Professional angler Kristine Fischer is still getting used to the fact that she's claimed the top prize at the Hobie Bass Open Series Tournament of Champions.
The Weeping Water kayak angler is the first woman to win a national championship in any series. She’s also qualified to fish on the U.S. team at the Hobie world championships for the second time. She qualified after winning the Hobie Bass Open two years ago.
It's been crazy ever since she was handed the $35,000 check for first prize, she says. The 33-year-old also earned another $3,000 for finishing second in the overall angler of the year Hobie standings after going into the event in 13th place.
"I've done 15-20 interviews," she said. "It's all over the internet and the fishing industry. To be honest, I'm very overwhelmed right now."
Fischer earned first place by pulling 240½ inches of bass from Lake Eufaula, Alabama, during the three-day event. Consistency was the key, she said, along with running her pattern, covering a lot of water and fishing new water.
Although she's won several national tournaments, she said this is her biggest career win to date.
Only the top 50 anglers from the Hobie Bass Open Series were eligible for the event, and she was one of only two women.
"It means a lot for the sport of fishing in general to see a woman win this tournament," she said. "It tells so many female anglers out there they can do this in a field of talented men."
Fischer said she's thinking about buying a bass boat with some of her winnings. But more important than that, it adds another accolade to her three-year pro resume.
"I have had a lot of doors open for me," she said.
Fischer said she's earned about $50,000 fishing in tournaments in 2021. She also has several endorsements.
It gives her the freedom to do what she wants with her life, which has always been her goal.
"I wanted to be the boss of my own life. I wanted to make my own rules. To be able to go out and fish for a living is a dream come true for me."