Gary Klein Video

Original Bass Pro Interviews
An exclusive interview with Gary Klein. Find out who this student-of-the-sport would like to take fishing, and what he does when he's not on the water!

Glenn:  Hi. I'm Glenn May with and I'm here with Gary Klein. Gary, it's great to have you on board today.

Gary Klein:  Thank you very much. I'm proud to be here. What else can I say. This is my 28th classic. This is a Bass Master's Classic. What a great opportunity.

Glenn:  Gary, how long have you been fishing?

Gary:  A couple years. Actually I started fishing bass in 1979. Born and raised in northern California. Left California. My first B.A.S.S tournament was on St. Johns river in Florida. Never been out of California before. That was my first one and I'm still fishing.

Glenn:  In all those years of fishing what would be your most memorable bass you've ever caught?

Gary:  Man, I have so many of them. Clutch fish. And really they are not really the largest fish. Probably the one that I remember. I shouldn't say that. There are so many of them. I can't pull any one single fish out, but they're not the big ones. Look at the events that are won by ounces. You go back and think about the eights and the nines that you caught, but it was that two and a half pounder that you caught in the final minutes that helped you win the event. So, they are all special.

Glenn:  So, what would be the biggest bass you ever caught?

Gary:  The biggest bass that I ever officially weighed was a 12.9 that I caught.

Glenn:  Wow. What would be your most unusual big bass tactic?

Gary:  Probably fishing a bait about that long.

Glenn:  Holy cow.

Gary:  I love playing with a lot of the big swim baits. I catch a lot of nice fish on those. It's always a challenge to fish something different, unique. The one thing that most anglers will figure out about me if they are around me for any length of time is I just love to fish.

I'm truly addicted to the sport of bass fishing so I am always looking for new, better ways to improve. My technique. Come up with new things. I am always trying everything that is out on the market. From all the different hooks, and knots and lines. And lures. Modifications of certain things. I am constantly trying to become a better angler. I guess bottom line I should just say I am a student of the sport.

Glenn:  From a professional stand point what would you say would be the most common mistake you see the average angler make?

Gary:  Probably really start the day out with no idea what it is that they are trying to accomplish. I say for the anglers that just go out and want to have a good time. Go fishing and don't worry about it.

When the angler says, man I really wish I would of caught something today, that is telling me that he wants to improve his skills. When they make that comment to me then that just opens up the doors because all this information is available.

Time of year. Type of lake. Specie of fish. Your strengths and your  weaknesses. All the tools that you're good at. Proper technique. Just apply proper technique with the time of year, type of lake, current conditions, and the specie of fish that you are trying to catch. It's real easy. You can break it down to where you know on any given body of water that you're fishing exactly where to go, what to throw. It's not that hard.

Glenn:  Could you get to a point where you over analyze it?

Gary:  Yeah. There's two types of fisherman I've always felt. There's ones that wait for things to happen and there's ones that make things happen and always push. Well, I could make things happen but you do get to the point.

This Classic practice here is probably a real good example of that. I spent four days on the water. I've had seven bites in four days and here I am fixing to compete in the biggest event in my entire career. It starts tomorrow morning and I had one bite yesterday.

If you are running a game plan, process of elimination or establishing I am just as excited to go fishing tomorrow as I was yesterday. I know I'm going to figure them out better than what I did yesterday. I'm really enthusiastic about fishing this Classic. Have no idea how I am going to win the thing. If I do or not. I'm going to go out tomorrow and just let things develop.

Glenn:  Gary, if you could fish with anybody, if you had your choice of anybody past or present, who might that be?

Gary: I tell you, I've had a lot of opportunities to actually have fished with anglers that I always wanted to fish with. I mean anglers. See I had a real unique upbringing when I was young. I met Dee Thomas when I was 15. The inventor of the flippin technique who I spent days on the water with. In fact I was just with Dee a couple weeks ago.

And Mike Folkestad. Mike Folkestad taught me my electronics. Taught me how to fish off shore. Deep water structure. Catch them.

Rick Clunn. What can you say about Rick? One of the greatest anglers of all time. He is also a close friend of mine.

Shaw Grigsby. Best sight fisherman. I roomed with the guy. I fish with him all the time too. I'm kind of living the dream that a lot of anglers would love to have. I fish with a lot of great guys.

The one angler that I never had an opportunity to be around was Buck Perry. When I was in the early stages of bass fishing,  14 years old, 15 years old,  I was wanting to learn so I was reading. And Buck Perry's spoon plugging books was one of the books that I read. I never had the opportunity to meet him.

I've had the opportunity to spend time with Virgil Ward. Homer Circle. All great, great people. I grew up with Rick Clunn, Bill Dance, Roland Martin, and Jimmy Houston. And they're all my friends. And that's kind of a great thing. It's a great sport. There's so many good people.

Glenn:  What a fantastic circle of friends you have.

Gary:  Well, thank you.

Glenn:  Besides fishing what else do you like to do?

Gary:  I like to spend time with my family. I have two daughters. They are 12 and 15. And my wife, Janet. We love the outdoors. Even when I'm not fishing I'm still in the outdoors. My girls love to hunt so I spend a lot of time. We like to hunt and shoot guns so we're always pulling the trigger something, somewhere.

My girls now are 12 and 15. Grown up. They have actually grown up on the B.A.S.S. circuit. They were born while we were fishing. Home schooled while we were fishing and then here just a few years ago they went to a public school. We are a family and actually they are flying in here this afternoon. So they will be here with me for the Classic.

Glenn:  Fantastic. What is the one thing the fans out there might not know about you that you could share with us?

Gary:  I tell you, I've never had another occupation but competitive angling. I started when I was 15 years old. Sophomore in high school. I've never done any thing else but competitive angling. My life story's been told so many times. I truly love the outdoors. I love my family. Love my girls and hopefully I am going to catch a few fish here this week.

Glenn:  Tell us. What's your favorite ice cream?

Gary:  Favorite ice cream. Chocolate.

Glenn:  No doubt about it.

Gary:  No doubt about it. I'm not. I love chocolate. Chocolate chip cookies. Chocolate ice cream.

Glenn:  Anything chocolate.

Gary:  Anything chocolate.

Glenn:  Okay. Gary, thanks so much for spending time with us. I do appreciate it. We are looking forward to seeing you out on the water.

Gary:  I appreciate it very much. Thank you.