Making his third Classic appearance, Cliff Crochet is ready to fish.
Cliff Crochet has been a Bassmaster Elite pro since back in 2010. Since that time, Crochet has had seven top 10 finishes, 13 top 20s, and an eye opening 34 top 50s. Simply put, Crochet can find fish when it matters most.
Qualifying for this year’s Classic at Lake Hartwell is just another notch on Crochet’s belt, but this year, he is looking make some moves.
Recently, Crochet was able to spend a few minutes with us and talk about what steps have lead him to his third Classic appearance as well as how he plans to fish it when he gets there.
Coming into this Classic, what plans to do you have to find success on day one?
Cliff Crochet: “This Classic for me, I want to fish shallow. I want to fish power. I want big baits. That’s just how I like to fish, and that’s where my confidence is. I also know I may have to slow down, downsize, and fish some deep water. If it comes down to that, you just have to do what you got to do to win. If my emotions get in the way, personal feelings have no place in the boat. You have got to listen to the fish.”
Speaking of emotions, how hard is it to change your way of thinking based on what the conditions are telling you versus what you think you should be doing?
“You know, for this year, a big hurdle at times was the mental part. I would have a tough day on the first day of the tournament, then come back on day two and three with a good stringer. It’s all about feelings and getting emotional about lures or presentations and being able to put them down and try something new. I know now that is something that really hurt me earlier on in my career. Before when I would have rough first day, I couldn’t make the changes and adjustments.”
What do you think changed in yourself to make that transition to being so open minded about fishing?
“For me, experience is a huge deal, and so is confidence. I have learned to forget everything else. When on the water, I forget this morning, forget yesterday, and just go fishing. I make it all no big deal. When you go fishing, you just might catch a bass.”
The Classic is less than a month. How are you getting yourself ready for the biggest tournament in bass fishing?
“I think I’m approaching this tournament the same way as others. I have a plan, but at the same time I don’t. What I think I might change, from regular season tournaments to this tournament, is I’m going to find areas where I can get bigger bites instead of looking for places where I can get a limit. In a regular tournament you want the limit to get the points. In the Classic, you open your offense up a little sooner. I will also be more efficient. Instead of having three rods with different jerk baits on them, I may have six or eight. Instead of changing line on one rod, I’ll just have three others ready to go. One thing I know, you get better at the Classic the more you go. The first one is all excitement. It’s a big deal. Your second one lets you be more focused on the tournament instead of the hoopla. Now this year, I’m even more focused.”
Look for Cliff Crochet at this year’s Classic, February 20th – 22nd in Greenville, South Carolina giving Lake Hartwell everything he has. Hopefully for Crochet, it’s enough to take the top spot.