Dean Rojas: 57–11 (15)
Photo by Josh Gassmann - Arizona’s Dean Rojas found himself in last place in his group after one day of fishing. His first day was forgettable, with just two bass for 5-10, but Sunday was one he’ll always remember.
“Today was one of those days you dream about,” Rojas said on MLF NOW! “I only had 5 pounds the first day and today was a dream day. I have so much joy and this shows that anything can happen if you stay positive.”
His day included rallying to sixth place in his group, landing an 8-11, and spending 45 minutes of his day getting two hooks out of his hand. His day had plenty of excitement.
On the fishing side of things, he targeted an area outside of a bridge with both a 1.5 and 2.5-sized squarebill crankbait.
For the last few weeks, I have put my attention towards old Bassmaster shows, reading old publications and digging into stories that made me want to be just like those I am reading about.
It's funny how history has a way of repeating itself and how much can be learned from the past. Fishing is evergreen and one of the few sports that we can imitate what we see and put it into practice. Trial and error is the teacher and the fish don’t know any better if it's old or new, so tried and true still holds water.
This is the 20th anniversary of a milestone in fishing that may never be duplicated. The perfect storm of cold, then a rapid warming trend made this a week we will all remember forever — at least Dean Rojas will.
I sure wish one time I would hit this perfect scenario and put into practice what Rojas did on this early spring day on Lake Toho in 2001. The weather aligned perfectly for spawn-ready giant bass to move shallow, and Rojas put the largest single day total ever recorded in a BASS event of 45.02 pounds on the scales.
It is hard to fathom a 10.13, a 10.0, a 9.5, an 8.2 and a 7.9-pound bass in the same bag of fish. Compared at the time to Wilt Chamberlain’s 100-point game, this record may never be matched again in a Bassmaster event.
Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour 2021 Schedule:
2021 Red Crest * Feb 23 - Feb 27 Grand Lake, Tulsa, OK
Mar 21 - Mar 26 Lake Sam Rayburn, Jasper, TX
Heavy Hitters* Apr 9 - Apr 14 Lake Jordan, Raleigh, NC
Apr 30 - May 5 Lake Travis, Austin, TX
May 21 - May 26 Harris Chain of Lakes, Leesburg, FL
Jun 4 - Jun 9 Lake Chicamauga Dayton, TN
Jun 25 - Jun 30 St. Lawrence River, Messena, NY
Aug 5 - Aug 10 Lake Champlain, Plattsburg, NY
Sep 10 - Sep 15 Lake St. Clair, St. Clair Shores, MI
2021 FLW Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit Schedule:
Feb. 11 - Feb. 14 Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston, FL
Mar. 11 - Mar 14 Smith Lake, Cullman, AL
Apr. 22 - Apr. 25 Lake Murry, Columbia, SC
May 13 - May 16 Lake Eufaula, Eufaula, AL
Jun 17 - Jun 20 Potomac River, Marbury, MD
Jul 29 - Aug 1 St. Lawrence River, Messena, NY
Tackle Warehouse Title* Aug 17 - Aug 22 Mississippi River, La Crosse, WI
BassFirst Kennesaw, Georgia (May 1, 2020) – Fifteen years ago, SPRO revolutionized bass fishing with the introduction of the Bronzeye Frog. Designed with input from B.A.S.S. legend Dean Rojas, the innovative topwater frog delivered the perfect combination of walk the dog action and weedless performance to draw bass up through the thickest pads.
“After 15 years, the Bronzeye Frog is still the one of the number one frogs on the market,” said designer and SPRO Pro Dean Rojas. “We are thrilled to have provided so many great memories for frog fans over the years.”
Rojas used the original premium frog to win $40,000 at the Bassmaster Classic on Lake Wylie in 2004. He followed that up with plenty more victories, making it a timeless tournament favorite. The Bronzeye Frog is engineered to utilize the full potential of Gamakatsu’s 2x-strong EWG Double Frog Hook, allowing anglers to use the heavy braid to extract lunkers out of the thickest cover. The soft plastic body delivers weedless performance that maneuvers through the thickest cover without hanging up. It easily moves out of the way when bass pounce for a great hook up ratio. Though it was designed for the salad, the thin body allows it to walk the dog effortlessly in open water, drawing big bass up from submerged cover for big surface blow-ups.
The Bronzeye Frog lands right side up every time, thanks to the weight molded into the body and precision tolerances that keep water out. The nose of the bait is anchored just behind the line tie eye, so it will stay put even as you drag it through the densest pads. For added action, the legs are constructed of living rubber strands that provide plenty of movement even when the bait is paused. The extra-long legs let you trim them just how you like them and are securely anchored to the body so they’ll stay put.
“SPRO has never stopped innovating,” said Rojas, noting the success of SPRO’s full line up of weedless surface baits. “We took the best attributes from the Bronzeye Frog and developed different baits with their own actions. The Bronzeye Pop, Bronzeye Shad, and Bronzeye Spit Shad all deliver explosive topwater action.”
Pick a fight in the pads with the original Bronzeye Frog, the winningest frog bait in tournament history. See for yourself why it has become the go-to frog of Bassmaster’s top anglers for the last 15 years.
By Tyler Brinks - During Bass Pro Tour Phoenix Boats Stage Five Presented by Mercury on Smith Lake in Cullman, Alabama, the shad spawn was the point of focus for most of the anglers in the field. This phenomenon of targeting bass actively feeding on shad during their spawning ritual is a common occurrence when the conditions (and the right structure) allow.
Stage Five winner Dean Rojas exploited the shad spawn throughout the event, and it was his main program during the Championship Round, where he totaled 30 bass for 47-0.
“I chased the shad spawn during the mornings every day, but the final day was overcast, and that prolonged it,” he said. “I was fortunate to have those conditions and to have found the right area.”
The Winning Area
Rojas did not fish his winning area until the final day, but had been keeping an eye on the area during the event. What he found was two points, one being a main-lake point and the other a secondary point.
He found the area during the morning’s ride-around period, and knew right away that he had a good spot.
“It was a place I wanted to fish all week, and during the ride around, I saw fish activity on the bank,” Rojas said. “It was two points, but it had a lot of ditches running down from those points.”
The other key, according to Rojas, was the presence of “hay grass” in the area.
“Most of the other banks are clay, and there were not many places with grass,” he said. “That grass is a great place for shad to spawn on,” he added.