Todd Woods has made a name for himself on the FLW Tour. He has fished competitively for largemouth bass for over 29 years, while also serving as a Captain for the Los Angeles County Fire Department in San Dimas, California. As he recently retired from firefighting, we caught up with him to find out how the fishing is going.
Why do they call you Big Daddy?
I got that nickname from my old fishing partner and fellow pro angler Art Berry, and it just stuck with me from there. I wasn’t always this big, of course—but that is one of the hazards of fishing tournaments and life on the road.
How long have you been a competitive bass angler?
I fished my first pro tournament on Lake Roosevelt, Arizona back in 1987. I’ve fished as many as 18 tournaments in a year, which is a lot considering all the preparation, travel and practice. I am more selective now, and try to fish about eight events a year.
Is it possible to make a living as a tournament angler?
As a West Coast angler living in Southern California, it’s pretty tough. Up until my very recent retirement, I also had a “real” job as a Captain in the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Now that I’m retired, I can fully focus on fishing.
What is your bass-boat rig?
I’m currently fishing a Nitro Z20 with a Mercury Marine 250 Pro XS FourStroke outboard. It’s a great, stable fishing platform and most importantly, it really gets up and goes.
What is it like trying to boat through all the traffic at a tournament start?
It’s always crazy, but I have one of the fastest boats and usually pass at least five boats in the first quarter mile. It’s a race to the first spot and a real adrenaline rush when you pass another boat. That’s why boat and motor performance is so important to me.
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What is your biggest catch to date?
I weighed in a 32.10-pound five-fish limit during the Costa FLW Western Division tournament on Clear Lake, California, back in April 2016. It was the first day of a three-day tournament, and I was sitting in second place. I went on to win that tournament by seven pounds.