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Hook sets, swimbaits and vegetation

Todd Faircloth advised anglers on when to use swimbaits, how to get solid hook sets and what to look for in vegetation.

After a super-close second place following a final-day rally at the first stop of the 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series season, many fans felt that Todd Faircloth was due for a win. And with Faircloth’s solid performance on the Mississippi River, fans got exactly what they wanted. Plus, the season’s not over yet; he’s currently sitting in third place in the 2012 Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year race.

Today, fans got to ask the longtime pro anything during the B.A.S.S. Twitter chat. Below is a transcript of today’s conversation.

Also, check out transcripts of previous Twitter chats we’ve had with Brent Chapman, Randy Howell, Ish Monroe, Brandon Palaniuk, Jeremy Starks and Alton Jones.


BASS_nation Welcome, Todd Faircloth! Congratulations on your win on the Mississippi River.

Faircloth: Thanks a lot! It was a nail-biter right there at the end. It turned out for the best. I was happy to share it with my family.


EliteBassin87 How do you go about breaking down a lake with a lot of coontail?

Faircloth: The way I fish a lake with any type of grass is by concentrating on drop-offs, points and creek channels.

Faircloth: I would focus efforts on the outside edges and bottom contours.

Faircloth: Keep in mind, the fish use the grass as cover and follow the contours of the bottom.


SleepyD2279 Todd, would you say it’s important for an up-and-coming angler fishing the Opens as a co-angler to have sponsorship?

Faircloth: As a co-angler, you are learning how to fish in tournaments so having a sponsorship is not necessary.

Faircloth: But starting relationships with those companies early on is a good idea.


MK_Bassfishing Congrats on the win Faircloth! What’s your take on the next Elite Series stop in NY on Lake Oneida?

Faircloth: Thank you very much! I expect it to be a great tournament. The weights should be pretty tight.

Faircloth: Expect anything above 12- to 14-pound bags, so if I can pull those weights, I should be on the top of the leaderboard.


MK_Bassfishing Why were those grass flats flat key to your success down in La Crosse? And how were you able to find that key area of yours?

Faircloth: The first morning of practice I found my starting spot. It was the biggest grass flat I saw running down the river.

Faircloth: On the third morning of practice I found my second spot. It had water clarity and flow, which were crucial.

Faircloth: There were a lot of bream in both areas.


BhamJen Todd, can you tell us what was going through your mind on the last day of the Mississippi River Rumble?

Faircloth: The morning started off really well, but I struggled the rest of the day. I thought I had lost the tournament.

Faircloth: It was a big change of events when they handed me the trophy.

BhamJen I bet that felt like the best moment ever! Congrats!! Have you and the family done anything special to celebrate?

Faircloth: We took the family to the lake after we got back, and spent the weekend tubing and fishing.


MattWheeler97 In general do you think bass like hydrilla or milfoil better?

Faircloth: Hydrilla. It just seems to be a more fertile grass. It’s good, though, if you can find a mixture of both.

MattWheeler97 Ok thanks! Congrats on your win!


AdamWohlwend I fished pool 8 last weekend and caught fish but not many bigger fish. Any advice for more quality fish in pool 8?

Faircloth: I would stick with the Yamamoto Kreature. Not as many bites, but quality will be better.


bassthumbs Hey Todd, congrats on the win! Can you tell us a little about your pre-fish strategy?

Faircloth: Thanks. I try to keep it simple in practice, not cover too much water and focus on a certain part of the water


FightinNole Can swimbaits be used effectively in the fall, and if so, which types are best along with conditions?

Faircloth: Yes preferably on cloudy, windy days. The clearer the water, the better. You want at least 3 feet of clarity.

Faircloth: I would stick with a Sebile Magic Swimmer or any hollow body swimbait.


BASS_nation From Facebook fan Nick Counts: Do you think it is better to be good at many techniques or perfect a few and truly fish your strengths?

Faircloth: I think it’s better to be good at many different techniques at our level. If possible, fish your strengths.


BASS_nation From Facebook fan Buddy Ellis: Why doesn’t the hydrilla come back on Rayburn?

Faircloth: I think with the lake being low for a couple of years then coming up real fast set it back a lot.


ChazMiller479 What size rod did you use when fishing the frog around the thick grass mats?

Faircloth: A 7-3 Castaway Skeleton series rod.


MK_Bassfishing What has allowed you to compete at a high level for all these years? And what did this win mean to you as one of the top anglers?

MK_Bassfishing What does this win mean to you compared to the other wins you have managed to stockpile in your successful career?

Faircloth: You have to have your family’s support at home. Surround yourself with good sponsorships.

Faircloth: Don’t take any win for granted; they are all special.

Faircloth: It’s difficult to win at the level we are at. We are fishing for four days so you have to execute flawlessly.


ryanjayr Hey Todd! I have an FLW college tourney on the 28th. We have to stay in pool 8. What is your advice on what we should do?

Faircloth: My advice would be to make sure you stay around current and focus your efforts around grass, rock or wood.

Faircloth: The most important things are water clarity and water flow.

ryanjayr Thanks, Todd! Our limit is 3 fish. What is your advice on catching better fish instead of the 2-, 2 1/2-pounders?

Faircloth: I would punch through mats with a Yamamoto Kreature with a 1 1/4- or 1 1/2-ounce weight.

ryanjayr Thanks, Todd! Do you think staying around Stoddard would be a good idea?

Faircloth: It’s definitely a great area. It was one of my better areas. It was good to me!


IHitABomb It seems that I can’t set the hook very well. Any tips??

Faircloth: Try to use a longer handle rod. Put it close to your waistline and jerk hard!

IHitABomb Also, what bait you use most often to catch bass?

Faircloth: I use a 5-inch green pumpkin Yamamoto Senko.

IHitABomb What rig do you use with the Senko?

Faircloth: A standard Texas rig. You can fish it weightless or with a slip sinker. And use a round bend hook.


BASS_nation From Facebook fan Tommy Powrzanas: What is your No. 1 go-to bait this time of year on Logan Martin and Guntersville?

Faircloth: I would go with a 3/4-ounce All Terrain Tackle football jig in green pumpkin with a Yamamoto Twin Tail as a trailer.


TCovington80 What is your favorite technique for fishing lakes in the summertime?

Faircloth: Probably flipping the outside edges of the grass with a jig or big worm.


TheBassPunk Faircloth how would you rig a creature bait to punch through some thick lily pads?

Faircloth: Just a standard Texas rig and peg your weight. I like to use a toothpick.

TheBassPunk Thanks, toothpick… Genius!!! And a lot less expensive than those plastic pegs I’ve been using. Thanks a ton.


TwinsNewsRoom What are some of your strategies when fishing a mystery lake tourney?

Faircloth: Once you find out where it is, see if you can do some research. Focus your attention on one part of the lake.

Faircloth: Try not to get distracted by trying to cover the entire lake.


BASS_nation Thanks so much for your questions! Todd, we appreciate you taking the time to answer our fans.

Faircloth: Thanks for all of your questions. I appreciate all of the support and good luck!