2013 Elite Series West Point Lake Battle West Point Lake - LaGrange, GA, May 2 - 5, 2013

2013 West Point Lake Battle Live Blog

Bait change for Faircloth

7:38 am EDT, May 5, 2013

Faircloth switches to a small popper. He moves down the bank working it with subtle twitches. He changes to some type of soft plastic bait and slowly bumps it over the bottom.


After a few casts, he pulls up and makes a short run to the back of another shallow pocket. He pitches something to a lone shallow boat dock, then goes back to twitching the surface over the brown, flooded bank grass. We can't see his lure clearly through the mist rising from the water's surface. It could be some type of soft plastic bait.


Jacobson is snapping away with his camera begging for action. Nothing yet.

Aaron's start

7:21 am EDT, May 5, 2013

According to Seigo, Aaron Martens is starting strong this morning.

His text: Aaron got his first keeper about a pound on same spot he started yesterday

Faircloth and Pace in Half Moon

7:17 am EDT, May 5, 2013

We follow Todd Faircloth and Cliff Pace into Half Moon Creek. Pace sets down first. We pass him and stay with Faircloth.


Faircloth pulls into a short, quiet pocket and starts out casting what appears to be a soft jerkbait. He's fishing over the bank grass that was flooded when the lake level came up. He's twitching the bait gently.


It's colder this morning, the mid 40s, but so far it's calm and dry. It's much nicer weather-wise for now.


Faircloth suddenly swings and misses. He misses again on his next cast. He doesn't look to be flustered. He is known for having a cool head.

Pete Ponds' start

7:12 am EDT, May 5, 2013

Pete Ponds starting off the day with two quick keepers. One is a good one. He is fishing a drain with moving current from the heavy rains yesterday, reports camera boat driver Craig Monin.

Waiting for Faircloth

6:57 am EDT, May 5, 2013

We are idling out of Perch Creek at daybreak. "We" are ace photographer Darren Jacobson, boat driver John Snyder, West Point guide extraordinary, and Mark Hicks. That's me.


We're waiting for Todd Faircloth to pass us so we can tailgate him to Half Moon Creek where he bagged a nice limit yesterday.


As we wait, an armada of bass boats races past. It's a local bass tournament. Several of the boats turn into Half Moon Creek. Looks like Faircloth is going to have company. That could have a negative impact on his fishing.


There goes Faircloth! Here we go after him!

My day as a Marshal

9:16 pm EDT, May 4, 2013

Photo by Don Barone 


You may have seen in an earlier post that I was pulled into emergency Marshal service because Kevin Short's Marshal didn't show up. In the photo, that's Kevin on the left and me on the right, shortly before the Day 3 weigh-in. This was my first time working as a Marshal. It was a cool experience despite the fact that it rained the entire 9 hours we were on the water. My Carhartt rain gear kept me dry and I got to watch an Elite angler up close and personal. Here are a few things I learned today:

  • When riding in a boat going 65 miles-per-hour, raindrops feel like birdshot pellets hitting your face.
  • Kevin did not take a break the entire day. He was relentless, and at the same time methodical and patient, mentioning several times the importance of slowing down. For me, he was the consumate pro.
  • Despite long chunks of time, 2-3 hours without a fish bite, Kevin kept a positive attitude and a good sense of humor.
  • Kevin does not eat much while fishing. For the 9 hours we were on the water, he ate one protein bar and drank about 10 ounces of water. 
  • If you'd like to sign up to be an Elite series Marshal, click here

Thanks for a great day Kevin! 

A limit for Ponds

2:46 pm EDT, May 4, 2013

Office under the bridge

2:15 pm EDT, May 4, 2013


I don’t often blog. Well … actually, I never blog because it’s not what I get paid to do. But this one and only blog is about a blogger. As often is the case, today I had Steve Wright blogging in the boat with me. We were chasing Aaron Martens all over the lake, running and gunning.


There were two problems with that: Laptops and heavy rain don’t mix, and Aaron was moving so often there was no time to finish a blog before he would make another move. He eventually moves to a bridge, which is where I deposited my blogging friend, Steve Wright, and all his ‘blogging stuff’ for the remainder of the day. It was a nice, dry place for Wright to work. I continued to follow Martens and called him with updates.


Wright apparently had lots of company come by his temporary office (Skeet, KVD, Hank Cherry, etc.), and it seemed to work out pretty good. Now I’m through blogging and back to my real job. Got to make another move, my blogging is over. Wright … I’ll call you and let you know what’s up with Martens. 


(One more quick note: If you find my life jacket that Wright left under the bridge, leave it there. I'll be back to get it in the morning. But I won't be blogging...no sir).

Hammered by rain

2:08 pm EDT, May 4, 2013


The whole state of Georgia is getting hammered by this giant rain system today. While it has been real tough on our anglers it could always be worse: Check out what the NASCAR fans are having to deal with at a campsite just down the road from us at the Talladega Super Speedway.

Where's Faircloth?

1:29 pm EDT, May 4, 2013

We had gotten word that Todd Faircloth had a solid limit and that he was fishing up Yellow Jacket Creek. We took off in search of him through hammering rain. Three miles up the creek we came across Cliff Pace. He was casting to a wooded bank. He took off before we got close enough to ask how he was doing. It's enough to give a guy a complex.


We ventured farther up Yellow Jacket, which is the direction that Pace went in. The next time we saw him he was offshore and casting to a submerged road bed. He was fishing a slow bottom-bumping bait.


Kevin VanDam calls Pace a "dragger." He likes Pace but distains his slow-pace fishing style. That doesn't phase Pace. He dragged his way to a win in the Bassmaster Classic last February.


BASSTrakk had Pace in fifth place with a 10-7 limit. We continued on in search of Faircloth. We never found him, but we did run across Marty Robinson casting to a small cluster of cypress trees. He had three in the box.