Triton BASS Pro Gary Klein Wins Seminole
BASS Communications — Feb. 9, 2003
With the Seminole win, Gary Klein is now tied for fifth on the all-time wins list. BAINBRIDGE, Ga. — With his 14-pound, 5-ounce limit in the CITGO Bassmaster Tour event presented by Busch Beer on Lake Seminole, Texan Gary Klein claimed his eighth victory and became the seventh member of the BASS Millionaires club.
"I finally got the monkey off my back and made it into the million dollar club," said Klein who claimed $100,000 for his 69-15 four-day total. "It is an honor for me to win this title against the crowd I fished against all week. Any of these guys could win any day."
New Jersey's Kotaro Kiriyama finished second with 63-15, Casey Iwai of Arizona brought in 59-7 for third and Washington angler Luke Clausen earned fourth with 54-10. Florida anglers Shaw Grigsby, 52-11 and Jim Bitter, 49-4 rounded out the Super Six.
Klein, originally from California, claimed his first BASS victory since 1996 and is now tied with Grigsby and Bill Dance for fifth on the BASS All-time victories list. His winning technique involved flipping a black/blue craw-worm into dead vegetation.
"The three weeks of cold weather in the area killed all of the hyacinth," explained Klein. "The Hyacinth collected heat and that is what held the fish in those areas, but it got tougher each day."
With a strong sixth place finish, Jim Bitter maintained his Angler of the Year lead and earned a quick $1,000 check. Bitter earned a $1,000 bonus for maintaining his lead in the Busch BASS Angler of the Year race and will once again wear the customized Stearns life vest signifying him as the leader. Bitter's now enjoys a 38-point lead over Terry Scroggins in the quest for the $100,000 bonus from Anheuser-Busch at the season finale.
Despite Trailing Bitter for the Busch BASS Angler of the Year, Scroggins does lead in the chase for the CITGO Rookie of the Year award.
A new component of the CITGO Bassmaster Tour events this season is the interactive BASS Sponsor Expo area. Exhibits are present from the various BASS sponsors many of which are interactive and allow an enjoyable experience for all family members. The Expos are completely free to those attending and take place from noon until five on Fridays; and from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at each Tour stop.
Weigh-ins took place at Earl May Boat Basin near Bainbridge.