DETROIT — It was a rough year for veteran Bassmaster Elite Series pro Todd Faircloth.
After posting a ninth-place finish in the first tournament of the year, on Texas' Sabine River, Faircloth was unable to break the Top 50 for the next five tournaments. He stayed quietly in the background, dropping farther and farther down the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year standings.
He broke his cut curse at Chesapeake Bay, where he finished 17th and cashed his first check in five months. Two weeks later, he slipped up the leaderboard at Lake St. Clair and came from behind on the final day to unseat leader Brandon Palaniuk and claim the trophy.
That win, along with the Top 12 he secured a couple of weeks later at the AOY Championship, put Faircloth on the roster for the 2016 GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro. It will be his 10th consecutive appearance.
Faircloth took to Twitter to answer fans' questions after his victory. Below is the transcript in its entirety.
Welcome, Todd Faircloth, to the B.A.S.S. Twitter chat! Congratulations on your victory on Lake St. Clair!
Thanks for having me and I'm glad to be here! Look forward to the next few minutes!
Todd, what does it feel like midseason when it doesn't look like you're going to make the Classic?
When I was going through that, I went into the last two or three events trying to turn the season into something positive. I wasn't thinking about making the Classic or winning the tournament. I just wanted to end on a positive note.
How did it feel to win at St. Clair?
It's so gratifying that you were able to beat the best in the world those few days. Until you experience it, it's hard to explain. That was the first tournament I won that my family wasn't there. That made it hard.
How do you prepare mentally the day or night before each tournament day?
That's a really good question. I try to have somewhat of a routine, and I think rest is really important. I try to have my tackle done ahead of time so I can get to bed no later than 10:00. I always want to have a game plan ahead of time, each if it changes as the day unfolds.
Todd, how are you preparing for this Classic?
I haven't started preparing for it. I just got back from my last trip, so I haven't started yet. I'm already thinking about it—the tackle and homework, I have to start that. I'm still in awe that I'm in it!
Todd, what was the key difference for you on Lake St. Clair?
What enabled me to win a tournament is I expanded on my area every day. I'd catch a limit, then look outside where I'd been catching them, and I found areas that let me win. I used time to practice. It was valuable to find more areas.
How do you store your soft plastics?
I have some plastic boxes that I keep labeled of each lure, and I have various colors and sizes in each box. Organization is key for fishing. We're pressed for time on the water, so being organized helps you on the water and in tackle prep. It's a big part of getting ready for the year.
Todd, what Elite Series pros do you hang out with on tour?
Hey Mr Faircloth I was fortunate to ride with you at lake Amistad. What would be a good lure for this month out there?
I would go with some type of topwater bait, like a Strike King Sexy Dawg. There should be some type of surface activity, and that would be my choice.
Todd, in light of Mark Davis' recent surgery, what precautions do you take for health and sun protection?
I'm good friends with @MarkDavisAngler I'm definitely going to be more cautious and start wearing the face masks and gloves. I started wearing full length sleeves. I've been good about applying sunscreen the past few years, but we probably had a lot of damage when we were younger. If you're younger, take care of it now.
Todd, who is your favorite B.A.S.S. employee? #PleaseNotTyler
I think probably Trip, Chuck, Max. We spend more time with those guys than anyone else. Sorry, Michael!
That's ok, those guys are my favorite, too!
Todd, if you were building a Fantasy Fishing team for the Classic, which 5 pros would you put on it?
Todd, if people call Kevin VanDam KVD, should we start calling you TFC?
I don't know. That sounds like TLC. Sounds kind of soft!
Todd, thanks for joining us today! Enjoy your time off and we'll see you at the Classic!
Thanks for having me! I enjoyed the interaction and we will see you all in March!