The timing's different and the lake level is much higher than when he won there in 2011, but it seems like there's no way to stop Dean Rojas at Toledo Bend.
Rojas sacked 17-14 today, including a 7-02 kicker, to run his 3-day total to 62-11 and take over the lead with one day on the water remaining. Tomorrow, the Arizona pro will leave the dock seeking to close out his third Elite Series victory and fifth career B.A.S.S. win.
He'll have to hold off a group of competitors that is seemingly one hook set away from making up a lot of ground in a hurry on a lake that has churned out nearly 60 double-digit bass in the last year. Every angler in the Top 12 has caught at least one 20-pound bag so far and some have caught two so the potential is there for pretty much anyone among the finalists to hoist the trophy Sunday afternoon. From Rojas to Casey Ashley in 12th, the gap is just 8-04.
"I don't have a number in mind because I don't know what I can catch tomorrow," Rojas said when asked what he thinks he needs to win on Sunday. "If the opportunities present themselves, I can catch 25 (pounds). If not, I'll do the best with what I've got. If it's meant to happen, it'll happen." Read more
Dean 2nd after Day 2 On Toledo Bend
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 2: 5, 24-15 (10, 44-13)As many good days as Rojas has had at Toledo Bend, today was the best he's ever had and it's got him in position to contend for a third career victory there.
"I've caught a lot of 20-pound stringers here, but nothing like close to 25 that I caught today," he said. "The water level is different this year and it's fishing really big. I had no aspirations of catching that kind of weight at all. I was just fishing around and it happened."
What's more telling is he thinks he has a chance to match or come close to that result tomorrow.
"For me to catch that again is possible," he added. "I saw a lot more fish today than I did yesterday. It's getting warmer and that could be good for me."
His front deck is littered with about 10 rods as he's prepared for just about anything.
“I’m just fishing, doing what I know how to do best,” he said.
A 5-pounder late in the day, plus a 6-03, his kicker, anchored his bag. He said he spent some time trying to locate more spots that can possibly get him through the weekend.
“I’ve got a lot of experience on this lake, and I know I can’t win in one area,” he said. “I have to have multiple areas. I'm just fishing and there isn't a whole lot up there. It's going to get slimmer and slimmer. I just hope more move up there." Read more
Dean finishes 2nd On St. Johns
Finishing in 2nd place behind Lane was Dean Rojas with a total weight of 76-9. The Arizona pro took the slow and steady approach to the top of the leader board. Over the first three days of competition, Rojas never broke the 20-pound mark or finished the day above 9th place in the tournament standings.
That all changed for Rojas on Sunday, as he was the only angler in the Top 12 to break the 20-pound mark on the final day, rolling up the scales with a limit of largemouth weighing 21-10. While many of the top finishers battled it out in the crowded eelgrass beds on Lake George, Rojas opted to key on less pressured water, mining several grass patches that were off the beaten path. Complete Story