As soon as the temperatures start to drop, a lot of people assume that the fishing action ends. In many cases they are under the impression that the cold water stifles all activity below the surface to the point where a bite no longer exists, or it isn’t worth their time or effort. That couldn’t be further from the truth and Gary says right now is actually his favorite time of the season to be on the water. While it is true that fish do slow down a little due to cooler water temperatures, they still have to eat. He says this is the time of the year they are big, healthy and really fun to catch. In order to catch them consistently, anglers need to have more than one strategy in their playbook. Fish can become conditioned to seeing certain presentations and learn to avoid those. A lot of old lures and old techniques are tried and true ways to catch fish that still work today, Gary says. In addition, he says thinking outside the box trying something different is important and that is how new lures are designed and developed today. As a competitive angler, who has been with the sport for a long time and seen the evolutions along the way he recognizes the advantages to both old and new tools and techniques. Gary says he likes using noise, water displacement and color in his presentation. If you spend enough time fishing to understand the way those factors work, Gary says you can then better select the right tools to use for the situation you are fishing. When fishing an area with a good concentration of fish or structure they are hanging close to Gary says that many times changing the tool you are using can lead to catching a higher percentage of what is in the area or using that particular spot. He notes that water displacement and color are very important as are the angles of your casts. Knowing the environment in which you are fishing is also crucial for success. Gary says that fish are conditioned by the environment that they live – deep or shallow, clear or dirty water, cold or warm – fish adapt and learn to survive in their environment. When an angler understands the types of environments that they are fishing, Gary says it makes it easier for them to have more confidence in their ability to go to different lakes and bodies of water and think about the fish, time of year, current conditions and the tools they need to use and translate all of that information into success.
Electronics are important and for a professional angler they are crucial. Gary says that his electronics contribute everything to his success. He notes that it’s important for an angler to develop a relationship and understanding of their electronics because that is what acts as your underwater eyes into the fish world. Gary says the role of electronics is often misunderstood with many people thinking it’s all about seeing fish on a screen. Yes, they do show fish, but more importantly they tell you about the environment in which the fish live. Thermocline, topography, rocks, wood and more, electronics paint a very vivid picture of what is beneath you. Gary says when he goes to a body of water that he hasn’t fished before the first thing he does is chart across major creek or river channels in order to get a feel for the environment below the surface looking for activity, water temperature, bottom depth and the type of cover. All of those factors go back to Gary’s previous point of understanding the environment around you and knowing what to use and how to fish those conditions in order to be successful.
Revisiting the idea of fishing angles, Gary says most anglers cast from deep to shallow, from their boat to the bank and then bringing it back out on the retrieve. As someone who grew up fishing from the bank casting out to deep water and then bringing it back to the shallows, Gary says that still today that is one of his favorite techniques. This fishing uphill approach helps you achieve a different lure presentation and more control. To illustrate his point, Gary talks about a scenario in which you find an active school in 12 feet of water, so you float out to 25 feet and make long casts back to the school. In this scenario, because it’s an active school it’s likely you hook up right away, but shortly thereafter the action dissipates, and you’re left scratching your head. Gary says it’s because the active school followed the fish you caught from 12 feet to 25. Instead, using an uphill technique can be very effective. By correctly positioning his boat, he can fish up to the school and then pull the active school into the shallower water where he can catch more of them.
Finally, Gary will talk about Major League Fishing. Gary has had a prolific angling career and one that is still going strong. A long the way, his ideas have turned him into a pioneer. Gary is the Co-Founder, alongside Boyd Duckett, of Major League Fishing. MLF has grown exponentially in the last few years and Gary says it’s exciting to see an idea and hard work materialize. The vision for Major League Fishing is very grand, says Gary, this is just the beginning. What started out with the Major League Fishing Cups has now expanded to the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour for 2019. With a strong core group of anglers, some of the biggest names in professional fishing, Gary says that they all share a passion for taking this sport to the next level, elevating it and exposing it to more people and getting others involved. The announcement of the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour made headlines in the fishing industry when it was announced in September of 2018. It is set to have industry leading media exposure with both television and live streaming coverage making it more interactive and accessible for spectators, plus huge payouts never before seen in the professional bass fishing industry will make the stakes that much higher. It will be fun to watch. Be sure to follow the MLF Bass Pro Tour this year, it’s bound to be exciting.
Tune if for tons of helpful bass fishing tips from Pro Angler Gary Klein.
Forget the cold, get on the water