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. The points standings can be found on bassmaster.com.
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.
BASS AND RECREATIONAL FISHING GROUPS MEET WITH WHITE HOUSE
The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), an executive office of the president responsible for environmental policy, met Oct. 8 with representatives of the recreational fishing community, including BASS, to discuss the omission of sustainable use, and specifically recreational angling, from the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force Interim Report.
"It was no surprise to the White House that anglers and the sportfishing community are upset with the direction of the Interim Report, though I think they may have underestimated the outcry from America's anglers," said Chris Horton, BASS conservation director.
President Obama issued a memo on June 12th that established an Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, a CEQ-led group comprised of 23 federal entities to develop a policy and framework for managing, among other things, public use of our oceans, coasts and Great Lakes. The Task Force is set to deliver this framework by December 9th.
During the discussions, CEQ leaders explained that the exclusion of recreational angling as a significant component of the policy was an unintentional omission, said Horton.
The meeting included representatives from the American Sportfishing Association, Center for Coastal Conservation, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association and National Marine Manufacturers Association.
"It was a good meeting. They recognized that America's anglers are not happy with the current direction of the task force, and they seem to want to correct their actions. We proposed that they make recreational use of U.S. waters, including recreational angling, a top priority in whatever policy is developed," said Horton. "In an e-mail follow-up to the meeting, we thanked the White House for the opportunity to share our concerns and again proposed that they incorporate recreational angling as a priority of the policy."
The process has moved into the second phase, which will be dedicated to developing a framework for 'spatial planning,' and will likely include the proliferation of zones on a map that dictates who can and cannot access or use selected areas of the oceans, coasts and Great Lakes.
BASS and the sportfishing community will continue efforts to work with the White House to develop a policy framework that benefits not only the resource, but the users and caretakers of that resource.
ADVICE FROM BAIN?
As the first woman to compete in a Bassmaster Classic, what advice would Kim Bain-Moore share with the second woman to qualify?
"Stop and smell the roses. Take a deep breath. Enjoy the experience. Try not to get too caught up. It's a momentous occasion and there's a lot going on, but enjoy it as much as you can."
And a tip: "Always stay positive. People like you when you're happy and smiling. Don't talk about the negatives. At the end of the day, we're all there to inspire people to go fishing."
Bain-Moore credits her parents for her upbeat attitude. "That's something my mom and dad instilled in me, to always look on the bright side, to stay positive, to keep smiling," she said.
Bassmaster Southern Open pro James Charlesworth recently did a media interview by cell phone while standing inside an operating room of a Florida hospital. Surgeons were in the midst of a spinal procedure with a patient on the table.
Charlesworth explained that he works for a company that makes medical devices used by spinal surgeons. It was just part of his job to be on hand during surgeries in case he was needed for tech support.
FOR THE KIDS
BassTackleDepot.com has come up with a way to help the BASS Federation Nation's youth program and, at the same time, give Federation Nation members a discount on tackle.
BassTackleDepot.com has pledged a donation equal to 5% of a Federation Nation member's purchase if the online store is accessed through the link at the Federation Nation home page on Bassmaster.com. (See link below.)
In addition to helping youth programs by making a purchase, Federation Nation shoppers can get a 5% discount. All products are eligible for the savings. Free shipping will be offered on orders of more than $50.
"We wanted to be a part of helping to carry on the traditions of the Federation Nation, and this is a way that we could do that," said Dan O'Sullivan, marketing manager for BassTackleDepot.com and also a member of the board of the California BASS Federation Nation.
Meanwhile, BASS youth programs are nearing the culmination of their 2009 season. The Junior Bassmaster World Championship and the CastingKids Nationals are set for Tavares, Fla., on Oct. 30. Kids have competed all year across the Federation Nation to qualify for these final rounds, which are being conducted in conjunction with the 2009 Bassmaster Federation Nation Championship.
Use this link to start shopping the Bass Tackle Depot discount now!
MADE TO ORDER
Juanita Robinson, who has competed on the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women's Tour as a pro every season since the circuit was created in 2006, was more than thrilled with the 2010 schedule.
She lives in Highlands, Texas, which is just outside Houston, but she has a place on Toledo Bend Reservoir. She says it's only 20 minutes from Sam Rayburn Reservoir, site of one 2010 regular-season event and of the championship. A third event is planned for Lake Belton out of Temple, Texas.
"All of us Texas girls are tickled to death," she said. "We've had to drive to South Carolina, to Georgia, Tennessee, to Alabama all over. It's about time we came back (to Texas). I've talked to some girls who haven't been fishing because of all the miles, and they're going to fish next year. I think we'll have a full field, or more than a full field, at the first tournament on Rayburn."
BUT IT IS WORK
"I'm smart enough to know that no one is going to feel sorry for me because I've been fishing too much." Elite Series pro Byron Velvick, in his Bassmaster.com blog about a big push to film his ESPN2 show, Going Coastal