When it comes to bass pros’ personalities and tendencies on the water, most fishing fans know pretty much all there is to know about their favorite anglers. And yet, how many times have you read an article touting KVD’s love for power-fishing or Denny Brauer’s supernatural mastery of a jig.
We get it: KVD likes to fish fast. Denny knows a thing or two about flipping. And that Rojas guy has a borderline-creepy obsession with a member of The Muppets. Surprise, surprise.
One of the basic rules we try to follow at Bass Parade is never telling you anything you already know, or writing anything you’ve already read 5,000 times before. And that’s how our “5 Things You Didn’t Know About…” series was born. Virginia pro John Crews gets the honor of being our guinea pig… err, esteemed inaugural guest…in this new, ongoing feature.
So, here you go. Five things you [hopefully] didn’t know about the Crews missile.
1. “I quit playing basketball in high school because it was cutting into hunting season.”
Crews was a three-sport athlete (baseball, golf and basketball) for most of his high school career, until he ditched the hardwood in favor of the tree stand. “I was pretty competitive in golf and baseball,” he said. “I played varsity baseball all four years of high school, and I was the No. 2 seed on the golf team. I really enjoyed basketball too, but I decided I’d had enough of that my junior year because the basketball season was always cutting into my hunting time.
“There’s definitely a lot of parallels between stick-and-ball sports and competitive fishing. The biggest similarity is how big a factor mental preparation is in your success. But with fishing, there’s not a light switch you can just flip on. In baseball, you can change one little aspect of your swing and all of a sudden you’re hitting it out of the park. Fishing isn’t like that. Everything is more of a process.”
2. “I’m a neat freak.”
If you ever step foot on Crews’ boat don’t expect to find a bunch of random tackle wadded up in a plastic sack and stuffed into a dark corner of his rod locker. He likes to keep things neat, organized and ready-for-action.
“A lot of pros just have everything jumbled up in their boatsâ€”that doesn’t work for me,” he said. “I have a specific place for everything, and I know exactly where every item in my boat is at all times. A lot of the marshals that get on my boat during tournaments talk about how organized everything is. I never really thought about it because I’ve always been that way, but evidently my boat is a lot cleaner and more organized than most of the other guys on tour.
“That’s just my personality. I’ve got to have a place and a reason for everything I have and doâ€”(and) it’s not just like that on my boat. I’m like that with all aspects of my life.”
3. “I’m a dedicated family man.”
“A lot of people think because I’m a young guy fishing professionally that I’m not tied down. I’m not sure where that comes from because I’m very much a family man. I try to make it home in between tournaments every chance I get to see my wife and kids, and they usually make it to at least a couple events a year. The time away from family is definitely the most difficult part of this job, but we make it work.”
4. “I burn 2,600 calories during an 8-hour tournament day.”
It’s obvious that John is in shape. But if you think his build is all genetics, you’re way off. He follows an extremely strict diet and workout regimen.
“I’ve always been pretty strict with my diet and exercise, but over the last few years I’ve really gotten serious about how many calories I burn on the water and how to stay sharp mentally and physically during tournaments,” he said. “I burn an average of about 2,600 calories during an 8-hour tournament day, and that’s just while I’m on the water. That’s not counting the energy I’m burning before or after competition time, so it all adds up pretty fast.
“I see my fitness as a huge advantage during a tournament. There are a handful of guys that take it seriously, like I do, but there are lots of other guys who don’t really seem to pay much attention to it. I’m definitely not going to try and educate the other anglers on how to take care of themselves. If they don’t think it’s an important part of their success, that’s fine by me. I’ll take that advantage.”
5. “I love coaching youth sports.”
“My stepson is 11-years-old and he’s turning out to be a pretty good athlete. The way my schedule works out I’m usually home during most of football season, so I’ve been helping coach his team for the past few years. It’s a lot of fun, and with me being a little younger than some of the other coaches [Crews is 32] I think I relate to the kids pretty well.”
When asked if any of the kids he coaches ever recognize him, he said: “Yeah, every now and then I’ll get a kid come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I saw you on TV last week!’ And I’ve had a few kids ask me, ‘Aren’t you that fishing guy?’ But to most of them, I’m just another coach.”
> Crews just finished up a little scouting mission for the upcoming New Orleans Classic. He was understandably tight-lipped with what he found and how he thinks the derby will play out, but he did manage to catch his first redfish, a 30-incher. “Everyone says they pull so much harder than bass, but I think pound-for-pound, they’re about the same.” [I have to disagree on that one, John!]
> On the new B.A.S.S. ownership: “They’re on the right track. I think they’ve got a lot of roadblocks to get where they want to go, and I think they know that. Moving things from concept to reality is tough to do. But with that said, I think those are about the best three guys we could have running B.A.S.S. I’m optimistic.”
> About Dave Mercer being named the new B.A.S.S. emcee: “I think he’ll do just fine. He’s bright, interesting, funny and he’s very good at marketing his own brand. He’s done a great job at the Toyota Texas Bass Classic events, so I think he’s a good man for the job.”