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Rojas by JoshGassmann

By John Johnson BassFan Senior EditorDean Rojas had to beat nine anglers in the Championship Round to claim the title at the Smith Lake MLF Bass Pro Tour in Alabama. He defeated eight of them in the first hour of competition.

Propelled by a huge first period, Rojas garnered his first tour-level victory since 2011 with a 30-fish, 47-00 performance on the final day. He logged 23 of those fish for 36-05 in the opening stanza and was never threatened for the remainder of the day.

"It was an awesome day and it's been a long time coming," said Rojas, referring to his last Bassmaster Elite Series win at Toledo Bend Reservoir in 2011. "I've had a lot of near misses since and it feels so good to close the door."

Runner-up Brent Chapman was the only angler to eclipse Rojas' first-round weight as he caught three hefty largemouths in the final period to finish with 40-14. Michael Neal ended up 3rd with 34-15 (21 fish), Jason Christie was 4th with 32-06 (20) and Todd Faircloth 5th with 32-02 (21).

The bottom half of the top 10 consisted of Mark Rose (20 fish, 29-14), Brent Ehrler (17, 26-00), Dustin Connell (15, 24-14), Mike Iaconelli (12, 17-14) and Fred Roumbanis (8, 10-01).

The offshore spotted bass action, which had been improving throughout the event, tapered off dramatically during the Championship Round. Rojas' big morning flurry came via fish busting shad in the shallows and Chapman compiled a lot of his weight by flipping bushes.

The waning shad spawn was a critical component in many anglers' programs throughout the week, but Rojas said the baitfish in morning area may not have been partaking in the reproduction ritual.

"(The bass) had them pinned down, but it didn't look like they were spawning," he said. "They weren't in the bushes or the grass like you usually see when they're spawning – they were just in an area and the bass were going nuts on them.

"It was a spot I found in practice and I went there during (the Shotgun and Elimination rounds). I just wanted to check it today and I went over there during the morning ride-around and they started busting."

He used an array of offerings that included a crankbait, a swim jig, a frog, and a swimbait. His biggest fish of the day was a 2 1/2-pounder.

"I just sat there for the whole (first) period and caught as many as I could. I lost my three biggest bites and I thought that would come back to haunt me, but it turned out that it didn't."


Full Story



Stage Date Lake City


Feb. 7-12

Lake Eufaula

Eufaula, Ala.


Feb. 21-26

Lake Okeechobee

Okeechobee, Fla.


Mar. 13-18

Lake Fork

Emory, Texas


Apr. 3-8

Jordan Lake, Falls Lake & Shearon Harris Reservoir

Raleigh, N.C.


May 15-20

Kissimmee Chain

Kissimmee, Fla.


Jun. 5-10

Lake Winnebago, Lake Butte des Morts & Green Lake

Neenah, Wis.


Jun. 26-Jul. 1

St. Lawrence River

Ogdensburg, N.Y.


Jul. 21-26

Lake Champlain

Burlington, Vt.


Photo BassFan - Time is ticking down. The pattern that worked yesterday isn’t working today. It’s crunch time. There’s an hour left until the weigh-in starts. Your nerves are starting to fray. What do you reach for when you absolutely need to generate bites? 

We’ve been asking pro anglers from the various leagues that same question as a way to find out what their ultimate confidence baits are regardless of the situation, along with the reasoning behind their choices. As one might expect, the answers have run the gamut, from big-line, big-weight flipping to light-line finesse and from topwater to slow-dragging baits.

Known for his prowess with a hollow-body frog, longtime pro Dean Rojas reaches for something different when he needs to get things going. Read more


> Day 4: 5, 18-04 (20, 63-04) B.A.S.S. / Seigo Saito - Rojas, who secured his best finish of the season, said Oahe had a similar feel to the desert lakes in Arizona and that made it easy for him to get comfortable with the big sky, expansive landscapes and long runs to get to unpressured fish. 

“Without a doubt, it felt like home,” he said, pointing out that half of the top 12 had western roots. “All those guys have all fished big water, but it’s different from Lake Erie or Lake Ontario. This was like Powell or Mead, big reservoirs that have the same looking stuff on the bank. For them to break it down so quickly and not be afraid to run 50 to 80 miles to get to that deal didn’t surprise me. That’s what we deal with. For us it was no big deal.”

His weights increased each day, but his presentations remained consistent. He threw a dropshot using a 4-inch Big Big Baits Cane Stick in 15 to 22 feet of water.

“I ran 80 miles (up the lake) because those fish were unpressured and dumb and easy,” he said. “When you have 6 hours to fish, those are the ones you want. You want the ones that bite when you drop it. 

“The big ones were on the bottom They’re not going to chase stuff like the 2 1/2s and 3s that were blasting bait out of the water.”

His kicker today was a 4-07, his biggest of the week, and he had another one over 4 pounds. 

“I was around them, but I was a day late,” he said. Read more


(January 16, 2018 – Brea, CA) Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. is proud to announce their roster of pro fishermen for the 2018 Bassmaster® Elite Tournament Series. “Suzuki is back in 2018, bigger and better than ever,” said Gus Blakely, vice president of sales for Suzuki Marine. “We’re eager to see our guys compete on the Elite circuit – all powered by Suzuki’s 250SS 4-stroke outboard.”

Suzuki stalwarts Brandon Card, Chad Pipkens and Clifford Pirch, will welcome Dean Rojas, Gerald Spohrer and Adrian Aveda to the team in 2018.

Dean Rojas

Suzuki welcomes veteran Arizona bass angler Dean Rojas to the team. Dean is a four-time winner on the Bassmaster® Elite Series tour and has 47 career Top 10 finishes. In addition, Rojas still holds the all-time B.A.S.S.® one day record catch of 45.2 pounds. With winnings totaling over $2 million dollars as a professional angler, Rojas brings a wealth of experience to the Suzuki team.

”I’m super-pumped to have a Suzuki on the transom of my new Blazer bass boat this year,” said Rojas. “I’ve watched Suzuki come alive over the past couple seasons and couldn’t be prouder to be on the team.” Look for Dean to be in the spotlight in 2018, as he campaigns for the first time with Suzuki Power.