Inside Elite Boats

Inside Elite Boats: John Crews

Virginia angler John Crews has fished 160 tournaments with B.A.S.S., recording 21 Top 10 finishes and a Bassmaster Elite Series victory on the California Delta in 2010.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Virginia angler John Crews has fished 160 tournaments with B.A.S.S., recording 21 Top 10 finishes and a Bassmaster Elite Series victory on the California Delta in 2010.
Crews has earned $1,121,077.31 during his time with B.A.S.S., and much of that damage was done in a Bass Cat Eyra, powered by a Mercury 250 Pro XS.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews has earned $1,121,077.31 during his time with B.A.S.S., and much of that damage was done in a Bass Cat Eyra, powered by a Mercury 250 Pro XS.
Crews' trolling motor of choice is the Motorguide X5.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews' trolling motor of choice is the Motorguide X5.
He has his trolling motor tricked out with a G-Force Eliminator prop nut from T-H Marine and the Troll Perfect Advanced Steering Control unit. He says both remove vibration from the motor and help create a quieter ride.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He has his trolling motor tricked out with a G-Force Eliminator prop nut from T-H Marine and the Troll Perfect Advanced Steering Control unit. He says both remove vibration from the motor and help create a quieter ride.
He also uses the ultra-popular G-Force trolling motor handle from T-H Marine. It's virtually unbreakable - no matter how often you fish - and it makes it easier to pull the trolling motor up in a hurry.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He also uses the ultra-popular G-Force trolling motor handle from T-H Marine. It's virtually unbreakable - no matter how often you fish - and it makes it easier to pull the trolling motor up in a hurry.
The Bass Cat comes equipped with a perfect slot for a marker buoy, and Crews makes good use of the space.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Bass Cat comes equipped with a perfect slot for a marker buoy, and Crews makes good use of the space. "If I'm fishing on a flat or an area offshore and want to be able to have a stationary marker for a reference, I’ll use that marker," he said.
Inside the left rod locker, Crews usually keeps 25 to 30 rods rigged and ready to go.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Inside the left rod locker, Crews usually keeps 25 to 30 rods rigged and ready to go.
He uses Cashion Fishing Rods and a mixture of reels from Lew's, Shimano and Duckett.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He uses Cashion Fishing Rods and a mixture of reels from Lew's, Shimano and Duckett.
His favorite setup for Texas rigging is a 7-6 medium-heavy rod with a 3/8-ounce weight and a Missile Baits D Bomb. He fishes the lure on 22-pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon.
Photo: Seigo Saito - His favorite setup for Texas rigging is a 7-6 medium-heavy rod with a 3/8-ounce weight and a Missile Baits D Bomb. He fishes the lure on 22-pound Sunline Shooter Fluorocarbon.
The boat has two center compartments for tackle, including this one that Crews uses for soft baits. As owner of Missile Baits, he has access to a pretty stout selection of soft plastics.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The boat has two center compartments for tackle, including this one that Crews uses for soft baits. As owner of Missile Baits, he has access to a pretty stout selection of soft plastics.
Crews' favorite bait from the company he built is the D Bomb.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews' favorite bait from the company he built is the D Bomb. "They’re my go-to," he said. "We've probably sold more of them - and I've probably caught more fish on them - than any other lure in our line."
Here's another bait Crews designed, the Missile Baits D Stroyer.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's another bait Crews designed, the Missile Baits D Stroyer.
The D Stroyer has a similar body to the D Bomb, but it has a long curly tail for a different action. This color is known as green pumpkin flash.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The D Stroyer has a similar body to the D Bomb, but it has a long curly tail for a different action. This color is known as green pumpkin flash. "It’s money," Crews said of the color. "I caught a ton of fish this spring on it. It’s really, really good all around the spawn"
Here's a D Bomb in a brownish gray pattern known as super bug.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a D Bomb in a brownish gray pattern known as super bug. "That’s probably my favorite color," Crews said.
The all-important frog box has a good selection of Spro Bronzeye Popping Frogs.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The all-important frog box has a good selection of Spro Bronzeye Popping Frogs.
Under the lid of one compartment, Crews keeps several antique lures.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Under the lid of one compartment, Crews keeps several antique lures. "Those are just sentimental lures," he said. "One of my good friends and old team partners caught his first fish on that Hellbender. Another one was given to me by my mother-in-law. Another is a lure that a friend's mom gave him. It’s like a sentimental lure, a hand-me-down. Those stay in the boat every year."
This compartment is filled with hard baits, including several of the crankbaits Crews helped design for Spro, like the Baby DD, the Little John and the Fat John.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This compartment is filled with hard baits, including several of the crankbaits Crews helped design for Spro, like the Baby DD, the Little John and the Fat John.
Here's a closer look at Crews' selection of Baby DD crankbaits.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a closer look at Crews' selection of Baby DD crankbaits.
And still a closer look at the Baby DDs.
Photo: Seigo Saito - And still a closer look at the Baby DDs.
These are Baby DDs in two of Crews' favorite colors, citrus shad, left, and cell mate.
Photo: Seigo Saito - These are Baby DDs in two of Crews' favorite colors, citrus shad, left, and cell mate.
Like many anglers, Crews uses a Sharpie to mark the outside of his tackle storage boxes for quick access.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Like many anglers, Crews uses a Sharpie to mark the outside of his tackle storage boxes for quick access.
Unlike the antique lures that he keeps on the boat for sentimental reasons, Crews said these aged topwater lures still play a role in his tournament success.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Unlike the antique lures that he keeps on the boat for sentimental reasons, Crews said these aged topwater lures still play a role in his tournament success. "Those are some of my oldies-but-goodies," he said. "I still throw them during tournaments. Sometimes that Pop-R can be really good."
These Little John and Fat John crankbaits were all designed by Crews for Spro.
Photo: Seigo Saito - These Little John and Fat John crankbaits were all designed by Crews for Spro.
He has a squarebill color for every situation.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He has a squarebill color for every situation.
A lure retriever is always on board.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A lure retriever is always on board. "It’s a must-have if you’ve got any kind of valuable crankbait," Crews said.
A compartment on the right side of the boat holds hats from all of Crews' sponsors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A compartment on the right side of the boat holds hats from all of Crews' sponsors.
Besides hats, the compartment holds miscellaneous items like his Under Armour rain suit.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Besides hats, the compartment holds miscellaneous items like his Under Armour rain suit.
It also holds a push pole for shallow-water situations when a stealthy approach is needed.
Photo: Seigo Saito - It also holds a push pole for shallow-water situations when a stealthy approach is needed.
A measuring board fits neatly into the dash for easy access when Crews isn't sure if a fish will quite reach the minimum tournament length limit.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A measuring board fits neatly into the dash for easy access when Crews isn't sure if a fish will quite reach the minimum tournament length limit.
Scissors and pliers are kept very conveniently in an ideal location near the console.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Scissors and pliers are kept very conveniently in an ideal location near the console.
A magnetic strip known as the Gear Grabber keeps stray hooks from ending up in places they don't belong.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A magnetic strip known as the Gear Grabber keeps stray hooks from ending up in places they don't belong. "I've had that on my last three boats," Crews said. "It's very handy."
Crews keeps the G-Force Cull System from T-H Marine inside a small glove box in front of the passenger seat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews keeps the G-Force Cull System from T-H Marine inside a small glove box in front of the passenger seat.
During a tournament, used plastic baits usually wind up in one spot on the floor of the boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - During a tournament, used plastic baits usually wind up in one spot on the floor of the boat.
Crews' windshield and console serve as a billboard for his many sponsors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews' windshield and console serve as a billboard for his many sponsors.
Crews says the Hot Foot pedal is a
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews says the Hot Foot pedal is a "must-have" for every boat.
He also has a stereo system that he mainly uses for listening to music during practice rounds.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He also has a stereo system that he mainly uses for listening to music during practice rounds.
The all-important cooler.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The all-important cooler.
Under the driver's seat, you'll find a few more miscellaneous items, including a rope, sunglasses and a scale.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Under the driver's seat, you'll find a few more miscellaneous items, including a rope, sunglasses and a scale.
Photo: Seigo Saito
Crews uses a T-H Marine Oxygenator to improve a Bass Cat livewell that he says is already the best on the market.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews uses a T-H Marine Oxygenator to improve a Bass Cat livewell that he says is already the best on the market.
An extra graph from Raymarine is stashed behind the seats, along with a few tools.
Photo: Seigo Saito - An extra graph from Raymarine is stashed behind the seats, along with a few tools.
Crews keeps all of his Gamakatsu hooks in their original packages inside a Ziploc-style storage bag.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews keeps all of his Gamakatsu hooks in their original packages inside a Ziploc-style storage bag. "I can keep a ton of hooks in a small area that way," he said. "They don’t rattle or beat against each other, and there’s no wasted space."
He says you won't find anything but Gamakatsu hooks in his boat.
Photo: Seigo Saito - He says you won't find anything but Gamakatsu hooks in his boat.
This box is filled with Missile Jigs, the Headbanger and Mini-Flip models.
Photo: Seigo Saito - This box is filled with Missile Jigs, the Headbanger and Mini-Flip models.
Here's a look inside the jig box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Here's a look inside the jig box.
The Mini-flip is a compact, finesse-style flipping jig that comes in six colors.
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Mini-flip is a compact, finesse-style flipping jig that comes in six colors.
The Headbanger Jig has a triangular-shaped head. Crews says it'’s an
Photo: Seigo Saito - The Headbanger Jig has a triangular-shaped head. Crews says it'’s an "offshore, structure-type jig."
A box of worm weights is marked on the outside with a Sharpie.
Photo: Seigo Saito - A box of worm weights is marked on the outside with a Sharpie.
An open look at the worm weight box.
Photo: Seigo Saito - An open look at the worm weight box.
Crews runs three Lithium Pro batteries.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Crews runs three Lithium Pro batteries. "All three batteries weigh less than 100 pounds, and that’s about the equivalent of one lead-acid battery," he said. "It takes out the weight of three lead-acid batteries. That takes a ton of weight out of the boat."
The
Photo: Seigo Saito - The "Fishing with a Mission" flag stays atop Crews' light pole. It's part of his efforts to promote autism awareness. "I think autism awareness has increased quite a bit the last three or four years. We've raised thousands of dollars for various autism charities."
Meditation makes the fisherman.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Meditation makes the fisherman.
Like most anglers, he's proud of his ride.
Photo: Seigo Saito - Like most anglers, he's proud of his ride.
Thanks for the tour, John!
Photo: Seigo Saito - Thanks for the tour, John!