Top tips from Todd Faircloth

Record crowds were out at the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series Sabine River Challenge presented by STARK Cultural Venues to see Todd Faircloth win a decisive victory over his peers in the first Elite Series event of the season. It was his second win in less than one year.

After Faircloth's triumph last summer on the Mississippi River, he answered fan questions through a Twitter chat here, doling out advice and telling the story of his Mighty Mississippi win. He did the same thing again today following his Sabine River victory, answering multiple questions about the best techniques or lures to use given certain conditions.

What follows is a transcript of today's Twitter chat, lightly edited for spelling and clarity. You can check out Twitter chat transcripts from other pros, including Cliff Pace, Chris LaneMike IaconelliKevin VanDamAaron MartensBoyd DuckettJonathon VanDamBrent ChapmanRandy HowellIsh MonroeBrandon PalaniukJeremy Starks and Alton Jones.

Keep up with Twitter chats, tournament news and bass fishing advice by following B.A.S.S. on Twitter at @BASS_Nation.

 

Bassmaster

Welcome, Todd Faircloth! Congratulations on your win on the Sabine, and thanks for joining us today for the chat.

 

Todd Faircloth

Thanks @Bass_nation! I appreciate it. Glad to be here.

 

 

Ken Truffen

Todd, if you had to choose one bait for spring bass would you go with jerkbait, crank or drop shot?

Todd Faircloth

I'd probably go with a crankbait because it's a more flexible lure. You can use it in clean, stained or dirty water.

 

Spotmonkey ‏@sptmnky

It was great 2 be a Marshal on Todd's boat last year @lakeshelbyville Do u like the Marshal program as a pro?

Todd Faircloth

I like the Marshal program. We get a lot of people that want to learn to use different techniques & fish a tournament. It’s a great for someone trying to learn more about the sport to get an up close and personal experience.

 

Tyler Reed ‏@twreed

Todd, you're a rather quiet guy. What's something you think most fans don't know about you?

Todd Faircloth

I used to be a carpenter for my dad growing up. I worked for him before I started fishing tournaments.

 

Reginald Skinner ‏@regskinner

Hey Todd, is braid for crankbaits the next trend?

Todd Faircloth

I’m not sure if it’s the next trend, but there are certain situations I will use braid for cranking. But, there will always be a spot for fluorocarbon and mono.

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

How did you rig the caffiene shad on the sabine?

Todd Faircloth

I was rigging it Texas rig style with a 1/16-ounce weight in front with 30-pound Sunline braid. And, I swam it through the grass and some pads. Those were the better areas.

 

Dennis Sharrett ‏@dsharrett55

How about bringing me along for a practice day sometime throughout the year?

Todd Faircloth

Well, if B.A.S.S. rules would allow it, I would. But during official practice, we aren't allowed to do that.

Dennis Sharrett ‏@dsharrett55

I'll travel to fish with you somewhere for an "unofficial day on the lake!" Let's go!

Todd Faircloth

Alright, sounds good!

 

Kris Steele ‏@KristofordHayes

Who is Todd Faircloth’s college Bball team?

Todd Faircloth

Texas Longhorns

Kris Steele ‏@KristofordHayes

It should be kentucky wildcats all day #bbn

 

Jody White ‏@vtbasser

Do you prefer dogs or cats?

Andy ‏@slumpgumpy

Hey Todd, real quick! Are you a dog or a cat person?? Great win by the way

Todd Faircloth

Definitely dogs.

Andy ‏@slumpgumpy

I knew he was a Lab guy. I knew it, Jody!!!

 

Jennifer Dome ‏@BhamJen

Hi, Todd! It seems like Sabine is a HUGE fishery. How did you decide how far to run? Were you worried about timing?

Todd Faircloth

It’s a vast body of water, but there weren’t any boundaries. I spent time getting familiar with different areas.

 

Jennifer Dome ‏@BhamJen

Hi, Todd! It seems like Sabine is a HUGE fishery? How did you decide how far to run? Were you worried about timing?

Todd Faircloth

The area I found was the most fertile. I always try to give myself extra time coming in when I’m making big runs.

 

Jody White ‏@vtbasser

What is your favorite color (general purpose, not lure color)?

Todd Faircloth

Blue.

 

Aaron Anders ‏@AJPAnders

Todd, how will winning the first event of the year change your approach to the rest of the season? You are on quite a roll!

Todd Faircloth

The way I go about my practice and how I fish, I'm not going to change. The only thing is I don't have that pressure of trying to qualify for Classic. That would free me up a little in a tourney I have a chance to win.

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

When do you find that the use of square billed crankbaits are important on the water? I’ve been working a lot of vegetation flats.

Todd Faircloth

If you're fishing vegetation, the depth at which it will run be determined by your line size. Pay attention to line diameter and the depth of grass you're fishing. And, you're welcome!

 

Taylor Woodall ‏@WoodallTaylor

How are you catchin the fish? What's your favorite lure to use this time of year?

Todd Faircloth

I caught 85% on @StrikeKingLures Swimming Caffeine Shad, pearl/bluegill back or watermelon red/crystal belly. The other was @StrikeKingLures 5-inch Ocho. Every fish was on those two lures. This time of year I'd go with a 5-inch green pumpkin Ocho.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Big fan Todd any tips on picking flipping baits like when should i use a jig or creature bait etc

Todd Faircloth

It depends on the lake you're fishing & the water clarity & on the size of fish that are in that body of water.

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

There is an abundant supply of 3-5 but i know theres a 10lber in there. few foot visibility to muddy water 2 acres at most.

 

matthew o'dillon ‏@jmodie88

What is the biggest fish you have ever caught and on what lure?

Todd Faircloth

I caught an 11 1/2-pounder on Toledo Bend on a lipless crankbait.

 

Jennifer Dome ‏@BhamJen

So, Todd, do you have anything exciting planned for your Sabine winnings? Maybe a new car?!!

Todd Faircloth

Actually, we're trying to buy some land here in Jasper. We don't have it picked out yet.

Jennifer Dome ‏@BhamJen

That's great! So, what other Elite Series tournament are you most looking forward to competing in this year?

Todd Faircloth

I'd probably say the Mississippi River. I won there last year and had a great time. It fits my style pretty well.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

What's your thoughts using "California style" baits in small private lakes? Like an Uptons 19" worm or a big Hudd?

Todd Faircloth

If the smaller lakes offer big fish, then yeah! Generally, if you're using those you're targeting the heaviest.

 

Joe Opager ‏@JoeOpager

Hey Todd, you're stuck on a deserted island with one other pro of your choosing... who do you pick and why?

Jody White ‏@vtbasser

And, what are your weapons of choice?

Todd Faircloth

I don't know if I'd want to be stuck on an island with any of them for any length of time! I think we'd get along for 2 to 3 weeks but that's all! I could fend them off pretty well with a Castaway 7-foot Mag rod. It would be heavy action too.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Do you like to mix things up and fish for other species such as carp or gar?

Todd Faircloth

Yeah, I fish for other species! I love to take the kids crappie fishing. Jeff Kriet has an offshore boat, and I go there once or twice a year with him.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

When fishing deep clear water like Lake Lanier how do you catch them when they are anywhere from 1-90' any tips?

Todd Faircloth

It's hard to beat a drop shot. You can fish it vertically or cast it to targets. I would put a Strike King finesse worm on the business end of it.

 

Jason May ‏@jason_may1

How would you approach a lake you have never been to? How can an angler break it down quicker.

Todd Faircloth

Depending on the stage of spawn, I'll choose where to start -- main lake or creeks, coves or pockets. Then I take a section and spend my entire day there trying to figure out what depths & techniques are working

 

phitencygan ‏@Chris_Cygan

Swim bait setup preferences?

Todd Faircloth

I like to use 20lb Sunline Shooter & 7'6" Castaway rod & Shimano Calcutta 200 or 300 reel - it holds more line.

phitencygan ‏@Chris_Cygan

Thanks! I have the Douglas open next week and needed a new setup!

 

Dominic Turcott ‏@Dturcott27

I will be fishing Lake Okeechobee next week and how should i spend my time there this time of year? Flippin? wacky?

Todd Faircloth

There's always a good flippin' bite on Lake Okeechobee.  There should be eelgrass and hydrilla. Throw a topwater or a @StrikeKingLures Red Eye Shad.

 

matthew o'dillon ‏@jmodie88

If you could have one bait to finish out the season what would it be?

Todd Faircloth

I'd go with the @StrikeKingLures 5-inch green pumpkin Ocho.

 

TheBassPunk ‏@TheBassPunk

Alton or Dean?

Todd Faircloth

I wasn't there. No response.

TheBassPunk ‏@TheBassPunk

understandable #toobusywinning

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Yeah, I always have a jig tied on and a crankbait! Those are the two best baits. What would be your two best baits?

Todd Faircloth

I'll go with @StrikeKingLures 1.5 crankbait (sexy shad) & a @StrikeKingLures 1/2 oz. black-and-blue jig.

 

Alton Jones ‏@JonesProFishing

Hey Todd, congrats on your well-deserved victory. Not only are you a great angler, you are a great man!

Todd Faircloth

Thanks! Likewise!

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Any good ways to target Crappie from a 1 acre lake where the bass are also abundant. there are some slabs in there

Todd Faircloth

I like to use 6- or 4-pound line, black/chartreuse mini jig. Once you catch one, replicate everything you did.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

I started fishing the Ocmulgee River because I go to Mercer Unv. any tips on fishing in muddy water with current?

Todd Faircloth

Fish shallow, and use a big, bulky bait like a 3/8 or 1/2-ounce jig.

 

David Bell ‏@bellfishingspot

What are your expectations for Bull Shoals? Will you look for an area to fish or a special spot like Brandon found last year?

Todd Faircloth

I will be looking for an area to fish, and hope to find specific spots within that area. There were lots of fish caught last year. I'm excited about it.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Water 2-5 feet up from normal. cold40-50 degrees and muddy water small ponds 1/2 acre at most to large lakes? baits and techniques

Todd Faircloth

I would fish the original bank line. I'd use some type of Texas rigged Ocho or stickworm with 1/8oz weight on it.

 

Lane Kindle ‏@LaneKindle

Hey Todd, what size hook were you throwing with that caffeine shad? Looked like a shark hook!

Todd Faircloth

It was a 5/0 offset VMC. It was a heavy gauge wire, and that's important.

 

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Cold and warm front conditions? Tips, baits, techniques? Pre front, during and post front?

Todd Faircloth

A @StrikeKingLures RedEye Shad will get a reaction bite and cover a lot of water during, pre or post front.

Elliot Noll ‏@Bassassin69

Thanks Mr. Faircloth, you’re such an amazing fisherman and guy thanks for all the tips best of luck in your season

Todd Faircloth

I appreciate it, and thanks for the questions! Hopefully, I've helped you out a bit.

 

Bassmaster ‏

Thank you, fans, for joining, and we appreciate you, Todd, for taking the time to chat with us today!

Todd Faircloth

I appreciate everyone interacting today! I enjoyed the questions, and good luck with your fishing!

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