Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: Cliff Crochet

The 'Cajun Baby' Cliff Crochet shows off the gear and goods packed in his tournament rig.

The
Photo: Seigo Saito - The "Cajun Baby" Cliff Crochet joined the Elite Series in 2010. As you'll see later in this boat tour, this Louisiana angler is a big fan of flipping frogs.
Cliff Crochet's Skeeter FX 21 is powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Cliff Crochet's Skeeter FX 21 is powered by a Yamaha 250 SHO.
Crochet considers Biobor EB fuel additive the
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet considers Biobor EB fuel additive the "security blanket" that helps him guard his outboard against the effects of ethanol in his fuel.
Crochet trolls with a Minn Kota Fortrex 101.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet trolls with a Minn Kota Fortrex 101.
The front deck of Crochet's boat features a Hydrowave Electronic Fish Stimulator, a Lowrance graph and up-down foot controls for his Power Pole shallow-water anchors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The front deck of Crochet's boat features a Hydrowave Electronic Fish Stimulator, a Lowrance graph and up-down foot controls for his Power Pole shallow-water anchors.
Crochet said he usually uses a
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet said he usually uses a "dozen or so" rods for each tournament.
He normally carries about 40 rods - many of which are very technique-specific - that stay in the boat all the time and serve mainly as backups.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He normally carries about 40 rods - many of which are very technique-specific - that stay in the boat all the time and serve mainly as backups.
Known as
Photo: Seigo Saito - Known as "The Cajun Baby," Crochet is a noted shallow-water frog fisherman.
A closer look at the frog box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A closer look at the frog box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - "In the right situation, there's nothing I'd rather fish than a frog," Crochet said.
One of the boxes Crochet keeps filled with square-billed crankbaits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - One of the boxes Crochet keeps filled with square-billed crankbaits.
A box filled with Crochet's favorite lipless crankbait, the Rat-L-Trap.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A box filled with Crochet's favorite lipless crankbait, the Rat-L-Trap.
A Rat-L-Trap with more than a few teeth marks.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A Rat-L-Trap with more than a few teeth marks.
Crochet uses the center box closest to the front of his boat as
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet uses the center box closest to the front of his boat as "just an extra box." "It's not for the main stuff, but support stuff," he said. "Every box changes every week at every tournament. The stuff in that box, that’s the stuff I MIGHT need."
The center box closer to the driver’s seat is the
Photo: Seigo Saito - The center box closer to the driver’s seat is the "work box." "Whatever I’m throwing that week, that’s where it'll be," Crochet said. "If I'm on Okeechobee, it'll be big weights, hooks, plastics, swim baits, big jigs. If I'm on Guntersville, it'll be crankbaits and chatterbaits and so forth."
The right-side rod locker is for miscellaneous items like clothes, measuring boards, crackers and bulk baits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The right-side rod locker is for miscellaneous items like clothes, measuring boards, crackers and bulk baits. "God knows what you’ll find in there," Crochet said.
Crochet calls his day box a
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet calls his day box a "Bomb Box." "It looks like a bomb went off in there," he said. "Plastics, a lot of what I cut off during the week ends up in that box. I’m supposed to pick it up later, but I never do. So I end up with this week’s junk, plus next week’s junk, plus the next week’s junk. It just builds up in there."
The storage compartment in the floor holds used fishing line.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The storage compartment in the floor holds used fishing line. "It's supposed to be for a spare prop, but I don’t carry one. That’s gonna burn me one day," Crochet said. "I throw all my fishing line in there. Fishing line in the water is the worst thing. That’ll tear up a lower unit real quick. I can keep it contained in there. I should just throw it in the trash can, but cleanliness is not my strong suit."
Crochet uses two Lowrance graph units on his console, and always keeps plenty of Diet Mountain Dew on hand.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet uses two Lowrance graph units on his console, and always keeps plenty of Diet Mountain Dew on hand.
A K2 Cooler never leaves Crochet's boat because he hates running out of ice during the heat of summer.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A K2 Cooler never leaves Crochet's boat because he hates running out of ice during the heat of summer.
Crochet says the compartments behind the seats in his boats are proof that he's a typical angler.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet says the compartments behind the seats in his boats are proof that he's a typical angler. "Those compartments should be empty," he said. ""But as anglers, we always carry way too much. Those compartments hold all of the off-the-wall things I might need someday."
One
Photo: Seigo Saito - One "off-the-wall" selection for Crochet is a box filled with old-school topwater plugs.
More boxes are filled with floating plastics like Flukes and Senkos.
Photo: Seigo Saito - More boxes are filled with floating plastics like Flukes and Senkos.
Another box is filled with hard-plastic jerk baits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Another box is filled with hard-plastic jerk baits.
Crochet considers his
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet considers his "Hot Foot" throttle-control system to be one of the most important safety features on his boat. "At the Sabine River, for instance, we'll be running little bayous and sharp turns. That Hot Foot allows me to keep both hands on the wheel and control the throttle with my foot. I wouldn't run my boat without it."
Crochet keeps a culling system in his livewell - always five tags for five fish.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crochet keeps a culling system in his livewell - always five tags for five fish.
Yeah...Crochet likes his Power Pole shallow-water anchors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Yeah...Crochet likes his Power Pole shallow-water anchors.
Thanks for the tour, Cliff! Good luck on the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Thanks for the tour, Cliff! Good luck on the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series.