BassWestUSA - May/June 2009, Page 17

Brisbane, Australia native Kim Bain- Moore was approached by a young, wide-eyed girl seeking an autograph at the conclusion of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic weigh-in, everything had come full circle. The realization of what her representation meant as the first woman fishing the Classic set in. It was larger than the 8,000-seat CenturyTel stadium, larger than the 118-mile expanse of the Red River, and much larger than she imagined in her wildest childhood dreams. Kim started fishing when she was 3 years old. Somewhat of a tomboy, she spent weekends and vacations fishing with her mother, father, and sister. It was in those early years that her appreciation for the outdoors, and fishing in particular, took root. Her recreational hobby evolved into an obsession, and at a very young age, she became a member of multiple Australian fishing clubs. Those organizations were Kim’s first formal intro- duction to competitive fishing. When she was sixteen, her father Steve Bain started directing a tourna- ment circuit. Although Largemouth Bass were not present in Kim’s homeland, it did have “Australian Bass”, similar in appear- ance and behavior to the North American Striped Bass. The Australia version was characterized as being a hard-fighting fish, susceptible to artificial lures, and of- fering plenty of sport. The tournaments that Steve conducted mimicked ones in the United States. There were bass boats, professional and amateur divisions, tour- nament sponsors, and live weigh-ins. Be- fore long, Kim was crossing the stage at her father’s events. “Fishing in those tournaments ex- posed me to what fishing was like here in the United States. Around the same time, I started to read magazines and watch my dad’s videos on American bass fishing. I even remember watching videos of Rick Clunn. By the time I turned nineteen, I grabbed my backpacks and fishing rods, and flew over here to check it out.” Her motivation to try competitive fishing was well supported by her parents. From a young girl begging to fish past sun- set, to a teenager trying to prove herself among tournament veterans, Kim’s desire was obvious. Having made some U.S. con- tacts as a tournament director, Steve made a few phone calls and helped arrange Kim’s first overseas expeditions. “I have always had a sense of adven- ture. I liked to catch different species, and tried to learn as much as I could about all different types of fishing. I knew from a very early age that a desk job probably wasn’t for me. I wanted to do something where I could be in the outdoors all the time and professional angling offered that. I also knew there was tremendous oppor- tunity here. America is a country that is

When

very supportive of outdoor professions and where your dreams are embraced.”

Kim started by flying to the United States for extended peri- ods of time to fish regional team and Pro/Am events up and down the west coast. While on her piscatorial sabbaticals, she lived and breathed everything fishing. Although her early career was not one of great financial success, she usually earned enough to cover the cost of entry fees. For Kim, breaking-even was secondary to the experience gained. She viewed each tournament as an investment in her future. In 2000, she traveled to Soldier Field in Chicago to at-

The WesT coAsT dAYs

May/June 2009 »

15