SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. The jitters of the first day of her first Bassmaster Classic competition behind her, Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala. was all smiles Friday afternoon and ready to get back on the Red River…
SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, La. The jitters of the first day of her first Bassmaster Classic competition behind her, Kim Bain-Moore of Alabaster, Ala., was all smiles Friday afternoon and ready to get back on the Red River on Saturday and get on with the competition but not before she got an evening of rest.
The first woman to qualify for the prestigious event, Bain-Moore has been under the media microscope. She has been running at full throttle since she qualified last October for the sports biggest tournament via her earning the 2008 Toyota Tundra Womens Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year title.
The pace of Bain-Moores interview and appearance schedule which included front-page features in Time Magazine online, the Miami Herald, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Baltimore Sun and Los Angeles Times stepped up as the days counted down to the competition that carries a $500,000 first-place prize and title that any pro would love to claim.
Many of the fans at Bossier Citys CenturyTel Center stood and cheered as Bain-Moore climbed onto the Classic stage Friday, the 27th of 51 anglers to weigh in. She was smiling, and appeared composed as she carried her first-day catch to the scales. Her two bass weighed 3 pounds, 6 ounces.
When it was over, Bain-Moore, who has participated in the Classic in previous years as an ESPN Outdoors analyst, she said she was petrified in the minutes leading up to her first walk across the Classic stage as a competitor.
Was she glad the first day was over?
Yes! Yes! was her unqualified answer as reporters crowded around her after she came off the stage.
I hit the water this morning and I was so excited, said the 28-year-old native of Australia. It was freezing cold, and I think I fished far too fast all day. I was thinking, This is the Classic! This is the Classic!
She said her first fish Friday came at about 11 a.m.
It was a long time coming, she said. After that first one, I was not as nervous.
The reality sank in, Bain-Moore said, when she saw how many fans turned up for the 7:15 a.m. launch at Red River South Marina in Bossier City.
That was the first moment it hit. I thought, Oh, boy, Im at the Bassmaster Classic.
Bain-Moore said she encountered a few fans in boats on the Red River, but they were polite and made an effort not to get in her way.
And Saturday is another day.
Tomorrow, the second day, I have a job to do. Ill still be smiling, but Ill put my head down, try to make decisions, and just slow down. I typically get nervous on Day 1, then go out on Day 2 a little calmer and really catch them, she added.
Daily launches presented by the Red River Waterway Commission are set for 7:15 a.m. CT at the Red River South Marina, Highway 71 South in Bossier City. The daily weigh-ins will be at the CenturyTel Center, 2000 CenturyTel Center Drive, Bossier City. CenturyTels doors will open at 3:30 p.m., except on Saturday, Feb. 21, when a free concert by Zac Brown Band will begin at 3 p.m.
The 2009 Bassmaster Classic Outdoors Expo presented by Dicks Sporting Goods will be at the Shreveport Convention Center, 400 Caddo St. Hours are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
All events are free and open to the public.
ESPN2, ESPN360.com and Bassmaster.com will provide extensive coverage of the three-day competition, while ESPN Classic will feature five hours of Bassmaster Classic specials Sunday, Feb. 22, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Schedules are posted at http://www.Bassmaster.com.
Sponsors of the 2009 Bassmaster Classic: Toyota Trucks, Berkley, BOOYAH Baits, Evan Williams Bourbon, Mercury, OPTIMA Batteries, Skeeter Boats, Yamaha Marine.
For 40 years, BASS has served as the authority on bass fishing. With its considerable multi-media platforms and expansive tournament trail, BASS is guided by its mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications Bassmaster Magazine, BASS Times and Fishing Tackle Retailer and comprehensive Web properties in Bassmaster.com and ESPNOutdoors.com, the organization is committed to delivering content true to the lifestyle. Additionally, television programming on ESPN2 continues to provide relevant content from tips and techniques to in-depth tournament coverage to passionate audiences.
The organization oversees the prestigious Bassmaster tournament trail, which includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Opens, Womens Bassmaster Tour and the Bassmaster Classic, the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing. Through its grassroots network, the BASS Federation Nation, BASS sanctions more than 20,000 events annually.
BASS also offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members while spearheading progressive, positive change on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.