Of course it’s good â€“ we don’t publish no junk! No really, it’s good because Kim is a good sport, which you’d pretty much guarantee being married to a guy like Andre.
If you follow bassin’ at all, you at least know Kim’s name. She’s an Aussie lass who made her name in women’s bass fishing in part by being the first gal to qualify for the Bassin’master Classic (2009 I believe it wuz).
Because she can’t get enough fishing, she finally said yes a while back to Andre Moore, a pro fisherman and founder/owner of Reaction Innovations (whose Sweet Beaver may be the second-most-copied bait of all time…). Andre is good people, by the way.
I sat down with my thinking cap â€“ which says G-U-I-N-N-E-S-S on the can â€“ and came up with the following questions for Kim, a mix of the tongue-in-cheek and serious. Here’s what Kim said:
Me: First, is it true you’re the person who names all of Andre’s baits? Because that’s what he told me.
Kim: What? His grandma names ’em, Jay! Grandma puts the names in a hat and our dog Digger pulls one out. I guess you could say that Digger names the baits â€“ he named the Gold Digger after himself. Ain’t that just like a poodle?
How did a nice Aussie lass like you fall for, of all things, a professional bass fisherman?
He pretended that he couldn’t fish, but I could see that he makes a good bait.
I’m tempted to jump on that answer but for the sake of decency won’t. So: When you were a little girl, did you always want to be a professional bass angler when you grew up?
My dad had a dream that an Aussie would go to the Bassmaster Classic one day. I guess he told me that dream as a bed time story â€“ sounded pretty good to me.
My dad’s bedtime story had lots of interesting details, like the angler would use Abu reels â€“ in the 2009 Classic I used Abu and Pflueger â€“ and they’d run an Evinrude-powered boat, which is exactly what I have done for my entire pro career in the USA.
My first boat when I was 12 was a jonboat back in Australia. It only had electric power, and it was an Evinrude 24v electric. I still have that engine back in Australia. The boat was called “Kiss My Bass,” and my next boat had a sundown-hue paint job and was called “Vixen.” The mark II version of that was called “Hot Tub.”
These days Iâ€™m still running an Evinrude engine â€“ Iâ€™ve just upgraded a bit! Now I have a 250 H.O. powering my boat during tournaments. Itâ€™s fast, powerful and I never have to worry about getting back for the weigh-in.
[Awesome plugs, Kim! She wouldn’t be a basser without ’em….]
Okay, more serious questions. I absolutely believe that a bass can’t tell and doesn’t care what sex, race, etc. an angler is. So why aren’t women bass anglers all over the Elite Series? Is it sponsorship dollars, number of women vs. men, what? Lots of folks are curious about this, since they know you can beat Andre any day of the week.
Well I have a husband, a father and a mother that all fish. Mum and I agree that girls don’t get the “hardball” experience. Instead of letting me do it for myself, my dad spoiled me like his little girl so it took longer to learn, but he was tougher than most dads so I did get some crash courses.
An example is you wouldn’t let your daughter go down to the dock by herself â€“ and thereby make her own decisions and learn to fish from her mistakes. Yet young boys do it all the time. Same for driving the boat: The boy drives and decides the spot, and the girl doesn’t get to test her decision-making prowess.
I’m not complaining. I’ve grown up that way, and a girl who did it any other way just might not fit.
There’s also the “having a family factor.” If a girl wants to chase an Elite berth, she would have to put aside family ideas for a few years. And once you’ve qualified â€“ well, what do you do if you need to opt out for a year.
The Elite system isn’t stimulating for family-oriented girls. When the Elites came in, they kyboshed a lot of young girls’ long-term dreams. BASS got it right when they squared the ledger with a Classic berth from the WBT.
I guess it comes down to what society wants girls to be â€“ mother, homey nurturers or fierce competitors? But hey, let us have a shot at the spotlight once in a while.
Ideally, would you like there to be separate men’s and women’s trails?
I believe that the [separate] women’s trails should feed into opportunities in the men’s trails. Really, it doesn’t hurt, and it would be super good for fishing. It gives all the ladies somebody to cheer for and that means more attention on the events. It’s just like a wildcard in other professional sports.
I liked the BASS Open Championships from the last decade [Kim qualified for two BASS Open Championships, 2003 and 2004]. They gave girls a chance to fish as non-boaters alongside the guys in a points-race environment.
You have to remember that I met and courted with my husband Andre on those trails through mutual friends.
What’s the best thing about being a professional angler â€“ and please don’t give us the “getting up before dawn and seeing the sun rise” or “meeting new people” answers….
The travel rocks! Being a professional angler â€“ not just a bass angler, but a multi-species angler â€“ has got me to all corners of the globe, over 30 countries in all. Probably the highlight was Shakespeare/Pflueger sending me to Scotland for salmon on the Spey, closely rivaled by Mustad hosting me for hunting and ocean fishing in Norway, and Rapala to the Russian border with Finland for trout and pike on my birthday.
Reaction Innovations has got me a few gigs as well â€“ ha!
Cool gal, eh? (Is “gal” okay to say these days?) I’ve never spent any time in a boat with Kim, but after reading that I want to. Her coolness also deepens the mystery about why she fell for Andre…. (Just kidding man!)
Let me know if you’d like to hear more regularly from Kim. She’s a fun interview.