BOSSIER CITY, La. — Before the crowd of nearly 8,000 fans at the CenturyTel Center saw Kim Bain-Moore, the outgoing Australian confided to the security guards that she wasn't comfortable with the thought of going on stage.
"I was petrified," Bain said. "Everybody who knows me knows I'm not short of a word, and I'm usually pretty crazy and out there, but I'm actually shy in a weird way.
"Sitting there and watching the TV and going in, yeah ... I was petrified. I would have hidden under my consul if I could."
It didn't help that sitting in her livewell were only two fish that weighed 3 pounds, 6 ounces.
For months, Bain-Moore has been carrying the weight of being the first woman to ever fish the Bassmaster Classic and what that meant to her gender as a whole, especially those women who chase bass.
On Friday, all that tension and pressure came out in a fishery that forced the slowest anglers to slow down, and it wasn't a good combination.
"I fished too fast and just covered too much water too quickly," she said. "Tomorrow, I'll visit some of the same areas, but I'll fish slower and probably won't stay as long."
Bain-Moore blamed the adrenaline more on the Classic atmosphere and less on making bass fishing history. She said the enormity of the tournament didn't hit her until she launched her boat and idled out in front of roughly 500 fans Friday morning.
"It was probably the first moment, when I was like, 'Oh boy, I'm at the Bassmaster Classic,'" Bain-Moore said. "As I drove in to launch my boat, everyone is patting me on the back and giving me high-fives. It was very memorable."
The memories became less memorable after she left the dock. Her first fish didn't come until 11 a.m., three and a half hours into her day.
"I was just like, 'Yes, the first one is out, and now I can just get on with it," she said.
It may have taken the edge off but her spots still weren't producing like they had in practice. She missed a couple bites through the middle part of the day and added her second fish in the early afternoon. It certainly wasn't what she had in mind when she was losing sleep the night before, but it wasn't too far from what she was shooting for.
"Realistically, I went out there looking for five bites, and I got five bites," she said. "I just didn't get them in the boat. I know the fish were in the spots, and I just think it was cold this morning and I fished too fast."
For Day Two, Bain-Moore said she's going to stick to her original plan. The pressure is off, and she said her second day is always better than her first, no matter how big the tournament. But she's not going to be thinking about the top-25 cut; it will take care of itself.
Her Day Two plan was summed up in one sentence, using a word she learned after catching an 8-pound bass in California shortly after arriving in the U.S.
"Five toads that's all I want," she said. "Whatever happens after that, happens."