Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 02/28/2018

Story by Matt Pangrac – Photos by Dave Rush  

Moore, OK - It’s no secret that Todd Faircloth is the model of consistency on the Bassmaster Elite Series.  Over the course of his career, the Texan is one of a select few with five Elite Series trophies on his mantle.  He is also a perennial Classic qualifier, making the sport’s biggest tournament every year since 2007.  

While the titles are impressive, what may be equally impressive is the fact that Faircloth comes to play each and every season with a fast start out of the gates.  Over the past 13 Elite Series seasons, he has finished inside the Top 50 in every single regular season opener, including seven single-digit finishes during that time span.  

The first tournament of the 2018 Elite Series season on Alabama’s Lake Martin was no different, as Faircloth finished in 22nd place.  He credits some of his early season success to the fact that he has found a comfort zone when it comes to preparing for a new season.  

“I absolutely have a routine that I follow prior to the start of each year,” said Faircloth, whose average finish in the first tournament of an Elite Series season is 19th place.  “Everybody’s routine is different, so I’ll start by saying that what works for me may not work for the next guy.”

Following the conclusion of each tournament season, Faircloth puts his rods away.  “I go to the deer woods, I hunt, I spend a lot of time with my kids, and I spend a lot of time with the family.  I just get away from the fishing,” he explained.  “It’s all about recharging my batteries, so to speak, so that when the new season rolls around I’m excited about it and looking forward to going fishing.”   

After the holidays, he said that he begins to focus on the season ahead, researching fisheries on the upcoming schedule, starting the rigging process on his new boat, and working on tackle.  

Much of the preparation for a new season is simple tackle and equipment organization - a factor that Faircloth believes is easily overlooked but critical to success on tour.  “I just really like being organized and knowing where all my stuff is,” he said with a smile. “I’m serious when I say that it’s important to have everything organized not only in your boat but also in your truck.  When you’re in a tournament or practicing for a tournament, time is of the essence and the easiest way to save time is to be well organized.”  

While he doesn’t put more pressure on himself to get off to a strong start each season, Faircloth believes that a solid opener sets the table for the rest of the season.  “It’s really all about your mindset,” he explained.  “When you have success in the first tournament, you’re like, ‘OK, I got off to a good start this year and I’m already making good decisions on the water.’   I’ve found that those early positive decisions can snowball and keep building as the season goes on.     

“I can’t stress enough how big momentum is in this sport,” he continued. “Good momentum is easy to keep going, and bad momentum is hard to get out of.  I don’t think that most of the general public understands the fine line that exists between having a good tournament and not having a good tournament.”

Faircloth said that he takes the season in small chunks, focusing on two or three tournaments at a time.  “If you try to prepare for an entire season, you can get a lot going on in your head and the prep work becomes overwhelming.  I’ll spend the time before the season starts looking at the first two or three tournaments on the schedule and then go from there as the year progresses.”