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Bassmaster Classic 2010 Interview with SEBILE Pro-Staffer Todd Faircloth -- Third Place Finisher

Bassmaster Classic 2010 Interview with SEBILE Pro-Staffer Todd Faircloth ~
Third Place Finisher

A lanky, laconic Texan from Jasper, SEBILE pro staffer Todd Faircloth shares
much with us in a concise manner, wasting nary a word to teach us exactly
how he achieved his formidable third place finish in the 2010 Bassmaster
Classic. Please enjoy learning how you too can perfect a classic performance
of your own by following Todd's sage advice on ripping the grass with
SEBILE's lipless Flatt Shad crankbait.

"I caught probably 75% of my fish at the 2010 Bassmaster Classic on Lay Lake
in Alabama on the SEBILE Flatt Shad. I was throwing it in coontail grass
that was growing in water depths up to the five foot range and just fishing
flats and anywhere that the grass was a little bit thicker, it seemed like
it was better for me," explains Todd.

"One of the differences between a SEBILE Flatt Shad and a lot of other
lipless crankbaits is you can fish the Flatt Shad a lot, lot slower in the
grass as opposed to a traditional lipless crankbait. I think that slowness
was one of the real keys for me in the Classic, especially the last two days
when the intense angling pressure really got to those fish."

"I was fishing the Flatt Shad real slow. I was almost pumping it like you
would work a worm through the grass. I'd pump it out of the grass, let it
sink back down, and that thing has a little swerving action when it starts
to nose down again that triggered all the bites for me whenever I would pump
it out of the grass and let it fall. That's when I caught all my fish."

"The Flatt Shad was definitely a difference-maker for me. I was fishing
behind a bunch of different people, some of the best anglers in the world,
and that SEBILE bait is not near as noisy as other conventional lipless
baits. It has got a tight sound (vibration) to it, and I think that was
another thing that helped me is the fact that, number one, I could fish it
so slow and two, it has a more natural sound to it as well."

"I used two colors, the Holo Greenie (D9) which is a shad with a green back.
The blue-backed Sea Chrome (SC) color seemed to work best for me on the
final day of the Classic," recalls Todd.

"Red is also definitely a really good color in the south region of the
country in the springtime, particularly if the water is a stained to
off-colored clarity. In practice I was catching them on a red color, but it
just seemed like I had better luck on the shad colors as the water cleared
day by day. There were a lot of shad present in Beeswax Creek during the
Classic. Besides, I like to use a more natural color in clear or clearing
water as opposed to stained, murky or darkening water."

"I caught all my fish on 16 lb fluorocarbon line, a 7'2" medium action rod
and a fast 7:1 gear ratio reel. What's real important for using a lipless
bait is using a real fast reel. That way when you get bogged down in the
grass, you have that quick reel where you may pick up line real quick and
free your bait from that grass."

"The best advice I can give you for ripping the grass with a lipless Flatt
Shad is to use a fast reel, and use at least a 7' rod or even go up as far
as a 7'6" rod. I like to use a long rod, a fast reel and just hold your rod
at about the ten o'clock position. Just reel the bait, in the Flatt Shad's
case that can be very slowly such as I found best in the Classic or it may
be moderate to fast in other situations. Just reel until you come into
contact with the grass, and whenever you tick the grass, you simultaneously
kind of lift your rod tip as you crank the reel. What you want to do is you
want to come into contact with the grass, but you want to keep your bait
right on top of that grass. The fish usually aren't down in the grass, but
sitting right on top of it. You just want to make contact with the grass but
pop your lure free whenever and as soon as you hit the grass, and a longer
rod and fast reel both help you do that so you keep from getting bogged down
in the grass."

"I was using the 1/2 ounce model Flatt Shad 66 SK during the Classic, and I
was just fishing grass. It seemed like the thicker grass that I found out
the further off the bank, the better. These were pre-spawn fish just staging
and coming up and I was fishing next to a big spawning cove, and it was just
a textbook pre-spawn type situation," describes Faircloth.

"They were out on the flats, and there were small, subtle points every so
often, which was where I caught them. The little points were really just
built-up bank, no special bottom composition nor cover on them. The biggest
key deal for me was just the coontail grass. There was not a whole lot of
coontail on Lay Lake at this time except in Beeswax Creek. The one
particular area I was in had a bunch of it, and I think that was the biggest
reason why there were so many fish in there. Coontail is not found all over
the country, mainly in the south is where you find it. It's kind of like
milfoil yet a little different in that coontail normally doesn't grow real
deep like hydrilla does or milfoil can. Coontail tends to be a
shallower-growing grass. Most of my fish were between 2 to 5 foot of water
depth, and the coontail the fish were in ranged from a 1/2 to a foot off the
bottom, it wasn't very tall. Some places it may have been as tall as two
feet, and the taller the better it seemed like. It was just patches of
grass. It wasn't like I was following a defined grass line, it was just
patches of grass," reveals Todd.

"I had this one other thing also, and that was a natural drain coming down
off the land. It was just like where a little spring branch would come in,
and that held some fish for the duration of the Classic. That's pretty much
it in terms of the areas where I was catching them."

"If you are fishing real thick grass, and you find that you're having a hard
time from keeping the bait from bogging down, the only other thing I would
suggest, would be a braided line. A braided line will definitely help you
keep the bait on top of the grass, and it will also help you rip free of the
grass a lot easier. You need to go to a little bit softer action rod
whenever you go to a braided line because you have no stretch there and
you'll tend to lose a few more fish if you don't go to a softer action rod
using braid. The grass wasn't real, real thick at the Classic, and that was
the reason why I used fluorocarbon there as I was deliberately trying to
keep my bait down in the sparse patches, and fluorocarbon helped me do that
because the grass wasn't so tall and fluorocarbon sinks. Braid has a
floating quality to it. In the summer when the grass gets much thicker, you
bet I'll be using braid then."

To sum things up for you, I think a lipless crankbait such as the Flatt Shad
is one of the most productive baits you can fish in a pre-spawn situation,
given that there is grass present. It is a great bait for covering water,
and a lot of times when the fish are cold and sluggish like the ones I
caught during the Classic, it takes a reaction bait to provoke a strike, and
that's exactly what I was doing at the Classic with the Flatt Shad."

"The trebles that come on the Flatt Shad from the factory are the highest
quality hook, second to none. So you don't have to change them out. They're
the perfect size. I may have lost one fish total is all in the Classic, and
I'm not even sure it was a bass, I didn't get to see it. As long as you stay
with a soft action rod and keep the fish down so it doesn't jump, you're

And there you have it, a Classic explanation of how to rip the grass with
SEBILE's lipless Flatt Shad from Todd Faircloth, third place in the world
championship of bass fishing, the 2010 Bassmaster Classic.

Congratulations, Todd, and thank you for putting on a Flatt Shad "clinic"
during the Bassmaster Classic for all the world to enjoy

by BFHP Fishing News


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