Opens profile: In Faber’s perfect world

Ty Faber

In Ty Faber’s perfect world, he would generate enough income as a professional bass tournament angler to fund his other addiction, which is hunting. Given that he currently holds sixth place in the Tackle Warehouse Bassmaster Elite Qualifier standings, his pipe dream could possibly become a reality.

Faber lives in the game-rich state of Colorado. He has hunted big game across North America with gun and bow. Bowhunting elk is his favorite. He once had the good fortune of drawing a Colorado Moose tag and taking one with a bow.

“That was the most fun I’ve ever had hunting,” Faber said. “I drew a tag to bowhunt ibex in New Mexico in 2023. The hunter success for ibex there is only 1%, but I managed to kill one.”

Before Faber could walk, his father Mark would carry him in a toddler backpack while fly-fishing for trout on the San Juan River. By age 4 he could walk the banks of trout creeks and cast a Panther Martin spinner without any assistance from his parents.

He was content to fish for trout until he reached seventh grade. That’s when he and his father launched a canoe at Colorado’s Echo Lake to fish for largemouth bass. His father had grown up in east Texas and knew a thing or two about bass fishing.

“We were waking spinnerbaits over the top of grass beds,” Faber said. “When I watched the bass attack from 10 to 15 feet away and crush the spinnerbait, I was done with trout fishing.”

After that life-changing experience, Faber began bicycling to small lakes near home to cast for bass from the bank. He also talked his mother, Kathy, into dropping him off at more distant bass waters.

“My father taught me a great deal about fishing for bass and trout,” Faber said. “My mother has always been supportive of my passion for fishing.”

Soon after graduating from Pagosa Springs High School in 2004 Faber purchased a 19-foot Skeeter bass boat and began competing in local B.A.S.S. Nation clubs. He often fished team tournaments with his father, which he continues to do.

In 2009 Faber moved to Tyler, Texas, where he took a job as a plumber. After finishing his plumbing apprenticeship in 2011, he returned to Colorado and established his own business Alpine Plumbing.

“My dad’s best friend growing up in Texas was Hub Coleman,” Faber said. “Hub is a whale of a bass fisherman and has probably won more tournaments on lakes Tyler and Palestine than anybody. He helped me get a job and find a place to live when I was in Texas.”

Coleman also passed along a wealth of bass fishing knowledge to Faber. Faber put it to good use while competing in weekend tournaments in Texas and elsewhere after he moved back to Colorado.

As his own boss, Faber was able expand his bass horizons and fish tournaments from California to New York to Florida. Many of these were B.A.S.S. Nation team events. One highlight was winning the 2016 B.A.S.S. Nation Team Championship at Kentucky Lake with partner John Gardner. They were awarded a Nitro Z20 bass boat rigged with a 225 hp Mercury outboard.

“John Gardner was instrumental in teaching me how to catch bass in clear-water western fisheries,” Faber said. “He is a much better fish catcher than I am. Together, we learned new techniques and patterns from all areas of the country.”  

Faber had his eye on fishing the Bassmaster Opens, but he couldn’t fit all nine of the EQs into his schedule until 2023. He regards that season as “a struggle and a definite learning curve.” He had never been to some of the lakes. What amazed him was how a large field of capable EQ anglers can “demolish a fishery during practice.”

“I try to learn something new every time I fish a tournament,” Faber said. “One thing I learned about myself is that I do better getting into an area with fish, slowing down and catching all I can there. Running a pattern is hard to do with so many competitors on the water in Elite Qualifier tournaments.”

What he loves most about the EQs is traveling to new waters. He especially enjoyed fishing the St. Lawrence River.

“Being an Elite Series pro has been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” Faber said. “And I would love to fish the Classic. That’s a huge goal.”