Seigo Saito, Mike Fox and I are still on the water, capturing images and soaking up the New York sunshine. We've returned to check on Todd Faircloth, just in time to see him cull a bass. He told us he has about 13 1/2 pounds today. If that estimate is correct, he should have nearly 28 pounds all told, counting yesterday's 14-5 limit. That should push him up into the Top 10, assuming BassTrakk has accounted for all the important catches. As Steve Bowman has pointed out, though, only 50 of the competitors' Marshals are equipped with the reporting units, and we are in the dark about some of the leaders from yesterday.
Faircloth is out in front of Bullhead Bay, where the water depth drops from 12 or so feet down to about 17. We're sitting over 17, and I assume he's at the edge, where bass tend to hang out. All his fish are smallies. We think he's throwing a drop shot rig around the drop, although it's impossible to confirm that from a distance.
He's had mixed success on Oneida. He was 23rd with 41-10 in 2009 but 93rd in 2008, the year he was leading the Toyota Tundra Angler of the Race going into the tournament. That enabled Kevin VanDam to take over the top spot and claim the first of his four AOY titles in a row.
Faircloth could redeem that forgettable experience here this year, but Brent Chapman has demonstrated in two days of fishing that he's not about to crash and burn for lack of effort. Still, the AOY race appears to be tightening. At least, it probably won't be decided today.