February 4, 2014 by Gary Mortenson
(Editor's note: Moving forward, FLWOutdoors.com will be unveiling a host of new editorial content focusing exclusively on FLW Tour pros. The latest in that effort is a feature entitled "10 Questions" where FLW editors will attempt to pick the minds of FLW Tour pros by posing questions ranging from the serious to the light-hearted. The ultimate goal is for readers to get to know the thoughts, opinions and personalities of some of the best anglers the sport has to offer).
10 Questions with Koby Kreiger
How did this offseason go for you? What did you spend most of your time doing?
Kreiger: "This offseason was fairly busy for me. We sold our house in Okeechobee and moved to Bokeelia, Fla., on the west coast so that was a pretty big deal. I guide over there so we just thought it made sense to make the move. I also had elbow surgery in September. So far the elbow feels pretty good - I don't have the constant pain that I've had for the last three years. It's basically the same thing that Jason Christie was dealing with so hopefully everything will work out. Right now I'm still being careful with it; I'm trying not to overdo it too much. But other than that, I'm just working to get ready for the season."
What is your take on your performance during the very first Rayovac FLW Series event last January?
Kreiger: "It was okay. The fishing was pretty tough at that particular moment on Lake Okeechobee with the cold weather we had moving in and out. I wish I'd done a little bit better (Kreiger finished in 28th place), but I guess overall it was an okay start to the season."
How do you think Okeechobee will fish during the first FLW Tour event of the season in early February?
Kreiger: " If the weather cooperates and is better than it was in January, I think the fishing could be fantastic. I think a lot of the guys are going to be flipping grass, that's always a consistent technique there, but personally I'm not a big flipper. If I have to go flipping I will, but I'm really a sight-fishing guy and I'm going to desperately try not to flip if I can. There's also a good chance that I'll be throwing some topwater baits as well like a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper - just some baits I can throw and wind."
How's the 2014 FLW Tour schedule shaping up in general for you?
Kreiger: "Looking at the schedule, I think it's probably going to be pretty important for me to get off to a good start. I really like the first three tournaments on the schedule, but the last two are in June and I really seem to struggle during that month. I'm more of a springtime fisherman - I really like to fish before the fish move out into deeper water. I was actually really excited when the first schedule came out and the Kentucky Lake tournament was still in the month of May. But with the changes to the schedule, there are now two tournaments in June so it's a little bit of a bittersweet deal for me. Because of that, I'm going to really need to be in good standing heading into that Pickwick Lake event."
I know the A-rig ban on the FLW Tour this season has been debated in great detail, but what's your take on it?
Kreiger: "I absolutely, 100 percent think the ban on the A-rig is one of the dumbest rules they could have come up with. If they had wanted to put some limitations or modifications on that, I would have had no problem with that because you don't need 17 (baits) on an A-rig like some of the guys were using. But this sport is all about new technology and innovation. There have been a lot of innovations with regard to electronics - Side-scan and Down-scans - as well as the (incorporation) of shallow-water anchors. And when new baits have come out, we've all had to adapt. So to ban the A-rig altogether, I wasn't in favor of that. Most of the people who were complaining about the A-rig were arguing that it helped anglers who didn't catch as many fish as the other guys. Well, that's what this sport is about - everyone catching fish. So to me that argument doesn't make any sense. Also, why is the A-rig only banned on the FLW Tour and not other FLW circuits? And I can tell you right now that the A-rig had absolutely no affect on who qualified for last year's Forrest Wood Cup. So overall, I'm not in agreement with that rule change. But it's the new rule now and we all have to deal with it. It is what it is and there's no use complaining about it."
Once you realize you're not in a position to win an FLW Tour event, who do you root for?
Kreiger: "I'll obviously root for my buddies. But if none of them (are in contention), I'll root for the underdog."
What's the most overused or annoying cliche in bass fishing?
Kreiger: "'I should have won the tournament.' For me, if you're saying you should have won, then you should have won."
What music are you listening to these days?
As one of the veterans on Tour, what's the one thing you know now that you wish you knew when you first started out?
Kreiger: "I actually wish I'd had a crystal ball so I could have seen where the industry as a whole was going. Right now the industry is kind of stagnating a little bit. Entry fees are higher and costs are higher but the payouts - at least percentage wise - are about the same they were three or four years ago. Personally I thought the industry would have been in better shape by now. And I just wish I had been able to forecast that a little bit better than I was able to."
What is the one technique, if any, that you'd like to improve upon? Kreiger: "By far, without a doubt, it would be deepwater fishing. I grew up in the North and we never fished deep. So having the confidence to fish deep when I need to is something I'd really like to get better at."