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Service Members treated to great day on the water

Service Members treated to great day on the water

ATHENS, AL. — A group of airmen from Robins Air Force Base were treated to a unseasonably warm December day on the water, compliments of Early Times Kentucky Whisky, through their Operation Rod & Reel program this past Saturday. Division 72, under the direction of Dave Fox, planned and executed an outstanding event that was not only enjoyed by the service members, but 38 of their own AFT members.

American Bass Anglers and Early Times Kentucky Whisky joined forces to create Operation Rod & Reel. The program allows active-duty service members from selected military installations to receive fishing equipment and a free fishing trip to a local ABA tournament.

The service members, many of whom had never fished in a bass tournament, were each paired with an ABA member with a boat that day, a feat accomplished by Fox and his assistant director, Richard Marten.


“Division 72 is extremely proud to get to be a part of something so positive for our service men and women”, said Fox. “As for me and my guys, being out on the water and enjoying our hobby of fishing, is the best way we know of to spend a Saturday. We want these military guys to get hooked on fishing and make it a part of their lives as well. And, I certainly could not have done this without the help of some of our other AFT directors. I want to say a special thanks to my wife, Annie, Deacon Collins, director of AFT Div. 12, Rick Tilson, director of AFT Div. 99, my assistant director, Richard Marten and his wife, Tori, Jody and Kelly Weldon, and we appreciate Early Times pro, Kevin Rake, for being with us as well”, continued Fox.

As a special treat, the brand manager for Early Times Kentucky Whisky, Therese McGuire, attended the tournament. “I’m so proud that we are able to offer this special day for these military service members,” said McGuire. “This is a great way to honor them for all they do for our country and we are humbled and excited to be a part of Operation Rod & Reel.”

Active duty military members interested in participating in other Operation Rod & Reel events across the country can call ABA at 256-232-0406. The next tournament is planned for April 21st at Kerr Lake, Virginia. For more information about American Bass Anglers and its tournament trails, visit

About Early Times

Early Times is enjoyed in 28 countries around the world and the Early Times Mint Julep is the "Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby™." For more information visit or www.earlytimes.comor Facebook at Brown-Forman Corporation is a diversified producer and marketer of fine quality alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Woodford Reserve, Tequila Herradura, el Jimador Tequila, Canadian Mist, Old Forester and Korbel California Champagnes.

About American Bass Anglers - The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series provides weekend anglers a professionally operated competitive tour with a path to the world championship of bass fishing the Bassmaster Classic. American Bass Anglers commitment is to provide low cost, close to home tournaments for the weekend angler and at the same time offer each competitor an upward path for individual angler progression. For more information about American Bass Anglers and the American Fishing Tour, The Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Weekend Series or the American Couples Series, visit


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