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Faircloth Fishes out a WinSubmitted by Full Limit Outdoor Media
Todd Faircloth is no stranger to the winner’s circle. Heading into the Last regular season event in the 2015 Bassmaster Elite Series Tour, he already had 5 under his belt. As the old saying goes, “success breeds success” and in this case, Todd’s ability, skill and knowledge that has led him to previous success parlayed into his 5th career Elite Series win. Here’s how he did it.
“I found a really good spot in practice that allowed me to go into the tournament feeling confident. I knew the area had a lot of potential. But, at this level of competition, it’s hard to really know what you’ve got that early in the Game”, says Faircloth.
Todd’s area was on St. Clair, and it was an expansive flat covered in vegetation. The key to catching better fish was to find the grass patches that were taller than the surrounding vegetation, but directly next to a void, or bare spot. That combination was crucial to pinpointing the better quality fish.
“I could catch a solid limit fairly quickly each day and that allowed me to really learn and expand on my area. Once I got that tall grass next to a bare spot deal nailed down, things started clicking”.
The first day of the event was fairly windy and choppy. Those conditions promoted Faircloth to employ a Strike King Z-TOO soft plastic jerkbait on a dropshot hook with a 3/8 oz. Tour Grade Tungsten dropshot weight. The Z-TOO has been a reliable weapon for many anglers drop-shotting for smallmouth up north since it was introduced but they have tried hard to keep it a secret for years. The fact that you can nose hook a Z-TOO with a dropshot hook and the material will not tear, is one of the great attributes of the the bait. The material is super soft so it is very flexible which enable it to have great action with even the slightest input from the angler or water current.
“The heavier wind and bigger waves kind of called for a heavier weight to maintain feel and contact with the bottom. The Z TOO in Arkansas Shiner is also a bigger bait that closely resembles the forage up here. The bigger profile on the Z-TOO made it easier for the fish to see in the choppy conditions”.
The next 3 days were all pretty smooth. The wind and waves laid and that presented an entirely different set of variables. Variables that Todd managed to adjust to with great accuracy and therefore continue to reap the harvest of big smallmouth on his spot.
“The other 3 days I caught every fish on the same rig. I was dropshotting a Strike King Dream Shot in the KVD Magic color paired with a ¼ oz. Tour Grade Tungsten dropshot weight. The lighter winds and waves called for a much lighter weight and smaller bait profile. The Dream Shot is an incredible bait when you a small profile with incredible action. It’s a game-changer in the right scenario.”
Todd’s dropshot rig was employed on 10 lb. Sunline braided line, joined to an 8 lb. leader of Sunline fluorocarbon.
This win is not only his best finish of an uncanny year thus far by 16 places, it also catapulted him into 40th place in the AOY standings. That jump punched his ticket into the upcoming AOY Championship on Sturgeon Bay, WI in September and guarantees his berth into the 2016 Geico Bassmaster Classic on Grand Lake.
“I had a wonderful tournament. I fished clean. Made good choices and executed my plan as well as I could. It went just right”.
We think it did too Todd. Congrats on a huge win from all of us here at Strike King!