STURTEVANT, Wisc. — The trophy glittered gold over her head. She held it there, high over the stage, over the two other worthy anglers on either side, and over a trio of giant checks from the Hobie Bass Open Series. For elite kayak angler Kristine Fischer, the moment was the culmination of years of hard work on the water. On a stage of a major bass fishing tournament beside Kentucky Lake, she was number one.
A few weeks later, Fischer repeated the scene at Lake Chickamauga, where she took home first place in this year’s Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) tournament there. Dues paid, she’ll enter ICAST as a respected force in kayak fishing who’s star couldn’t be shining brighter.
“It’s nice to win, because people take notice,” Fischer said. “I had an extremely consistent year last year. I didn’t win, but I placed second and third a few times, and in the top five a lot, but people didn’t really take notice because I didn’t win.”
Now, the long wait is over and Fischer—who’s on a mission to be known not as a great female angler but as a great angler, period—finds herself with a slot in the Hobie Bass Open Tournament of Champions this fall, along with Hobie Worlds 2020. And she’ll enter those competitions with a new sponsor—Westin.
Like Fischer, the storied Scandinavian lure maker is beginning to make a splash on the U.S. fishing scene. After taking home the ICAST 2018 Best Freshwater Hard Lure award for their innovative, Freddy the Frog wakebait, Westin doubled down on American fishing by signing Major League Fishing star and 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Angler of the Year Brent Chapman and legendary Florida fishing guide Captain Jay Withers. Now, one of the hottest names in kayak fishing is joining the growing stable.
“Westin has an absolutely fabulous reputation over in Europe,” Fischer says. “And everybody that’s in the ESOX, muskie and pike game, is already familiar with Westin in the United States. They are reputable. They make quality stuff and their baits flat-out catch giant fish. I’ve been fishing their swimbaits like Tommy the Trout and the MonsterTeez for years, and I’m excited to see what we can do in the world of bass fishing.”
Fischer’s journey to tournament glory began four years ago, when she spotted a flyer for a local kayak fishing tournament while working at a sporting goods store. Within seconds, the ultra-competitive angler knew what she wanted to do. “I didn’t want to invest he overhead to buy a bass boat, but kayak fishing allowed me to fish at a high level, and I can do it on my own. I was a college athlete, and I’m very driven in that regard. I’m a competitive person and fishing definitely helps curb my appetite for competition.”
For Westin’s part, they’ll step up to the plate and help Fischer curb the appetites of fish around the country. From bass to pike and muskie, Westin’s lineup of lures is a proven pescar slayer in Europe. The Westin Swim glidebait has been one of the most reliable search baits in Europe for over a decade, and its introduction to the United States last year has created the beginnings of a grassroots, social media-powered movement on American waters.
“Anglers from Florida to California are discovering how powerful the Swim is,” adds Westin’s North America Sales Manager Barry Stockhaus. “We’ve seen everything from Calico bass to snakeheads, tuna, and tournament-winning largemouth brought in on it already. Kristine is going to have a serious weapon in her hands at Worlds.”
New Lures for ICAST
Freddy the Frog, Jr.
2018 ICAST best of category Freshwater Hardlure – Freddy the Frog is happy to announce his baby brother. Weighing in at 5/8oz and measuring 5” this “little” guy will hop straight into every bass anglers tacklebox across the United States, and Freddy junior is certain attract some serious surface attention.
The original Freddy the Frog has been a resounding success since taking home ICAST’s top crown for a freshwater hard lure last year—so much so that anglers have been clamoring for a smaller version of the nearly 8″-long, monster-hunting frog. Westin was listening, and now returns to ICAST with a miniature version of what has become one of the more talked about topwater frogs in recent memory.
About Westin Fishing
The very first Westin lure was created in 1952 by the late Ingvar Westin, a skilled tool maker who wanted to make a toy for his children. He carved a fish which wriggled and rolled like a real fish as they dragged it through the water. In the decades since, Westin has grown to become a one of the top players in the European tackle industry, and has extended that reputation to across the globe.. Its expansion into North America has been a steady success story, with much more still to come.