I was really impressed with Faircloth in the hour or so that I spent with him this morning. When he first began getting a lot of attention back in 2008, during that Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race, he was fresh to the media attention being poured on. As a relative quiet Texan, that must not have been easy. However, it's evident the experience has been good for him.
I shot a few segments for the War Room this weekend and Faircloth was open and talkative about his history on Oneida, his year in 2012 and anything else I asked him. He joked with me a bit and was really calm on the water. It's always hard as an angler to balance being open and friendly with the media and fishing hard "in the zone" all day on the water. A few anglers do it really well and Faircloth is slowly becoming one of them.
As for his Day One, Faircloth already sits with an average limit over 11 pounds. Now, he told me, his plan is to go after a few bigger bites that can move him up the leaderboard. In practice, the shallow bite was sporadic, so it's hard to justify spending all day doing it. But with 11 pounds in the boat, a 4-pound kicker from the shallows makes a huge difference.
We'll see how that plays out for him in the second half of the day.