Kristine Fischer's Adventurous Life
In May 2019, Great Lakes Skipper sponsored kayak angler Kristine Fischer in the Hobie Bass Open Series tournament on Kentucky Lake, and we were thrilled when she placed first.
Kristine spends her life traveling and fishing, but she took some time to answer a few questions for us about her choice of watercraft, her favorite catch, and finding the courage to live an adventurous life.
You write eloquently about your life and the sport of kayak fishing. What led you to kayak fishing instead of “the glitter boat world"?
There were a few things I considered when choosing kayak fishing. Likely the biggest reason was the accessibility. I was 26 when I bought my first, high-end fishing kayak, and I was able to get into the sport with very low overhead. Also, kayak fishing allowed me to get out and travel to the places I wanted to go on my own. I found it very simple to load, haul and unload my kayak, and get to remote waters otherwise inaccessible by boats. The last reason would be the intimacy the sport offers. You're usually secluded, close to the water, and there are very few noises. Kayak fishing allows me to disconnect and enjoy being fully immersed in His creation.
Tell us a little about your kayaks. You have three, right? Do you have a favorite, or one that you use most?
I am a regional fishing team member for Hobie kayaks. I have a few models, and my two favorites are very different from one another. The first is my tournament and/or big water boat, the Pro Angler 14. This is my battleship. I am able to carry 12-16 rods with me, and all of my gear. I have it fully rigged out. The second is an inflatable option, the I11S. One could actually fly with this kayak if desired. This is my all-time favorite, day river trip boat because of how light and simple it is.
What’s your favorite piece of (non-bait) gear?
My favorite piece of gear would either be my Jetboil (I'm a sucker for French pressed coffee especially when it's made on the front hatch of my kayak) and my Aquaview underwater camera. I mostly use it for ice fishing, but thoroughly enjoy being able to "see" into their world!
What do you think is the most important thing to know and pay attention to when going after big fish?
When chasing trophy fish, it's important to understand the conditions and how they can be used to better predict these fish. I follow moon phases, barometric pressure, tides and other weather patterns that have a large role in habits and characteristics of big fish. Learning when they eat is just as important as learning what makes them eat.
What do you love most about fishing?
Normally, my mind doesn't have an "off" button, and I find it difficult to focus in on one thing. However, when I'm fishing, I find that I'm able to really shut the outside world off, and concentrate on what's in front of me. It's also something that I feel like one can never master. I am driven by things that challenge me, both physically and mentally, and the sport of fishing provides me those challenges, and opportunity to grow.
You’ve been competing in tournaments for three years now. How many tournaments do you get to do in a year?
I usually do about 20-25 tournaments a year, all across the country. It gets very busy February-November for this girl!
What’s your favorite catch? Got any good stories?
My all time favorite catch...that's tough. I would have to say my 50" musky on the fly. We had to break ice to access this tributary off the main river. It was late winter and brutal cold. The first long day yielded zero action. The last day, shoulders aching and all, I was able to connect with my still standing PB winter musky, and it was on the fly rod!
You write about fishing for musky (and have some really impressive photos!). What do you like about them?
I'll revert back to question 5. The challenge. They say musky fishing isn't for everyone, and there's good reason. Those fish will try your patience and test your strength in every capacity. You will feel defeated emotionally, physically and mentally. Most people quit well before that comes. For the few that persevere, it becomes an obsession, a deep-rooted sense of respect for that fish. You pour everything you have into chasing them, and more times than not, you come home empty-handed. But when the stars align and you connect, you look back and resonate on the fact that you'd do it all again. They are such an incredible fish, an elusive apex predator. Every chance I'm not competing in a tournament, I want to be chasing them.
You’re really brave to chart your own course in life. What advice can you give others who would like to do the same?
The best advice I can give, is to let go. We are told from a very young age the way we are supposed to live and what types of careers we are to have. However, we are told that by those who were too afraid to fail. Fear can be binding, and it will all too often nudge us back into our comfort zones. If we keep saying "one day I'll do this” or "when I have more time" we are fighting the inevitable. You have to make the choice that you want to live a certain way, and then you have to commit to it. Much like musky fishing, you are going to fail, and you'll probably fail many times. Failure is what turns the majority of people away from being in control of their own lives. But, if you're able to push forward, you'll be able to experience what its really like to live our your dreams.
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