CastAway Rods BASS Elite Series Pro Staffer Todd Faircloth is off to strong start in 2014, posting back-to-back top 10 finishes in the first two tournaments of the season. Faircloth took second place in the Dick Cepek Bassmaster Elite Series March 13-16 kick-off event on Lake Seminole, following that up with a 10th-place finish in last week’s Bassmaster Elite Series event, March 20-23, on the St. Johns River.
In the season opener on Seminole, Faircloth weighed in a four-day total of 84.10 pounds, finishing second to Brett Hite who bagged 97.10 pounds of bass to win the tournament. Faircloth found most of his Seminole bass around the lake’s lily pads, hydrilla and milfoil in anywhere from one to six feet of water.
“On Seminole, there were plenty of bass on the beds, but I also encountered some fish that were in pre- and post-spawn modes,” said Faircloth. “I was able to do some sight fishing, but for the most part, I was casting to open pockets of water within the pads where I couldn’t actually see the fish.”
During the first couple of days, Faircloth concentrated on Lake Seminole’s backwater areas, targeting fish in shallow water in or near the vegetation. “I landed some nice fish early on using my seven-foot, heavy-action CastAway SKX-7H Skeleton,” he noted. “For the last two days of the tournament, I moved out to the main lake, where I concentrated on submerged grass three to six feet deep. I was able to put some good fish on the boat working a 3/8-ounce bladed jig through the grass with my CastAway 7’ 3” SKX-TFTT signature rod.”
For the final day on Seminole, Faircloth stayed in the same area and used the same techniques to land a 27.11-pound limit, moving him from 10th place, where he started the day, all the way to a second place finish in the tournament.
Faircloth also targeted spawning fish during the second Bassmaster Elite Series event of the season on the St. Johns River. “The bass on the St. Johns were bedding up in the shallows – one to three feet of water – around the pads and eel grass, he said. “Like on Seminole, I focused on the open areas of water within the vegetation. Traffic made the fishing tough on day one, but I was able to bounce back and put together some healthy limits over the next few days.”
On the St. Johns, the veteran Texas pro used his CastAway Skeleton SKX-7H rod to cast and pitch a Strike King Ocho soft plastic stick bait “This bait was producing for me, so I stuck with it for most of the tournament, but I also landed a few nice fish throwing a Rage Bug with my CastAway Big T Triple Threat signature rod.”
When all was said and done on the St. Johns, Faircloth had secured a 10th-place finish with a four-day total of 68.9 pounds.
Faircloth points out that the lengths and actions of the CastAway rod models he used were perfect for the scenarios he encountered on both Lake Seminole and the St. Johns River. “I really like using the shorter seven-foot rods for these kind of finesse applications,” he said. “They let me move the bait in very small increments for just the right action, plus they have plenty of plenty of backbone for muscling stubborn fish out of the grass or pads.”
Coming off his solid performances on Seminole and the St. Johns, Faircloth is looking forward to Elite Series tournament number three on Table Rock. “I won my first Elite Series event on Table Rock back in 2006, although I’ve had some tough tournaments on that lake, too,” he said. “I feel good about the way I’m fishing right now, so hopefully I’ll be able to keep the momentum going.”
For more information on the complete lineup of tournament-quality CastAway rods, including the Todd Faircloth Signature Series, visit www.castawayrods.com.
Image courtesy CastAway Rods