Kim Bain-Moore, the first woman to compete in a Bassmaster Classic, says she's ready to get back on the Red River.
The river out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La., was the site of her historic appearance in the 2009 Classic in February. Her return will be for the Oct. 16-18 Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women's Tour Championship, which will decide who will be the second woman to qualify for a Classic.
"I have a little bit of nervousness, but it's the same nervousness I have whenever I go into any fishing tournament," said Bain-Moore, an Australian native who lives in Alabaster, Ala. "Whenever you have a situation where you think you will be able to catch them, you cross your fingers and hope you'll be able to do that on tournament day, and this is no different. I certainly hope I can catch fish this time."
For the record, she caught keepers at the Classic: two the first day and a five-fish limit the second day, but stumbled to 47th place. The Classic is a tough tournament for any rookie, especially for one whose every move was scrutinized.
For almost four months leading up to the Classic appearance, Bain-Moore drew so much media attention that she expended a lot of energy traveling to appearances and giving interviews. ESPN's First Take, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric, Time.com, USA Today, Miami Herald, Los Angeles Times, Baltimore Sun … the list of interviews with top media stretches on.
It was a momentous yet exhausting time for her. Always looking cool under a hot spotlight, Bain-Moore may have felt it deeply, but she never publicly mentioned the stress. Today, looking back on her year as the AOY, the 29-year-old said that just being one of the 51 Classic competitors made it all good.
"The Classic was something I'd dreamt about for a long time," she said. "To be able to go, to fish alongside the Classic competitors, represent all the ladies of the WBT, and potentially inspire other ladies to go out fishing, was tremendously important to me. I felt honored to have achieved that."
Although she would like to be in another Classic, Bain-Moore mentions she'd be very happy to have another woman have the experience.
"For a while there, I wasn't sure I'd make the (2009) championship," she said. "So I feel it's a tremendous honor to have qualified and I look forward to going down there and having a lot of fun."
The 2009 AOY will be crowned Sunday on the weigh-in stage outside the Bossier City Academy Sports + Outdoors store.
All BASS events are free and open to the public, including daily takeoff Friday-Sunday at Red River South Marina in Bossier City at 7 a.m. Weigh-ins will begin at 3:30 p.m. CT at the Academy store.