While many people avoid the water in cold weather, Gary says wintertime just may be his favorite time of the year to fish. It’s hunting season in Texas, he says, and everyone is in the woods leaving the water rather empty and the fish unpressured. At this time of year, when you figure out a bite, the fishing can be unreal! Fishing in water temperatures in the high forties and low fifties, Gary says he is fishing really shallow right now and working slow as the bass aren’t all that aggressive. Selecting the right lure to help you earn those bites is key. As an angler, Gary says he looks at lures like tools. Each bait is designed with a different goal in mind, with targeting a specific zone in the water and more. Baits also need to be efficient. There are some really good lures on the market that catch fish really well but they are difficult to throw, he notes. When selecting a bait you need to be able to identify its purpose, where it performs the best and have it be efficient to throw. Efficiency is crucial because the better you can cast, the more accurate you can cast and the more fish you will catch because you are able to make a better lure presentation. Gary says the Berkley Frittside crankbait is fantastic and hits all the right notes. It’s one of the most efficient flat sided crankbaits he has ever thrown. The weighting system on the belly makes a big difference, making it possible to cast it into the wind, sideways, etc., and have it go right where he wants it to go. The bait’s flat sides give it more of a kick action vs something like the Berkley SquareBull that Gary designed that has more of a roll action. Individually, they offer entirely different presentations in the water.
When fishing a body of water, Gary says he is always trying to accomplish two different things. The first is trying to find an area with a concentration of fish in it. Once he identifies an area like that he can use the massive backlog of techniques from his long career to maximize his ability to catch the majority of the fish that are in that area. The other thing he is trying to accomplish is to find a pattern, meaning find out what the fish are relating to so that he can duplicate that throughout the lake or sections of it. His strategy is based on the time of year, type of lake, current conditions and the main species of fish located in that body of water. If an angler takes the time to identify each of those factors they can build a much better plan of attack for successfully fishing that body of water. Gary dives in with more depth on how he approaches fishing by the time of year and even how northern bass fishing is different than that of midwestern.
Major League Fishing (MLF) and the Bass Pro Tour swept the country last year with its unique format, big payouts and live streaming events. Major League Fishing is back, bigger and better in 2020. MLF recently acquired Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) and as a result they have become the world’s largest tournament fishing organization. This joining of competitive fishing powerhouses, MLF and FLW, presents a fantastic opportunity and a clear roadmap to a career in professional fishing for anglers who want to become a pro. Gary talks about the opportunities that are extended to high school and college anglers as well as weekend anglers trying to break into the competitive pro circuit. He’ll highlight how working up through those ranks can offer an opportunity to qualify for the MLF Bass Pro Tour. Bass fishing isn’t an exclusive sport anymore, Gary says they are intentionally making it more accessible for passionate anglers to join the competitive bass fishing fold. Gary says one of the best things about bass fishing is that the sport has no limitations, no one saying you can’t accomplish or achieve. Success in bass fishing is only restricted by an individual’s determination and the limits they put on themselves. Gary says it is bass fishing that he has built his life and career around and it’s exciting to offer others a way to follow the same path.
Stage One of the Bass Pro Tour is just around the corner, kicking off on February 7th on Lake Eufaula, AL. (See the whole Bass Pro Tour Schedule here.) The catch, record and release format provides a fast paced tournament with no limit to the number of scorable bass an angler can catch. An updated scoring system allows all anglers to see exactly where they sit in the standings at all times. For viewers, the MLF Bass Pro Tour events can be watched live via the “MLF NOW!” feature or through MyOutdoorTV. They are exciting events for spectators and anglers alike. One of the really cool things about the MLF Bass Pro Tour, Gary says, is the ability to make changes fluidly. One of the big changes for this year is the addition of a new event midway through the season, “Heavy Hitters” on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes in Florida, May 16-20. What makes this event stand out is the huge purse, $745,000 on the line in payouts. This one of a kind event will have 30 anglers that will qualify based on the weight of their single largest bass from each of the first five Stages of the Bass Pro Tour. The 30 anglers of the field of 80 with the highest cumulative weight across five stages will qualify to compete in the “Heavy Hitters” event. The tournament winner will get a check for $100,000, but in addition anglers will also be able to take home huge checks for the biggest bass of the day. With an overall payout of nearly a quarter of a million dollars, there is a lot on the line for anglers who will be seeking out monster bass. With so much money on the line, no doubt it will be an exciting event to watch!
Be sure to keep up with all the Major League Fishing events this season. You can catch the “Bass Pro Tour” on Sportsman Channel, Fridays at 8:00 p.m. ET and “MLF Challenge Cup” on Outdoor Channel, Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. ET. Don’t forget that you can stream live Bass Pro Tour events as they are in progress or watch previous events anytime with MyOutdoor. Be sure to follow Gary Klein on social media as he provides tons of tips and advice that will help you develop your technique and success on the water.