Elite Man Caves: John Crews

Take a tour of Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews’ man cave, where he preps for life on tour!
Crews’ fully wrapped boat and Toyota Tundra seem set to launch. He parks his rig inside his man cave, which is set up as a functional work space to store everything he needs while touring the country’s best bass fisheries.
While some anglers have extravagant man caves, Crews keeps his utilitarian.
Next to Crews’ rig is his step
Crews isn’t the typical angler who hoards tackle. “If I’m not going to use it, I’ll just blow it out or sell it or give it away,” he explained. “If it’s got value I’ll sell it. If it doesn’t I try to give it to someone who’ll use it.”
A simple folding table serves as a work bench where Crews sorts his baits, changes hooks and packs everything he’ll need on a road trip. “I’ll get stuff in and sift through it,” he said. “Periodically, this will get cleaned off and accumulate with more stuff on it.”
Lures rotate through the work station.
Compartments of crankbaits are stacked on a shelf, just waiting to be used. They are pretty much filled with Spro lures he has designed. “I really like crankbaits, and part of the deal is for the past 15 years I’ve designed what I wanted for Spro,” he said. “I do fish other hard baits and jerkbaits, but it helps to design exactly what you want anyway. That’s a big plus. So I don’t have to have 10 deep-diving crankbaits: We’ve got the Little John DD and the Little John Super DD. That’s what I throw 95% of the time for a deep crankbait.”
For Crews, it’s all about efficiency. “I’ve got all kinds of old Hot Lips in there, 30 plus — I just don’t throw them anymore,” he explained. “There are other baits that are more efficient.”
“This is all my hook supply: extra treble hooks, extra single hooks and assorted Spro stuff,” he said.
Crews’ fills two large bins with every Gamakatsu hook option he would need to replace hooks on his lures to ensure he makes solid contact with bass.
There are plenty of Spro Little John DD options on his shelf, since it’s that crankbait Crews helped design. “I’ve got a deep crankbait box somewhere in here with all the original deep-diving crankbaits I used when I started 20-something years ago, and that’s where all the baits accumulated,” he said. “There are a lot of Poe’s and Fat Free Shads that I liked, but each one had their advantages and disadvantages, and that’s where the Little John DD came from: a combination of three or four baits. So that Little John DD is pretty much what I use now. I don’t need those other baits any more, and I’ve caught thousands upon thousands of fish on them, so I know they work.”
Another bin holds all of his Sunline so he can quickly grab what he needs to spool up.
Boxes of spare Spro LIttle John DDs are tucked away, providing Crews with plenty of color options to match each fishery on tour.
That makes perfect sense, since Crews has designed lures for Spro for a number of years now.
Spare reels are tucked away in a box on his tackle stoarge shelf.
While he doesn’t necessarily hoard lures, Crews has boxes jammed with all the baits he could possibly need. This box is filled with frogs.
Crews’ rod area is less crowded than expected, but that’s not because he’s short of options. “There are 40 in the boat,” he said. “There’s more rods than rod holders.” Replacement Cashion rods are bundled to the side, ready to move into the rotation as needed.
Family is extremely important to Crews, so the wall behind his rod storage unit is covered with artwork by his youngest daughter, Ivy.
His rod storage area is pretty sparsely populated during the season because Crews keeps 40 or so rods tucked in his boat when he’s in the midst of a Elite Series season.
Between tournaments, he can sort through his Cashion rods in the comfort of his man cave to make sure he has all the tools he needs when he heads to the next event.
Boxes of Spro tackle can be found everywhere you look in this man cave.
Crews can even take a nap on the deck of his wrapped Bass Cat while he’s working on tackle.
“Leftover” plaques from his tournaments adorn the wall over one side of his man cave. His main stash of trophies are in his office at MIssle Baits.
More Bassmaster plaques from his 13 Bassmaster Classic appearances line the wall.
Among the memorabilia hanging on the wall of Crews’ man cave are reminders of his days as part of Team Evan Williams. “That was cool because I didn’t really know Hank (Cherry) before then, and we got to know each other pretty well,” he said. “We got to know our families and that kind of stuff, too.”
At another table beneath his memory wall, Crews sorts jigs to ensure he can put his hands on exactly what he needs while on the water.
Jigs are sorted by color and size so he can quickly put his hands on exactly what he needs.
His boat’s main tackle compartment is packed with all the Missile Baits he needs.
Owning Missile Baits has its advantages when it comes to ensuring his boat is stocked with enough plastics.
One shelf is dedicated to assorted equipment that comes in handy during a season.
Included in that miscellany are spare props.
This shelf also includes all his detailing products to keep his boat and Tundra looking sharp.
Hung nearby are pullovers and rain gear he uses during a long season on the road.
The man cave includes a variety of memorabilia tucked on available surfaces.