Save it for the Classic

Todd Faircloth holds an Angelina River hawg.


Todd Faircloth was a week early for his tastes.


He recently  caught an 8.5-pound largemouth out of the Angelina River near his home in Jasper, Texas. Such a fish could pay huge dividends if he had caught it during the Classic.


“Just fishing with my dad down there, just messing around,” he said. “We had been catching quite a few fish, but nothing like that. It’s by far the biggest fish I ever caught in the river.”


Faircloth was fine-tuning some new swim jigs he hopes to use on the Red River, and hopefully with a similar outcome.


“That’d be nice,” he said of the prospect of hauling such a fish to the CenturyLink Center stage. “It’d definitely be a difference-maker, a real game-changer.”


While he was surprised to catch such a hawg on Angelina, Faircloth added, “I’ve never caught one like that on the Red River, either.”


In December, Faircloth rode around a bit on the Red River, which is about 2 ½ hours from his home. His first day of practice Friday left a lot to be desired.


“It was a struggle for me. I didn’t find anything that really impressed me,” he said. “I think the river is going to stabilize a little. It’s been high and they’re pulling it down. The water color is a lot dirtier than ’09; it’s low 50s to mid 50s.”


He knows there’s a gully washer coming, but he hopes the rain coming tonight and Saturday falls only in the watershed’s southern portions.


 “When it rains above (Shreveport), all that stuff comes down,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t get a bunch of rain north of us. When we do, that’s when it gets ugly.”


Saturday is the second of three practice days, then the water is off limits until the final day of practice Wednesday. There is time for conditions to improve by the first competition day on Friday.


“It’s just not going to be a real good day to go fishing tomorrow,” he said. “Cold, cloudy, and rainy. This time of year, you like to have a little sunshine, especially in the afternoon.”


Practicing in the rain can be counterproductive, Faircloth said, especially if an angler goes through an area that has a lot of fish and they don’t bite.


“The problem is you could fish over some fish tomorrow,” he said. “I’m not going to sleep in. You never know, you could stumble on to something. I’m going to go out and try.”

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