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TackleTour Tournament Interview


TackleTour Tournament Interview : Jeff Kriet

 

Date: 1/7/14
Interview: Jeff Kriet
Interviewer: Cal
Location of Interview: Lake Eufaula, GA








The Premise:
TackleTour is going to hold a bass fishing tournament, but in keeping with our tradition, the gear is going to play an active roll in how the tourney is structured. In the past, we've been known concentrate our review seasons around specific techniques or types of baits. We're going to run our tournament in the same manner. Four days, four different themes, and our interest is to see how the pros go about selecting the gear they'll need to fish this tournament.

 


Next up in our TackleTour Tournament Hot Seat is Jeff Kriet.

 

Hot Seat: In our continuing series of interviews, we're sitting down with different pros and going through their tackle selections for each day of our tourney, one at a time. Today, we sit down with Jeff Kriet, Bassmaster Elite Series Pro. Jeff Kriet's sponsors include Uncle Ray's Potato Chips, Triton, Yamaha, Neuro Fuel, Big Bite Baits, Livingston Lures, Cabela's, Falcon Rods, Hi Seas Line, Jewel Jigs, Eco Pro Tungsten, TroKar Hooks, and Power Pole.

 


Kriet's cranking rod of choice is the Falcon Cara Deep Runner.

 

Day One: We're going to give the pros a technique they can use to search out active fish. You know what that means? Yup, it's time to tie one on, toss it out, and crank it up! Cranking is the name of the game on Day One and we want to know what a pro looks for in a good cranking rod, cranking reel, and their preference in cranking line.

 


Kriet likes the Livingston Howler for a good, general purpose, mid-depth crankbait.

 

Jeff Kriet : The crankbait I'd rely on for day one is the Livingston Howeller. It's a good, all around, mid-range crankbait that. It runs about six to eight feet and I can cover a lot of water with. It'll allow me to catch as many of those easy day one fish as I can. The rod I'm going to throw it on is a Falcon Deep Runner. This is a seven foot, three inch rod. I don't like a really stiff rod for cranking, but I also don't like a straight glass rod. I've just never liked glass. The Deep Runner has that soft tip you like for cranking, but it still has a really good backbone.

 

Line size will depend on how deep I want to run it, but to start, I'll throw twelve pound Hi Seas Fluorocarbon. I'm always cranking on fluorocarbon because it has a tendency to sink and has less stretch. I don't need a lot of stretch in my line because my rod is the forgiving part of the setup. I'll have that spooled on my Shimano Metanium 6.2:1 reel. I know a lot of guys use really low gear ratio reels for cranking but unless I'm throwing a crank with a really big bill on it, a 6.2:1 reel gives me plenty of power to crank with.

 


When it's time to turn to soft plastics with Creature Fever, Kriet turns to the Big Bite Baits Eight Inch Finesse Worm!

 

Day Two: Now that the pros know where the fish are, day two is going to be about working through those concentrated schools of fish on their way to a big limit. That's right, it's time to get a little wacky as we allow the pros to punch, drag, dissect, create and fish from top to bottom with craws, lizards, frogs, toads, spider jigs, swimbaits and any variety of other creatures on their way to a hefty limit because day two is all about the fever - Creature Fever. How do the pros approach fishing soft plastics?

 


Kriet's favorite stick for soft plastics is the Falcon Cara Mike McClelland Heavy Cover.

 

Jeff Kriet : A bait that I have just caught a ton of fish on over the last couple of years is Big Bite's Eight Inch (8") Finesse Worm. At Lake Chickamauga this year, I weighed in a seven or seven and a half pounder the second day, that was on the 8" finesse worm. I caught a bunch of fish on it at the Delaware River. It will blow your mind how many guys on tour throw just a straight worm like this. It's a bass catching bait and you can fish it deep or shallow.

 

The rod that I use with this bait is the Falcon Cara Mike McClelland Rod. It's a 7'4" heavy powered rod. This is my workhorse rod. It has a lot of backbone yet not overly stiff through the tip. I've actually thrown down to twelve (12) pound test with this rod. You have to be a little careful, but you can do it.

 

My usual set up with this worm is 5/16oz Eco Pro Tungsten weight. I don't usually peg it unless I'm fishing in pads. I'm using fifteen pound (15#) Hi Seas Fluorocarbon line spooled on the Shimano Metanium HG (7.4:1 retrieve ratio).

 

On an Open event on the Red River this past year, I was catching them early with a Chatterbait and things like that, but as the fish felt more pressured, I had to change things up the following days. I started catching them again flipping standing trees. I pulled into this one area where there were probably twenty five (25) boats in there and they throwing creature baits and beaver style baits. I was able to go in behind them with my 8" Finesse Worm setup and catch about sixteen (16) pounds. I ended up going into the last day in second or third place.

 


When it's time to go Finesse, Kriet turns to his signature rod with Falcon, the Squirrel Tail rod.

 

Day Three: They've found the fish, and have picked through the schools to fill their limits. The water has been pounded and the fish are feeling pressured. What in the world are the pros going to do on Day Three of our tourney? It's time to turn the "F" word. Downsizing baits and line, switching to light powered rods, slowing down that presentation, you know what all of that means. It's time to declare, "What the Finesse?!?!" Day three of our tourney is all about finesse.


Kriet likes a 2500 size spinning reel - not too big, yet not too small.

Jeff Kriet : There's two techniques I use when it comes to finesse fishing, but the rod I use for both of them is the Falcon Cara Squirrel Tail Rod. It's a rod I designed for them. It's seven feet (7'-0") long, medium powered rod and I use it for drop shot and shakey head both. I have a 2500 Shimano Sustain on this rod. I think the 2500 is the perfect size, not too big, not too small.

 

As far as line, there are only two ways to go on a spinning rod. For water that's ten feet or less, I use ten pound (10#) Hi Seas braid with a fluorocarbon leader. This is my shakey head line. On a drop shot I'm usually throwing straight fluorocarbon. One of the biggest mistakes I notice is people using too heavy line on spinning gear. The heavier line just doesn't throw very well. I'd rather throw six than eight on straight fluorocarbon. Some people are afraid of breaking off with six pound test, but my feeling is, if you're breaking off a lot of fish, then you're probably leaning too hard on them.

 

I throw an eighth ounce (1/8oz) head ninety percent of the time when shakey head fishing. Sometimes I'll go down to sixteenth (1/16th) of an ounce. On the rare occasion, I'll go up to three sixteenths (3/16ths). The lighter the head, the more bites you're going to get. I see a lot of co-anglers throwing one quarter (1/4) ounce heads and frankly, if you need to go that heavy, you're probably better off throwing a finesse jig.

 

As far as my drop shot rig goes, again, I go straight fluorocarbon in about six or eight pound test. You can either Texas rig or nose hook the bait, but I feel I get more bites nose hooking. I use a #1 TroKar dropshot hook. If I'm Texas rigging I'll use the TroKar Finesse Style hook. For baits, I'm using the Big Bite Shaking Squirrel, a bait I designed for them.

 


Kriet designed the Squirrel Tail worms for Big Bite Baits but he also uses their Finesse Squirrel especially when drop shotting.

Day Four: It's the last day of the tourney and we're culling our field of pros to the top ten anglers. The lucky ones get to continue our wacky tourney and if they're not ready to protest our format yet, they just might after they learn what we're limiting them to now on day four. The number one question we continue to receive here on TackleTour is if you could just have one... You know the rest. Yes, that's right, we're enlisting the pros in our Search For One campaign and limiting them on the last day of the tourney to one rod, and one reel. What will their combo be? Let's find out.


There's not much finesse about Big Bite Bait's Eight Inch Finesse Worms.

Jeff Kriet : On Day 4, I've got nothing to lose and I'm obviously trying to win, so I'm going to try and get five bites. I'm going with the Falcon 7'4" Mike McClelland Rod. That is my favorite rod because it's so versatile. I'm using the Shimano Metanium HG and I'm spooling that with fifteen pound (15#) Hi Seas Fluorocarbon. My one bait is Big Bite Bait's Kicker Swimbait.


TackleTour would like to thank Jeff Kriet for giving us a little insight into his tackle selections in what would be a very different, tackle-centric tournament.



 

 

 

 

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