Fishing the shad spawn often opens up the door to several ways to catch bass – Roja said he had six baits tied on, and they all produced.
He relied on a shad colored squarebill crankbait, a swim jig with a Big Bite Baits Suicide Shad as a trailer, a Ned rig, the Big Bite Baits Finesse Swimmer, a SPRO Dean Rojas Bronzeye Spit Shad 60, and a SPRO Hydro-Pop popper.
All of the baits produced fish, but Rojas said the key was efficiency.
“I was trying to catch as many as possible without re-rigging,” he sais. “The squarebill caught the most fish for me, and adding the Suicide Shad to my swim jig was key. That trailer is very durable, and I could continue to catch fish without having to continually add a new trailer.”
Rojas fished the squarebill, swim jig, and Finesse Swimmer on the same rod and reel setup: a 7-3 medium Duckett Pro Series rod with a 6.3:1 Duckett Fishing 360 Series reel. He used 16-pound Sunline FC Sniper for the swim jig and squarebill, but downsized to 10-pound for the Finesse Swimmer.
As the afternoon wore on, he relied heavily on his signature series SPRO Bronzeye Spit Shad 60 in the Killer Gill color that he fished on another of his products, the 7-foot medium-heavy Duckett Fishing Dean Rojas Signature Series Froggin’ rod. He paired it with a 7.1:1 Duckett Fishing 360 Series reel spooled with 80-pound Sunline FX2 braided line.
How He Got There
Much of Rojas’ winning gear was the same throughout the week, but in the earlier rounds, he also relied on a tube and Ned rig to survive the Elimination and Knockout Rounds, where he finished in 14th and 8th place, respectively.