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Great Americans

12/17/2009

When I think of all of the things in life I've been blessed with, the most important are my health, my family, my country and my ability to chase little fish all around the country.

I love having the opportunity to write about the fishing industry, yap about it on the radio and occasionally catch a few. It's my right as a U.S. citizen, but I also feel very privileged. Not just because of my love for fishing, but because of the folks I've met over the years and the deep understanding of what our sport is and who participates in it.

I feel the sport fishing community is representative of all that is good in humanity. How many of you know to what lengths your favorite fishing celebrities pitch in to help out folks in times of need? Do you know many of them have organized missions to help their neighbors, selflessly putting their lives on hold to assist others?

Sure, this describes many thousands of Americans, but higher concentrations of anglers are those unsung heroes who do the little things everyday to make a difference in someone's life. It's in the angler's genetic code.

We all remember Gerald Swindle and the other BASS pros that jumped in to help our fellow citizens after the devastation of hurricane Katrina.

How about Mike Iaconelli or Alton Jones' work with charities? The list is endless.

Let's never forget all of the CastingKids work, river clean ups, youth fishing derbies and on and on and on, that the various Federation Nation and other fishing clubs work at year-after-year just to ensure the future of our sport. They all pass on the great legacy that is sport fishing.

Anglers are truly the fishers of men in my book. I live in northern Illinois and my beloved Land of Lincoln has been hit pretty darn hard, like every other state, with the recession.

I asked two of my pro walleye angler friends, Rick LaCourse and Eric Olson, to donate fishing trips to help The Fishing Fanatics show and our terrific ESPN affiliate WLBK 1360 AM, where our show runs live, to pitch in and help the Salvation Army feed those in need. These fellas live in different states hundreds of miles away, but there was no hesitation and they asked for nothing in return.

On a personal note I'd like to thank everybody who I've ever written about or had as a guest on my show. All of these folks were willing to give of their time freely. Sure, promotional value is there, but many have become terrific friends and role models for me. During this greatest time of giving, I give you my thanks.

Merry Christmas to all.


Dave and Kristin Landahl host The Fishing Fanatics, www.TheFishingFanatics.com, radio show on ESPN radio affiliate AM 1360 WLBK in northern Illinois Thursday evenings from 6-7 PM Central time. You can also tune in to hear The Fishing Fanatics at www.1360wlbk.com and check them out at www.walleyecentral.com