Jeff Kriet Video
Jeff Kriet reveals his tournament tactics and gives some solid fishing advice in this HD video!
Glenn: Hi, I'm Glenn May with bassresource.com and today I have with me Mr. Jeff Kriet. Jeff, it is great to have you here with us today.
Jeff Kriet: It's good to be here today.
Glenn: Hey, Jeff, how far in advance do you start planning for a tournament and what types of things do you do in preparation?
Jeff: Well, this tournament in particular has been in the planning stages for months and months and months. You can wallpaper my house with the maps that I had to buy of this place. I've been here several times but I had maps and now I have to get post-Katrina maps. So, I've had that stuff laying around, my wife's so sick of it, every time you walk, you hear them on the ground and to get to where I want to fish might be 15 maps just to get there. So, I've studied those maps so much that I'm really sick of looking at them to be honest with you.
Glenn: And what types of things are you looking for? Maybe not only for the Classic, but also in other tournaments that you're fishing, what types of things are you looking for in these maps?
Jeff: Well, the main thing is that no matter where I go, at any lake, whether it's the Delta or just a lake or a river, the first thing I'm going to do is look at seasonal patterns. That's the whole deal. That is the first step for anybody if you just like to go fishing in a pond or whatever, the first step to taking that step to being a better angler is to learning your seasonal patterns. That's the whole deal.
This time of year, we know that we're pre-spawn and maybe getting a little bit spawned, so everything I'm looking at right now is geared toward the spawn. So when I look at a map, I'm going, "Okay. This is deep with a lot of current, probably not going to be spawning in there. I can count that out." I know, probably, that the less current, the better for spawning. So I'm going to look at areas that don't have free flow and things like that.
Then the same thing would go in the fall or, let's say in the summertime, if I go to a lake, I'm thinking, "Okay. It's got to be either really shallow or really deep." I like to fish deep, so I'm going to pull those maps out and those charts and I'm going to look for drops and maybe on the main lake. If it was pre-spawn, I may be looking for channel banks.
So just look at your maps. Learn your seasonal patterns. It's not that hard and some of them are similar. You'll have your spring and fall are sort of similar, but that's the main thing. That's what will help you become a better fisherman.
Glenn: When you first get on that body of water, what do you start looking for? Do you start motoring around and looking at your graph or do you plop the trolling motor down and start casting? What's your approach to start picking apart the lake once you're there?
Jeff: Okay. What works best for me, now I see all these guys are good that I fish against and I see different strategies by all of them, but what I'm going to do on a lake, I'm going to look at that map and I'm going to go, okay. I'll usually start mid-lake, okay? And I'm going to find, let's say like a one section or one big creek and I'll go, "Okay. Today, I'm fishing in that creek," and that way I can kind of break it down into secondary points or in the bite-backs of pockets or whatever.
I'm going to really work on that area of the lake, that creek. And then if I start getting bit, okay, it's the secondary points in the creek. Well, then I can probably duplicate that in other similar creeks throughout the lake. If I don't get bit in the middle of the lake, okay, tomorrow, middle of the lake wasn't good, I'm going to go south or I'd better go further north.
But I think a big mistake by most people is, they'll run the whole lake in practice and when you do that, if you start on the north end and you fish for two hours and don't get bit, you run to the middle and then you run to the south end and then you say, "Oh, man, the north end was better." If you really stop and look at what you did for the day, you're like, "Man, I did nothing."
So if you're really, really in a bind and you can't catch them, yeah, throw the trolling motor down. Just fish. If it looks good to flip, flip it. If you think you think you need to throw a crank back because you started getting those bites, and then you piece it together, you can kind of figure it out. So that's the best thing, I think.
Glenn: And once a tournament is underway, let's just say things aren't working the way you'd planned it, or maybe the conditions change and the fish have changed, what are some of the first things you'll do to adapt to that?
Jeff: Well, I mean, maybe a technique deal. It could be a color thing or it could be, "Okay. This isn't working." Throw it out and I'll start all over right then. That's a scary thing to do, but I do it. The better guys, some guys are better at that than others. I'm not the best at just throwing out a game plan, compared to some of the other guys, but it does happen, a lot.
Glenn: What lures do you have tied out on the boat and maybe always on your deck?
Jeff: Well, I'll always have, probably, some sort of jig. I'm going to have a shaky head worm on everywhere. I've got one on here and I'll never throw it but I feel like it would be wrong to not have one in there. I don't know why. I mean, who knows? But it will never come out, but I've got one in there. And I've got like five flipping rods and one spinning rod. I just have to put it in there. I don't know why. Just the basic stuff, you know? A jig, I'd rather fish with plastics than crank baits and stuff like that, but I'll throw whatever.
Glenn: When you first became a pro, what was one of the most surprising things to you that you weren't expecting?
Jeff: When I first started out, the thing that surprised me the most was how well these guys, no matter how bad I thought it was out there, when I was fishing, I'd think it was horrible, and they always catch them. Somebody always going to catch them against these guys, always. And not just a little bit of catching them, they're going to catch them regardless. So you never have enough weight. You know what I mean?
Glenn: Right, right, right. Exactly. And now that you've been a pro for quite awhile now, have you changed, do you think it's changed you much, maybe all the celebrity, the status that you have, you've got fans following you around and you didn't have that when you first started off. Has that affected you in any way?
Jeff: No. I'm just an old goober that likes to fish. I'm not famous like VanDam and Iaconelli and all those guys, man. I just like to fish. You know what I mean? If I win this Classic, I'll be the same.
Jeff: I'll just have more money.
Jeff: I might buy you a cold beer somewhere or something like that, where before you had to pay for me. No, man, I just like to fish and confidence is a big deal out here, though. You do have to have confidence.
Glenn: In these years that you've spent practicing, and learning to become a better angler, have you learned any lessons that you've been able to apply to your life outside of fishing?
Jeff: Yeah, I probably have. I've always been a skeptic on things. I always sometimes go into things, I look at the worst. Like, "Oh, man, I'd better be careful or I'm going to run to ground" and I had to go see a psychologist for that stuff, sports psychologist. I really did. It's true and everything, man.
And I still have to do it. Man, I need to get that negativity out sometimes. But when I'm not catching them or if I'm worried about like, "Oh, I don't want to run two hours to Venice" and, "Oh, I don't want to get stuck", I try to just push that out now. I see my stop signs. I paid all kinds of money to see that stop sign. I talk about that stop sign all the time. That's what I try to do. But it's the same in fishing, golf and, I guess, life in general.
Glenn: So if you do have a bad day at fishing, let's say, what are some of the things that you do to get yourself back into the game?
Jeff: I'll tell you who's really, the guy I room with, McClelland, he'll have a bad day or a bad tournament and he's just like, "I'll just catch them tomorrow." Me? I mean, I beat myself up bad. You got to jerk it together, man. Whether it's the day of the tournament and you lose the first three or four or whatever it is, you better jerk yourself right back into it. You can salvage your day and your tournament. I think that's the big deal. It's just mental.
Glenn: So what do you do to pull yourself back together?
Jeff: I got to get rid of everything. Like, "Man, basically, you just sucked today. It was a bad day. Put it out. It's done. All right. Tomorrow, just go out and catch them, regroup and it's going to be better." That's all you can do. When you lose one, I mean, we don't like it, but it's going to happen. It's fishing. No doubt, you're going to lose one. There's a good chance tomorrow that I'm going to get hung up in some stuff that I can't get him out and I've got to just re-rig and . . .
Glenn: Well, it's definitely something that all of us to face, especially when we're in the pressure, high-money tournaments, that sort of thing, we just have to struggle with things and it is a difficult thing to deal with sometimes. What I want to do right now is what's called the shameless plug moment. Oh, yeah. Whatever you'd like to say about your sponsors or if you want us to do a shout out to your family members or maybe to your fans, whatever you'd like to talk about.
Jeff: You need to go out, we've had a little change from Longhorn to Uncle Ray's Potato Chips now. I'm going to tell you, these are prime time deals. They've got every flavor that you want. I can't eat the jalapeno because I have to eat ice cream after I eat them. But boy the barbeque are good.
Buy these chips because if you do, there's a good chance that I'll be able to run that boat again next year. If you don't pick up the pace and don't buy them, I don't know what I'm going to have to run next year.
So Uncle Ray and the other thing, this deal right here, see that? That Hydro Wave right there? You check that out, it's hydrowavefishing.com. It's a pretty big deal that getting ready to be out. I'm actually part owners in this company with Kevin VanDam.
Glenn: Oh boy.
Jeff: So it's pretty cool to not be competitive with him. We'll both be on the same side. But check it out. Go to the website and check that out. And that's all I can think of. That's pretty shameless. I really threw it out there for those chips.
Glenn: Well, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Jeff Kriet. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.