After qualifying 28 times for the Bassmasters Classic I guess it’s hard to be surprised. Former Oroville native Gary Klein has just about seen it all in his attempts to reach the pinnacle of the sport.

Some say he’s already done that. After all, he has twice earned Angler of the Year honors on the tour. But public sentiment, and knowledge of the long history of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, suggests that winning the Classic–the World Championship–is a crowning feat.

Coming to Lay Lake, Feb. 19-21, for certain, there will be no surprises. This is the fourth time the Bassmasters have communed here and Gary was there for every one. “I was in the middle of the pack a couple of times, and in ’07 I think I was fifth, 4 1/2 pounds behind after a slow start,” he said.

But he sounds different to me this time. “I have a good feel for the lake–I’ve been up and down it a hundred times,” he said.

Yet competition and conditions will all factor in. “It’s a very competitive field,” he said. “You have to get yourself in a position to win.” And he conceded, “I won’t be able to do it with one rod in my hands.”

Not one rod and also not targeting just one species. “They’ve got largemouth and spots. I will key on both of them,” he said. And since there are both shallow water and outside structures to consider, he noted, “I won’t die on one thing while I’m waiting.”

But he added just a little spice to the conversation: “The cool thing is, with what I’m doing, I know I can win with it. I really enjoy this time of year. The worse weather we get, the happier I’ll be. I’m ready to play the game.”

Now that’s no surprise, either.


One Response to “No surprise: Gary Klein could win this Classic”

Gary, I wish you the best. You’ve been at this for so long and have been a competitor all the way. Add another book-end to your shelf and make all of us westerners proud!