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After making a big jump on Day 3 to qualify for Sunday’s final Top 12, Lake Havasu City resident Dean Rojas caught just 14-6 Sunday. He finished sixth with 61-7, just ahead of reigning Bassmaster Classic champion Casey Ashley (61-4).
However, Rojas, who has qualified for the final round in the last three of the four Bassmaster Elite Series tournaments this year, currently leads the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year race with 365 points (based on cumulative finishes in Elite tournaments), just 10 points of Lucas, winner of the Sacramento Elite, and Martens, who has 332 points.
Considering the position he was in toward the end of day 1, Rojas is thrilled to be leaving California with a Top-3 finish and the lead in the AOY points.
“I keep going over it in my head, but day 1 was very challenging,” he said. “I only had 7 pounds in the boat with 20 minutes to go before I made that long run back. I pulled into an area and it was, ‘Wham, bam.’ That set the tone for the rest of the event. I just stayed in there the next 3 days.”
All told, he figures he caught 74 of his 78 pounds out of the canal he went to out of desperation Thursday afternoon.
Today, his first five weigh between 10 and 12 pounds, but he was aided by two late-day 5-pounders that served as twin kickers and gave him the day’s heaviest stringer. He caught most of his fish throwing a SPRO Bronzeye frog and flipping a Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog.
“I think it (big ones biting) had something to do with the tide,” he said. “There were times when they started to feed really good and the incoming tide was good, but I was losing it every day. Each day it got worse and I only had 30 minutes of prime conditions.”
ANDERSON, S.C. – When the stakes are as high as they are at the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, a bad day can devastate an angler.
So you’d be inclined to think that Dean Rojas, the Classic’s Day 1 leader, would be licking his wounds after struggling to find a small limit on Day 2.
But you’d be wrong.
“I fished perfectly,” Rojas said soon after leaving the water Saturday afternoon. “I have no complaints about my performance.”
Blame it on the fish. They just didn’t bite for Rojas on Day 2. He fished the same way and in the same areas as Friday, but after weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces on the weather-shortened first day, Read More
Doesn’t it just figure that after the coldest day in the history of the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, four anglers from warm, sunny climates are sitting atop the standings?
Arizona angler Dean Rojas wowed the crowd at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville, S.C., with five Lake Hartwell bass that weighed 21 pounds, 2 ounces despite frigid temperatures that were in the neighborhood of 10 degrees just before takeoff at Green Pond Landing in Anderson.
He leads California angler Skeet Reese (20-2), Texas pro Keith Combs (18-8) and fellow Arizona angler Brett Hite (15-7).
MANY, La. — Toledo Bend Reservoir produced a little something extra — lagniappe in Louisiana French-speak — for Dean Rojas on Saturday.
Actually, that something extra was very large: a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth bass. And it proved to be the catch that made all the difference for Rojas on the third day of the May 1-4 Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite on Toledo Bend.
Because of the big cull his 7-2 made possible, Rojas turned his day around. The so-so limit he would have had became a good day’s catch of 17-14.
Best of all, the 7-2 helped him to a 2-10 advantage over Friday leader Jacob Powroznik.
“I was fortunate today to have that big one that separated me from having a small limit,” said Rojas, who’s from Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Read More
Rojas said he was hooking into postspawn bass Friday. He wasn’t into large numbers of fish, but the quality was there.
“For some reason the big fish bit for me today,” said the pro from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., claiming to be mystified as to why.
“I’m just fishing, doing what I know how to do best,” Rojas said.
A 5-pounder late in the day, plus a 6-3, his largest of the day, were the anchors of his 24-15 sack of bass. Read More
> Day 4: 5, 21-10 (20, 76-09) Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito For 3 days, Rojas watched just about everybody else in the Top 12 tote 20-plus pound stringers to the stage while he hung around with 17- to 19-pound bags.
Today was his turn in the big-bag bonanza and it allowed him to climb seven spots and notch his third runner-up finish in the Elite Series.
"Aside from a 2nd place I had at Rayburn (2006) fishing with my frog, this was the funnest 2nd-place finish ever," he said. "Coming up from 9th like I did and catching a bag like I did today was a lot of fun. I felt like a lot of guys ahead of me were going to catch them like I did, but that didn't happen. Chris had such a big lead. I knew it would be difficult to catch him, so I'll take it."
He didn't make any major adjustments today. He just stayed with his game plan and it finally paid off.
"I did the same thing in the same area. Today, I just got three big bites," he added.
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