Alabaster’s Kim Bain pulls off upset at first Women’s Bassmaster Tour event

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 15, 2008

By BASS COMMUNICATIONS / Special to the Reporter

LEWISVILLE, TEXAS – Toting more than 17 pounds of bass to the scales Saturday, Kim Bain of Alabaster, Ala., leapfrogged over 19 other pros to win the Women’s Bassmaster Tour presented by Academy Outdoors event on Lewisville Lake.

The 27-year-old Australian native squeaked past first-day leader Patti Campbell of Waxahachie, Texas, by just 3 ounces. Bain’s total was 27-11 to Campbell’s 27-8.

“I can’t believe it,” said a shocked Bain, who took home $51,000 in cash and merchandise, including a Triton/Mercury boat rig. Saturday’s victory was not only her first BASS win, it was also her first WBT event.

Second-day leader Cindy Hill of Smyrna, Tenn., managed just one fish Saturday, for a 26-14 total and third place. Fourth was Christiana Bradley of Bealeton, Va., with 26-12. Jan Heavener of Sherwood, Ark., was fifth with 24-9.

The leaders racked up the most points in the race for 2008 Toyota Women’s Bassmaster Tour Angler of the Year. Besides a 2009 Toyota Tundra, the AOY will be awarded a berth in the 2009 Bassmaster Classic, Feb. 20-22 on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La., becoming the first woman to qualify for the prestigious world championship of bass fishing.

With a “day job” of writing and hosting radio and TV programming, Bain has been competing in U.S. bass tournaments for several years. She has her sights set on the Classic berth.

“It’s been my goal ever since I was a little girl to be in a Bassmaster Classic,” she said.

Bain was surprised at her upset win. Her first-day catch was 6-7, good enough for 18th place in the three-day competition on tough, rough, wind-swept Lewisville Lake. On the second day she weighed in just 4-3 and dropped to 20th. Fighting a cold Saturday and feeling slightly discouraged, she said she decided to “just survive the day.”

“When I caught my first fish, it took the pressure off, so I decided to just cruise around and fish at my own pace,” she said. “I did nothing different today than what I had done the past two days.”

One of her primary patterns was flipping to pockets of brush about half a mile from the launch site on Lewisville Lake. “The rising water helped me there, and I was protected from the wind,” she said. She worked Reaction Innovations’ Sweet Beaver plastics, blue and black and watermelon red/black.

She also fished Tower Bay and Stewart Creek, and points with flooded brush in various spots around the lake.

Coming up short by 3 ounces made second-place finisher Campbell recall a bass that broke off after the line wrapped around the shaft of her trolling motor.

“I’ve thought a lot about that fish,” she said. “But these things happen. It could have gone better, but I’m happy with second.”

In the co-angler division, Denese Freeman of Lawton, Okla., scored a wire-to-wire victory and her first BASS tournament title. She took home a $25,500 prize package, which included a Skeeter/Yamaha boat rig.

Freeman’s three-day total of 18 pounds, 10 ounces, trounced the co-angler field even though she brought in only a single fish weighing 1-8 on Saturday, which she figured might be enough.

“I knew I had to catch at least one fish to bump up my weight at least a little bit,” said Freeman, who owns a computer graphics business that designs Web sites for professional anglers.

Next stop for the WBT is May 22-24 on Lake Neely Henry in Gadsden, Ala