Boulder City, Nev. – Tim Klinger has already experienced the thrills of victory in big money tournaments, but winning the 2017 Bassmaster Classic would be the ultimate accomplishment for the Nevada B.A.S.S. Nation angler.
“If things really fall into place for me, the Classic could be a big time game changer for me,” said the 43-year-old electrician.
Klinger fished the FLW Tour for six years and qualified for two FLW Cup championships. When he won the March 2004 FLW Tour Open on Beaver Lake, Klinger collected the top prize of $200,000 and in October 2007 he won an FLW Series even on Clear Lake and earned $125,000.
However he dropped out of fishing national tournaments in 2011 when he lost sponsors and then got married and started a family. Klinger switched to fishing local tournaments and joined the Nevada Bass Anglers club in 2012. He qualified for the B.A.S.S. Nation Championship (BNC) in his rookie year and made the 2016 BNC at Lake Conroe where he finished third overall to earn a Classic berth.
The Nevada angler believes the time he spent fishing Conroe during the BNC will help him prepare for the Classic. The long drive from Nevada to Texas will prevent him from prefishing for the Classic so he will have to rely on what he discovered during the BNC. He now knows the lay of the lake and realizes he will be able to fish his strength of “junk fishing” in shallow water. “I love fishing shallow water,” Klinger said. “Pitching, flipping, sight fishing and shallow swimbait fishing are all right up my alley.”
A challenge Klinger eagerly welcomes is the chance to compete against the Elite Series contenders. “I look at the list (of contenders) and what better tournament is there to be fishing against all those guys,” said Klinger, who is also a member of the Las Vegas Bass Club. “I am excited because there are a lot of my old buddies that I used to fish against all of the time before the Classic.” Some of the Western anglers Klinger will face again in the Classic include Brett Hite, Chris Zaldain and Brent Ehrler.
Klinger’s cheering section at the Classic will include his wife Riaella; daughter Ella, 4; son, James, 3; and his parents. He hopes they can cheer him on to a good finish. “I’m not going to predict anything but I am going to have a good time,” Klinger said. “If I just make the final day cut that would be incredible.”