Kriet bushwacked 3/23/2006
At the recent Rayburn Bassmaster Elite Series event, Jeff Kriet was bushwacked by poachers – hole poachers. Granted he was fishing an area (known as the Deer Stand) that gets a lot of local pressure. But it sounds like courtesy was out the window.
"I slid in there the first day and caught 18 pounds real quick," Kriet said, so he was in a good spot (22nd) in the standings. Locals were watching, and on day 2 he went back and "had no less than 20" local boats with him, he said.
"I figured I'd have some pressure in there, but normally people will back off and give you a little leeway. This was unbelievable. These guys were catching big ones, holding them up and were keeping them all. There were times when I could flip to one guy's boat in the front of me and another guy's in the back of me."
Here's an illustrative anecdote: "This is no lie. I missed a fish, and turned around to get another Senko. I felt my line, and it was kind of frayed. Before I could retie and put another bait on, a guy slid in behind me, fished the same stump and caught that fish.
"It was so bad. I've never been so frustrated in my life. It was unbelievable.
"I had a mental breakdown," he added. "If I hadn't been running a wrapped boat with my name on it and all that, I would've self-destructed."
He said he felt it was pointless talking to the other boats, which apparently were not fishing a tournament. "They were local guys on spring break, and were saying things like, 'Maybe we ought to be in the tournament.'
"It was the most sickening thing I've ever seen in my life," Kriet said. "I should have just left. I shouldn't even have tried to go back in there (on day 2)."
He ended up 59th, less than a pound out of the money. "All I had to do was catch 10 pounds to make 10 grand, and I caught 9," he said.
Bummer Kriet was on my fantasy team.