March 08, 2013
Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com
Major League Fishing angler Jeff Kriet, of Ardmore, Oklahoma, is considered one of the most consistent pros on the B.A.S.S. Elite Series circuit. In one out of every four events, he finishes in the Top 20. He’s that steady. Uncharacteristically, Kriet missed the Bassmaster Classic this year. What grates on him, however, is not so much that he missed qualifying for the Classic. It’s how he missed it. Entering the final Elite Series event at Oneida Lake comfortably inside the Classic cutline, Kriet earned an unthinkable 75th place to fall out of Classic contention. He considers 2012 a lesson learned.<
It killed me to miss the Classic. And the worst part of it is that I blew it. I went into the last tournament in 21st or 22nd place. I didn’t even have to make the cut to qualify.
It was one of those deals where I did the same thing I did the last few years. I looked at the last three seasons. As we went into the last few events of the season, I was up near the Top 10. But I always fell back at the end. I never missed the Classic until this year, but I did drop back.
Well, I think I learned a lesson.
There was no doubt I had a bad attitude the last few tournaments last season. I just let things get to me. It was mostly little things that were completely out of my control, but I still let them eat at me. Like, for example, at Green Bay they made all the good water off limits. As a result, we all ended up fishing on top of each other. It doesn’t make sense to let something like that bother you, because everybody was fishing under the same rules. But I just didn’t handle it well.
I’m my own worst critic. I beat the hell out of myself when I don’t do well. It gets in my head. You know, if you’re satisfied when things don’t go well, that’s not good. But I’m bad to take it too far the other way and carry it onto the water.
I’ll tell you another thing. I give everybody too much credit, and I don’t give myself enough.
Major League Fishing is a good example of that. I’ve done pretty good at MLF, but sometimes I think those other guys are so good I don’t know if I should be competing with them. But I have competed with them.
And I’ve learned a lot in MLF that’s going to help me this year on the Elite Series. In a B.A.S.S. event, I usually get a game plan and don’t vary too much. But MLF has forced me out of my comfort zone. I’ve had to made quick decisions.
This year, I’m setting some specific goals and basing those goals on being consistent. And not going to drop off at the end of the year.