From time to time, we've looked beyond hunting to acknowledge the fisherwomen among us, and considering the history-making weekend at the Women's Bassmaster Tour Championship, this is another one of those times.
On Saturday Oct. 25, Kim Bain of Alabaster, Ala., beat out 19 competitors on Arkansas' Lake Hamilton to become the first female angler to qualify for the Bassmaster Classic in the event's 39-year history. She won with a three-day total of 23 pounds, 8 ounces, which also earned her the WBT Angler of the Year title.
Bain, 28, is an Australia native, who moved to the U.S. 9 years ago to pursue a career in bass fishing. This was her first season of WBT competition and last April, she claimed a surprising victory on Texas' Lake Lewisville, and went on to be the points leader going into last weekend's competition. For more on her background and plans for the Classic, see this Bassmaster article.
But Bain's competitors certainly gave her a run for her money. Finishing second with a three-day total of 21 pounds, 11 ounces was Audrey McQueen of Edgar, Ariz., who is also an eight-time champion elk caller and is currently 4 months pregnant (her doctor cleared her to compete). Third place was occupied by Debra Petrowski of Arlington, Texas, who totaled 16 pounds, 6 ounces, and whose 23-year-old daughter Kim also competed last weekend.
But now all eyes are on Bain, who will spend the next four months preparing for the 2009 Bassmaster Classic Feb. 20 - 22 out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La., and the Red River. Upon her win, Bain told Bassmaster.com, "I had a big dream as a kid, which was to fish the Bassmaster Classic — and here I am." What a great example of what hard work and belief in yourself can do for your dreams. -K.H.
[Photo courtesy of BASS Communications]