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Day On The Lake with Jeff Kriet

4/3/2009

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

The concept behind "Day On The Lake" is to put a Bassmaster Elite Series pro on a completely unfamiliar lake and see if he can find fish in a limited amount of time.

The shaky head is one lure that Elite Series pro Jeff Kriet always has tied on and in his boat, and he utilized it to perfection on Lake Degray in Arkansas in early springtime conditions on his "Day on the Lake."

"There is never a day when I am fishing that I don't have one rigged up in my boat," Kriet said. "I don't always throw it, but I'll have it rigged up. I'll throw it in the summer, around docks or in cold water."

Cold water is exactly what he found on Lake Degray and after struggling early trying to find a jig or jerkbait bite, Kriet went to his confidence bait in the shaky head and managed to boat over a dozen fish before his day ended.

"I dialed in a focused on one small section of the lake," Kriet said. "I think I could have really caught them good the next day if I went back out because I could have run that pattern around the lake."

Even though at the time, Kriet focused on transition banks with the shaky head, he insists that the shaky head is an anywhere, anytime bait. The only time he doesn't recommend it is for fishing around grass because the head will foul and get hung.

Kriet uses a signature series 6-foot, 10-inch Castaway spinning rod that has a nice bend to it. According to Kriet, anglers need to stay away from a stiffer rod.

Another important detail in shaky head fishing is light fluorocarbon line. Kriet recommends 6-pound HI-SEAS fluorocarbon and he never goes higher than 8-pound.

The real key though is the shaky head itself. For a head, Kriet has worked with Jewel on a prototype head that is made to his specifications down to every detail.

"Most people's mistake on a shaky head is that they throw way too heavy wire and far too big hook," Kriet said. "When you are throwing 6-pound line and catching them deep, you can't set the hook hard enough. I want a hook so light it would scare most people."

As far a size goes, Kriet doesn't look heavier than 1/8-ounce.

"I throw a 1/8-ounce head 75 percent of the time and a 1/16-ounce head 25 percent of the time," Kriet said. "There are times when that is really the deal — when they are hitting it on the fall. Around docks, when they are getting a lot of pressure, you can skip that up around docks and that slow fall is deadly.

"If you have to throw a ¼-ounce head, there is probably a bait they will bite better."

For a worm, Kriet throws a Big Bite Baits Squirrel Tail worm, named after Kriet's nickname he was give by Kevin VanDam.

"I wanted a worm that had a tail that stands up," Kriet said. "That tail is made to float, just the end of the worm. When I shake it and pull it, whenever I hit a rock, twig or trash, that is when I'll throw slack in my line and try to shake it without moving it. The floating tail has a subtle, tantalizing quiver that fish can't resist."

Kriet also took time to dispel the myth that a shaky head is a small-fish bait.

"I've caught some 9- and 10-pounders on a shaky head," Kriet said. "The biggest I weighed in this week on Wheeler was on a shaky head. They will bite that when they won't bite anything else."

Kriet's parting advice on throwing a shaky head focused on the hookset.

"Most of the time when one bites a shaky head, it's not going to drop it," Kriet said. "I don't smoke them, I just lean into it, and that is one of the reasons I want the light-wire hook. This shaky head deal is something that I feel I am pretty good at and I think this will be the best shaky head ever made."

• For "Day On The Lake" photo galleries, click here.

"Day On The Lake" airs every Saturday at 8:00 a.m. ET on ESPN2.