Todd Faircloth reveals his winning approach to fishing tournaments, his fishing heros, and more!
Glenn: Hi I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com and I'm here with Todd Faircloth. Todd, great to have you here today.
Todd Faircloth: Glad to be here.
Glenn: Todd, when you first start scouting the lake and preparing for a tournament, what are some of the things you do and how far in advance do you start doing that?
Todd: Well, we have a 30-day off limits on our tour events so we start doing it before the off limits deal goes on and takes effect and during the off season right before, I'd say around January, that's when I really start getting my fishing stuff in line and getting ready for the upcoming season and the Classic and stuff. I start looking at maps, start gathering information on lakes and just general information.
What's the potential size limit that they catch at certain times of the year that we're going to be there and just kind of getting a feel for it. Doing some research on a lake and seeing what areas of the lake are generally better that time of year and stuff like that. You have to take the season into effect too. Is it pre-spawn, is it spawn that you're going to be there, is it summer? You have to take all of that into consideration when you're doing that and getting ready for those events.
I start going through that mind process where I started really working on my tackle and getting it ready. I'm really thinking about I might use this technique or this bait at this lake or I might use these baits. It's real specific oriented. Then I have my general stuff that I always carry in my boat with me. You always have a spinnerbait, you always have a jig, you always have a Senko. You can't leave home without those. Flat shad too and lipless crankbait.
It's a process that I go through every year and it starts for me after Christmas. That's when I start preparing for the upcoming year, the Classic and everything. I like to deer hunt and I do that in November and October and my gears start to shift after Christmas and I start getting back into the fishing thing and that's when I start preparing.
Glenn: And once you've done all that preparation work, when you first get on the water what do you start doing? Do you just start looking at your graph and spend most of the day motoring around or do you start fishing areas or how do you start taking the lake apart?
Todd: Normally what I do is I'll pick a section of the lake or river or wherever it is that I feel like has the potential to hold a big population of fish. I'm not looking for a single fish, I'm looking for an area that's going to hold population of fish because we're not fishing a 1-day event, we're fishing generally a 3-day event or even a 4-day event.
I'll usually pick a big creek arm, a big flat or like on a delta it would be a big area in a marsh somewhere, maybe an oil field deal or something like that, but an area that has a bunch of canals or something like that. I'll really try to pick that area apart during that day and I'll try different baits. I'll flip some, I'll throw a spinnerbait, throw a moving bait some.
The ideal deal would be to pick up a moving bait and try to cover a bunch of water, but a lot of times fish aren't real aggressive and you have to slow down and flip or throw a worm around or whatever. You have to kind of experiment with all those baits and kind of let the fish tell you what they're wanting and then you go around and look around that general area for areas where you caught fish and you try to duplicate it in that same general area. That way when you go back in the tournament you have multiple spots in that little area there that you can rotate on during the course of that hopefully and you can be more efficient during your fishing day.
Our big deal is time. We've got a certain amount of time where we can catch our five biggest fish. We try to maximize that time. The more you're fishing, the better off you're going to be.
Glenn: So let's say you're in a tournament and things we're panning out the way you thought they would. What's one of the changes you'll make?
Todd: Well one of the first things I'll do is a bait change. If I know there's fish in an area and it's not going and say I caught them flipping the day before and I'm not getting bit flipping, I'll pick up a moving bait for a while and maybe fish more outside of the cover instead of really dissecting it and see if that works. Maybe even do a slight change of color. A lot of times color makes a big difference sometimes, especially at certain times of the year. Those are the two things I would do first. I would either change baits, colors or change the style of bait that I'm using.
Glenn: Okay. You've been a pro for quite a while now, but think back when you first started and tell me what was one of the most surprising things to you that maybe you weren't expecting?
Todd: Well, I think when you go to a different body of water that you've never been to I think it can be overwhelming to somebody that's never been to that body of water. You learn to read water and from all your experience in the past it just comes more naturally to you. As you spend more time out on the water and fishing certain situations, certain lakes and stuff like that, it becomes more natural to you and you have more of a confidence that you've built up from all those previous experiences that you don't feel too uncomfortable going out there tackling something that you haven't been to before.
Glenn: In all these years working to become a much better angler and more organized and better at different techniques, what lessons have you learned that you've been able to apply to your life outside of fishing?
Todd: I think one of the biggest things is patience. Whether that's in the fishing end of it or the sponsorship end of it or whatever and the fishing end of this sport as well as the business end of this sport and I think you have to be patient with both of them. The relationships you build with your sponsors and friends out here on tour, it's the same at home. I have a very good family support base back home.
Being on the road as much as we are I think that's the biggest thing, when you're away from your family that long and knowing that they're okay and having faith that they're back at home supporting what I'm doing out here. It just gives me an inner self-confidence and a good feeling about myself. God has put me here to fish for a living for a reason and that's why I'm here. That's just the inner thing inside me that just makes my heart feel good, that there's a purpose for me being here.
Glenn: Here's what I want to know, who is your fishing hero?
Todd: Well, I would say my dad probably is because he's the one that got me started in it. He's not a big-time tournament fisherman or anything like that, but he's the one that introduced me to the sport, he's the one that got me involved in the sport so he is my fishing hero. Not only that, he's my best friend. It goes hand in hand. We shared a lot of memories out on the lake together and that's irreplaceable.
Glenn: Awesome. What I want to do right now is what's called your shameless plug moment. You can talk about your sponsors as much as you'd like or if you have an upcoming book or DVD or if you just want to say a shout out to your family or your fans out there, whatever you'd like to say, it's up to you.
Todd: I'd just like to say hello to everybody out there and I'm just glad to be here at the Bassmaster Classic in Louisiana and I'm looking forward to getting started out there tomorrow and glad to join you. I look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Glenn: There you have it. Todd Faircloth. I'm Glenn May with BassResource.com.