The guy who got the least amount of fishing time on an already-shortened day 1 of the 2015 Bassmaster Classic returned to the launch with the heaviest bag.
Dean Rojas, the veteran from Arizona who's fished himself out of contention on opening day more than once in recent Classics, grabbed the early lead with a 21-02 stringer from South Carolina's Lake Hartwell on the coldest day in the event's history. He compiled that impressive bag despite having to remain at the dock for 28 minutes after the rest of the field had departed – a penalty for being 28 minutes late to check-in for Wednesday's final practice session.
"It's the best day I've ever had in the Classic, by far," he said. "It was absolutely a surprise – I didn't think I was on that kind of quality. I thought most of my fish were in the 3- to 3 1/2-pound range, not 4 to 5 pounds." Read more
Rojas survives 28-minute penalty to catch 21-2 to Lead Classic
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).
Recently, B.A.S.S. held the drawing for boat numbers for the upcoming Bassmaster Classic at B.A.S.S. headquarters in Birmingham, Ala. The numbers were randomly drawn by B.A.S.S. staffers and will determine the order in which boats leave the dock on days 1 and 2 of the event.The top two positions were automatically given to reigning Angler of the Year Greg Hackney, who will be boat number 1, and Randy Howell, the 2014 Classic winner, who will be boat number 2. During the Classic, the full field of participants will be split into two flights, boats 1-28 and 29-56. On Day 1, the boats will head out on Lake Hartwell in numerical order. On Day 2, the order will be reversed with 56-29 followed by 28-1. On Day 3, after the field is cut to the Top 25, takeoff order will be decided by angler rank in the tournament.