Jeff Kriet's selection by the fans may have come as a surprise to some, but certainly not to close followers of the sport who have watched "Squirrel" gain fans by the truckload over the past few years. His runner-up finish at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic was Kriet's coming out party for the fans. He got to show off his personality and sense of humor, and the bass fishing world admired his tenacity as he went toe to toe with Kevin VanDam and Todd Faircloth for the most coveted trophy in the sport.
Kriet fell short that February, but he hopes to redeem that experience with a big win in Central Alabama during Toyota Trucks All-Star Week. He's got the tools to do it, too.
In 2007, Kriet became the first angler in Elite Series history to limit each competition day for an entire season. He fished 32 days that year and brought five bass to the scales each time on his way to a 13th place finish in the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.
In all, he's had five finishes in the top 25 of the AOY race, including a sixth place finish in 2005 and has had two Top 10 finishes in the Classic.
Kriet earned his nickname, "Squirrel," when he was upstaged at a tackle demonstration by a water-skiing rodent. One of the most likeable pros on tour, he's also one of the most versatile. Kriet can hold his own against anyone flipping and pitching in the shallows or working his signature series drop shot worm in the depths.
Both methods will likely come into play during Toyota Trucks All-Star Week. Lake Jordan's spotted bass have a penchant for deep water and finesse presentations while the largemouths on the Alabama River favor shallow water and power techniques.
Look for Kriet to be a factor on both fisheries.
|Nicknames:||Squirrel; Pig Pen|
|2011 AOY rank:||24th (voted in by fans)|
|Strengths:||Finesse; flipping and pitching; sense of humor|