Final practice ride with Gary Klein

NEW ORLEANS -- On the final Classic practice day, 29-time Classic qualifier Gary Klein seemed confident, but not overconfident. "I've done all that I can do, so now I've just got to play the cards I'm dealt," he said.

"I feel good." Klein voiced some concern about the length of run he will make each morning, saying that it takes a single hitch to knock a competitor out.

"That could happen as you're on the way back to weigh-in with the winning bag of fish," he said. Hopefully he got all of his "hitches" out of the way. On our return trip, Klein's alarm buzzer went off at the halfway mark due to a clogged water intake. After clearing the jam, it sounded again several minutes later and stayed on for the remainder of the 50-minute run.

Klein caught six keepers Wednesday that would have weighed in the neighborhood of 15 pounds. He didn't practice in the waters he plans on fishing come Day One, but was pleased to have found several Plan Bs.

"I've done all of my homework, and am ready to go fishing," he said. "But hey, if it doesn't go my way, maybe I'll win on my 30th try!"



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