When I spoke to her, Kristine Fischer was organizing her home, getting ready to head out to Paris, Tennessee for the Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship on Kentucky Lake. She planned to fish the lake for a few days before the tournament, locating the holes and structure that attracted the bass and figuring out what patterns they were hitting.
Kristine (@midwestfischergal on Instagram) did not win $100,000 at this year’s Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship. But she qualified for the tournament, and for someone who has only been competitively fishing for bass from a kayak for a few years, that’s pretty damn good.
The Nebraska native has been fishing all her life, and has traveled North America to do so. As a girl, Kristine would travel with her family to the Boundary Waters, on the Minnesota/Canadian border, to camp and fish in the summers. They would fish, catching smallmouth bass, lake trout and walleye, for their supper.
She had a bump in the fishing road, though, about the time she reached middle school, when peer pressure convinced her that fishing was not cool for girls. By this time, Kristine had amassed a collection of fishing lures and tackle that she’d earned by doing chores around the house. Tragically, she sold off her entire collection.
But after a couple years, she came around and realized what she had missed out on.
”I realized that this is what I want to do. The outdoors is everything,” she says.
Kristine still participates with her family, as she did as a child, in the annual Governor’s Cup walleye tournament. It not only keeps her connected with family and the outdoors, it also feeds her competitive spirit.
Now, Kristine fishes competitively for bass from a kayak. But bass are not her favorite quarry. All things said and done, she’d rather be chasing muskies.
But they don’t have a competitive kayak muskie fishing tournament, yet. So, she chases muskies whenever she can, and fills in the spare time with kayak tournaments and ice fishing during the winter months.
To chase muskies, Kristine travels as far as Eagle and Moose Lakes in Ontario. She also enjoys the incredible muskie fishery that Lake St. Clair, on the Michigan/Ontario border, offers. But her favorite U.S. destinations for muskie fishing are Cave Run Lake in Kentucky and the Virginia stretch of New River.
Kristine fishes year-round, no matter where or what water is available to her. Like any pro, she follows the moon, the hatch and variables such as weather and air pressure. Yet, her most reliable muskie lure — regardless of conditions — is the Medussa swimbait from Chaos Tackle.
For bass, however, she prefers a Texas-rigged shaky head with a creature bait. Kristine likes the finesse approach to boating big bass, and so far, it has worked for her.
Whether it’s competition or bait choice, it’s all part of Kristine’s plan to embrace an outdoor lifestyle. She initially started on the retail side, but realized that, although she was connected with outdoor products, she was spending most of her time indoors.
So, she took a leap. For the last five years, Kristine has been a Pilates instructor who takes reelers on guided kayak fishing tours and hunters on guided turkey hunts. And she hasn’t looked back.
”There’s beauty and positivity embodied in being outdoors, but I’m worried that we, as a society are losing it,” she says. “It’s so important. Being out in a kayak, for example, you can be alone with yourself and get back to what matters. You can re-center your life.”