Jeff Kriet

Original Bass Pro Interviews
Learn more about Jeff Kriet - 7 time Bassmaster Classic qualifier - as he answers questions he's never been asked before!

Glenn:  I am Glenn May with and I'm here with Jeff Kriet.  Jeff, glad to have you aboard today.

Jeff Kriet:  It's good to be here, man.  Fixing to get things kicked up.

Glenn:  Oh yeah.  I bet you are.  Hey Jeff, now how long have you been fishing?

Jeff:  Fishing bass?

Glenn:  Fishing bass.

Jeff:  I guess this is like my 14th or 15th year fishing Bass Master. I started, I've been doing it full-time maybe for 12 years.  10 or 12 years now.  I don't know.

Glenn:  Now did you start fishing when you were a kid?

Jeff:  Oh, I fished, I mean, I won my first tournament, I guess, like 100 boat tournament when I think I was like 14.  And, my mom would have to drive me to the lake and pull my boat.  I didn't have my driver's license.  I've been fishing forever.  It's something I knew I was going to do.  When I was like 5 years old, I said I'm going to fish for a living, you know?  My parents thought I'd outgrow it but I never did.

Glenn:  Now in all those years of fishing, what would you say would be your most memorable bass?

Jeff:  Probably the first one I caught on a plastic worm, you know?  I mean, I caught 'em on like Beetle Spins and stuff like that.  You know, it's a big deal to throw a plastic worm back then and I remember finally catching my first one on a worm, you know?  The way I was taught to do it, you throw it out there and get the bite and you go on point and you reel it, you let him go.  I think I probably gutted him but that was a big deal to me to catch my first one on a worm.

Glenn:  So what about your biggest bass?  Which one was that?

Jeff:  Probably the biggest bass I think I caught is maybe, actually this year or last year, I caught one practicing for the PAA Championship.  I caught one, I figure it was probably around 12 pounds.

Glenn:  Ooh, that's good.

Jeff:  Well, I caught it in practice.  And before that, the biggest bass that I ever caught in my life was in practice too, so I gotta switch that up a little bit, you know?

Glenn:  So what's your favorite big bass technique?

Jeff:  Probably for me, I would say, probably like a football jig.  I like that a lot.  I've caught a lot of big fish on a football jig, swim bait of course is.  All the swim baits.  If I'm going to a lake that I know I've got to fish for big ones, you've gotta throw a swim bait.  I'm learning that deal more and more.  It's a different kind of fishing but the big Osprey's a good one and I like the weighted ones for fishing offshore.  All the fish I weighed in at Kentucky Lake this year were on a swim bait so I'm learning man.  Versatility.

Glenn:  That's right.  Now, I've been hearing, kind of around, whispering around on the wind, people are calling you Squirrel?

Jeff:  Yeah, that's been going on for a while.

Glenn:  Now what is with that?  What is that?  Where did that come from?

Jeff:  Well, Hackney started it several years ago.  I'd be doing really good in a tournament and then like the day I really needed to catch 'em, like on the top 12 day or something, I might not catch 'em and Hackney always said, "Man, you're like a squirrel looking for a nut out there, man.  You're running around, getting all crazy, you know?"  He said your old tail was twitching.  Well, and that started it and then I was doing seminars and I had maybe 50 people or 100 people watching my seminars and then pretty soon I got like 1,000 people watching my seminar and I thought, man, I'm smoking this deal. Iaconelli don't have nothing on me.  And then I realized they were all coming to see Twiggy, that water skiing squirrel.  So there's only about 50 or 100 to see me and a thousand came to see a squirrel.  So when everybody saw that go down, I mean, VanDam calls me the squirrel and it just kinda stuck.

Glenn:  Oh, okay.

Jeff:  I've been called worse.

Glenn:  Now, besides fishing, what else do you like to do?

Jeff:  I like to bow hunt a lot.  I've always bow hunted.  I've killed one deer with a rifle in my life and that didn't do it for me and I bow hunt a lot.  I also have an offshore boat.  I like to go offshore and catch tuna and big grouper and stuff like that.  So, when I'm not fishing, I fish, really.  Or I hunt.  I mean, that's what I like to do and I don't know.  I play a little golf.

Glenn:  But what would be your dream vacation?

Jeff:  Probably go to Venice, Louisiana and pull my big boat down there and stay for two or three weeks and go offshore with my family.  My wife and daughter.

Glenn:  That would be awesome.

Jeff:  Yeah.

Glenn:  That sounds like a lot of fun.

Jeff:  I mean, we went to, over Christmas, I took my wife and daughter over to Mexico and we went out there and hung out on the beach and that was fun but man, if I'm that close to the water, I got to get out there and try to catch something.

Glenn:  What's one thing that the fans out there might not know about you that you'd like to share with us?

Jeff:  I don't know.  I used to wear a suit and tie everyday to work.

Glenn:  Really?

Jeff:  I was a commercial loan officer for 8 years.

Glenn:  No kidding?

Jeff:  Yeah.  Suit and tie traded off for shorts and flip flops.  Huh?

Glenn:  I can't see you in a suit.

Jeff:  I couldn't dip it.  I couldn't even have a dip.

Glenn:  No way.

Jeff:  You know, so.

Glenn:  What's your favorite ice cream?

Jeff:  Favorite ice cream?  Probably chocolate chip.

Glenn:  Good choice, good choice.  All right Jeff, well hey, won't take much more of your time anymore.  Appreciate you spending time with us today.

Jeff:  Yeah, thank you.

Glenn:  And we'll see you out on the water this year.

Jeff:  Right on.  Maybe we'll be doing a big interview at the end of the week.

Glenn:  Yeah.  All right.

Jeff:  Maybe even, you may even have to wait in line.

Glenn:  Take care man.