is the kind of thing you get from a professional company, a professional pro staff and professional media. It's not enough to have good tackle. You have to know how to use it. Organizations like BASS — and a host of others — make that possible. Take advantage of what they do.

I also want to mention something else that's very important to me. I really feel strongly about this. At one of our dinners we had a presentation by Warriors on the Water (www.warriorsonthewater.com). That's a group of veterans who love the outdoors. They're especially strong when it comes to fishing and hunting.

When you hear what these guys go through in combat zones, it gives you a new perspective on life. Keeping us free is a tough job, physically and mentally. These men and women are the real American heroes. They make every single thing we do possible.

Without them we couldn't live a normal, peaceful life — much less earn a living as professional bass anglers. I mean we don't worry about a bomb going off under our pickup trucks as we drive down the highway, nor do we worry about dying in the next 15 minutes and never seeing our families again. Our lives are ridiculously ordinary compared to theirs.

Unless you have a loved one serving, war is a far-off thing for most of us. It isn't to them. They live it every hour of every day. Their world makes ours possible. If you see a veteran, make sure you say thanks and do him or her a favor if you can.

And remember, it's all about the attitude.

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