Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth
Yamaha Pro Mark Davis
Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas
Bass® Pros Staying Busy During Off Season
For Todd Faircloth, Dean Rojas, and Mark Davis, the Bassmaster® Elite season ended this past June but the three veteran Yamaha Pros certainly haven’t parked their boats and forgotten about fishing. In fact, Davis, a three-time Bass® Angler of the Year, has been fishing nearly every day since the season ended.
“The only thing that makes this the ‘off-season’ is the fact I don’t have any major tournaments scheduled,” laughs Davis, who also won the 1995 Bassmaster Classic.® “I haven’t stopped fishing because I want to stay sharp and in condition for the coming season. The level of competition is that tough. “There are always new products and new techniques to try, too. I live very close to Lake Ouachita and guided there before I began competing, so I know the lake well and enjoy being able to fish at a slightly slower pace.”
When he hasn’t been on the water, Davis has been coaching a youth football team in which his sons play quarterback and fullback. This is his first season as a coach, and he’s found it nearly as challenging as tournament competition. “I’ve also done several fishing seminars, and in November I’ll spend a few days practicing for the 2011 Classic in Louisiana,” the Yamaha Pro continues, “and then before you know it, our next Bassmaster® Elite season will start. On the calendar, it looks like we have a lot of free time, but somehow I always manage to stay busy.”
“We don’t really have an off season,” laughs fellow Yamaha Pro Todd Faircloth, who has spent much of his time competing in four more tournaments since the Elite season finale. He’s been on the water in Tennessee and North Carolina, as well as in his home state of Texas, and in November, he’ll also head to Louisiana to practice for the Classic.®
“I have fished two previous Classics on the Louisiana Delta, but I haven’t been there since 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit,” Faircloth explains, “so I’m interested to see how much has changed. I had one good Classic® finish and one bad one, so it’s going to be an important practice for me.
“Mark is absolutely correct when he says you have to try to stay sharp and in condition for the upcoming season,” he continues. “I’ve also spent time on Sam Rayburn Reservoir where I live using new lures and tackle. I spend a lot of time getting my tackle organized. I don’t think people truly realize how much tackle we carry to each event during the season. Knowing you have an item is one thing, but being able to find it when you need it is critical.”
The Yamaha Pro has performed several speaking engagements, and earlier in the summer he traveled to Moline, IL to be the master of ceremonies at a charity bass tournament for children that has been held for the past 36 years.
He thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and rates it as the highlight of his off season thus far.
Another Yamaha angler, Dean Rojas of Arizona, has spent much of his time traveling with his family, including trips to Quebec and also down a portion of the Grand Canyon.
“I haven’t fished a great deal, but that’s about to change,” laughs Rojas, who holds the one-day weight record in Bassmaster® competition with 45 pounds, 2 ounces. “I’m planning to go to Alabama to practice on West Point Lake where we have an Elite tournament next May because I’ve never been there. Then I’ll go straight to Grand Lake in Oklahoma for a tournament, and from there I’ll compete in another event in Alabama.
“Back to back events like that will practically be just like we do it during the Elite season.”
The Yamaha Pro, his wife Renee, and their two sons spent one of the off season days rafting on the Colorado River, floating about 15 miles from the Lake Powell Dam to Lee’s Ferry. It was just to give them a taste of what’s in store for them next summer when they tackle the Grand Canyon on an eight-day trip.
“Having some quality family time together during the off season is something I really look forward to, because I’m gone so much during the tournament season,” says Rojas. “It’s good to get my mind off the constant competition for a few weeks, because then once the new season does begin, I’ll be excited and ready for it.” Y