A true barnburner of a fishing tournament is what the 2013 Bassmaster Elite Series event on the Sabine River out of Orange, Texas was. With a hard fought back-and-forth between Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, Arizona and Todd Faircloth of Jasper, Texas.
|Todd Faircloth (Photo BassFIRST)|
In the end, Rojas had a lackluster final day weighing only one fish for 4 pounds 6 ounces, bringing his 4-day total to 42 pounds 12 ounces, not enough to hold the lead and leaving him in second. The Texan Faircloth came through with typical Texas bravado and pounded out a limit of bass weighing 14 pounds 9 ounces for a tournament total of 49 pounds 6 ounces and securing his fourth Bassmaster Elite Series victory.
Terry Scroggins ended up in third with 41 pounds 1 ounce and Ish Monroe placed fourth with a 4-day total of 40 pounds.
Emotions running high for Faircloth.
With tears welling in his eyes in front of a crowd, Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer estimated near 8,000, Faircloth was visibly moved by his victory.
"I'm a pretty emotional guy," said Faircloth. "I get choked up winning a tournament, but to win it in front of a Texas crowd and against so many locals I've fished against over the years is really special.
"Having my family here today really is special. They are my entire world. They are what drives me out there. I fished my heart out this week and left it all out there today."
Skinny water was Faircloth's focus all week.
"I got my boat on pad in 1.8 feet of water," said Faircloth. "It was nerve racking not knowing if I was going to be able to get out every day. Being able to get on pad in that shallow water saved me a lot of time.
"I caught every fish this tournament using two baits. I fished with a Strike King Caffeine Shad in smoke with a blue glimmer back. If the fish hit and missed the shad, I would throw a Strike King 5-inch Ocho.
|Todd Faircloth and family (Photo BassFIRST)|
"Some of the fish were spawning, some were on beds and some were cruising around."
"I had a great ride every day," said Scroggins. "I drove 142 miles every day. Every day I had two gallons of gas left.
"I caught my fish flipping a Yum Wooly Bugger in shallow water. I just covered a lot of water each day."
Monroe a fan of Orange, Texas.
"This place is awesome," said Monroe. "The crowds here are amazing. I love the food and the fans here.
"I must have caught 50 keepers over the last four days. Add the short fish and I caught over 100 bass total during this tournament. This is a great place. I hope we come back."
Full image gallery can be found here: Day Four Images
Day Four standings:
1. Todd Faircloth: 49-6
2. Dean Rojas: 42-12
3. Terry Scroggins: 41-1
4. Ish Monroe: 40-00
5. Bill Lowen: 38-03
6. Bobby Lane: 35-03
7. Jeff Kriet: 35-00
8. Alton Jones: 32-09
9. Mark Davis: 32-06
10. Brandon Card: 31-10
11. Mike McClelland: 31-08
12. Dennis Tietje: 31-05