A whirlwind week

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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.

What a week I’ve had.

    I spent two days at Mercury in Fond du Lac, Wis., got home at midnight, caught a flight at 6 a.m. the next morning from Kalamazoo to Springfield, Mo. to emcee the Oakley Big Bass Tour KVD Classic, flew back home and left early the next morning to ride with Mark Zona to Lake St. Clair and film a segment for Zona’s Awesome Fishing Show.

    That afternoon, I made the three-hour trek home, raced to my boys’ school for Honor Night and arrived two minutes before they walked across the stage to receive awards, along with other kids, for achieving grade point averages of 3.5 or better.

    The next day, there were satellite trucks sitting in my yard for me to conduct day-long TV and radio interviews to promote safe boating for Discover Boating, a public awareness campaign for the National Marine Manufacturers Association.

    Cramming that many events into a short time frame isn’t easy but it came off without a hitch. All the credit goes to wife Sherry who handles my scheduling on top of helping the kids with their homework while I’m on the road.

    The Mercury trip was a great experience. I went to the plant to meet most of Mercury’s 3,000 employees to explain how we use the engines they build and emphasize how reliable, fuel efficient and well performing they are.

    I met with groups ranging from 100 to 400 people throughout the two days and got to   see how these engines and props are built.

    It was truly fascinating and I came away with even more appreciation for what goes into the engines we tend to take for granted. I was really blown away by the detailed process it takes to build a propeller and the R&D and testing that goes into them.

    Afterwards, they honored me with two props that had my signature cast into them. One was on a plaque that the employees signed, and one for me to use. They also built a third, which I signed and presented to the employees.

    The Oakley event on Table Rock Lake at Big Cedar Lodge Resort was equally exciting. During the two-day event, they give away $500 prizes for the biggest bass weighed in each hour. There were several 4 and 5s carried to the scales.

    I got a kick out of the look on some of those guys faces when they walked across the stage. They didn’t know that I would be there and were kinda shocked. It was hilarious.

    Congratulations to Steven Porter, the overall winner with a 6.60-pound bass that earned him a Nitro Z8 rigged with a 200 horse Mercury. Steven fished from the back of his brother’s boat and now he has one of his own. Pretty cool deal.

    My trip to St. Clair was a freak show; not because of my good friend Zona, who can get pretty freaky, but because the fishing was ridiculously good. We had two days set aside to film and were done by the end of the day which allowed me time to make the three-hour drive home and catch my sons’ award ceremony.

    Ahh …the life of a bass pro. And I love it!

    It’s all about the attitude!

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