With 24 years fishing coast to coast as a top-level competitive angler, Lew’s and Strike King pro Todd Faircloth weighs in on how he approaches early summer fishing in Zone 2, which spans from California, east through Upper Texas, all the way to the Atlantic.
Faircloth notes that fish will primarily be transitioning to an offshore structure bite. He often finds big schools around humps, ridges, and main lake points in the 10–20-foot range. If he is fishing a lake with good vegetation, he will look for the outside edges of the grass to hold fish.
Faircloth reaches for this topwater killer, particularly in low light conditions when he may find schooling fish on offshore points or above deep grass lines.
He prefers a natural Green Gizzard Shad in clear water but will switch to the Chrome Sexy Shad if the water is slightly stained.
He fishes the Sexy Dawg topwater on a 7’3” medium heavy Signature Series Rod by Lew’s paired with the Lew's HyperMag 8.3:1. The fast gear ratio is ideal for solid hooksets on the Sexy Dawg. Like most topwater pros, Faircloth uses 30 lb braid as it floats and helps him achieve the ideal walking action on the Sexy Dawg.
He will tie on the Green Pumpkin Craw in clear water lakes but will choose a Black Blue when there is a little more stain in the water.
Faircloth fishes the Slither Rig on a 7’6” medium heavy Signature Series Rod paired with a HyperMag 8.3:1. He spools the reel with 50 lb braid to combat abrasions from heavy cover.
The Texan will rely on the big, deep diving 6XD when fish are offshore, grouped up around wood cover or shell beds. This can be a deadly bait when knocked off of rock or swimming around cover.
Faircloth favors the Green Gizzard Shad in clear water but opts for a Citrus Shad in stained water.
He cranks the 6XD on a Lew’s 7’11” Signature Series Rod and a Lew's BB1 Pro Speed Spool. The reel is ideal for long casts across a point or to get a crankbait to come in contact with deep rock. He spools his BB1 Pro with 12 lb fluorocarbon.
Faircloth favors a 6” Cut-R, paired with a 5/16 oz weight. This is a fantastic slower presentation for bass gathered near grass or wood cover.
He fishes the Red Bug Cut-R in clear water. If there is some stain to the water, he will use a Watermelon Red or a June Bug.
Faircloth fishes the worm on a Lew’s 7’1” heavy Signature Series to muscle fish out of cover. He opts for the HyperMag 7.5:1, spooled with 14 lb fluorocarbon.
Like most any angler, one of Todd’s favorite bites is the violent explosion of bass near vegetation on a KVD Popping Perch.
He opts for Green Pumpkin Gill in clear water but will opt for White Shadow in stained water.
He fishes the topwater perch on a 7’3” heavy Signature Series Rod by Lew’s paired with the Lew's HyperMag 8.3:1. The fast gear ratio is ideal for solid hooksets on the perch. Like most topwater pros, Faircloth uses 40 lb braid as it floats and helps him achieve the ideal walking action on the Perch.