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ANDERSON, S.C. – When the stakes are as high as they are at the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by GoPro, a bad day can devastate an angler.
So you’d be inclined to think that Dean Rojas, the Classic’s Day 1 leader, would be licking his wounds after struggling to find a small limit on Day 2.
But you’d be wrong.
“I fished perfectly,” Rojas said soon after leaving the water Saturday afternoon. “I have no complaints about my performance.”
Blame it on the fish. They just didn’t bite for Rojas on Day 2. He fished the same way and in the same areas as Friday, but after weighing 21 pounds, 2 ounces on the weather-shortened first day, Read More
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).
MANY, La. — Toledo Bend Reservoir produced a little something extra — lagniappe in Louisiana French-speak — for Dean Rojas on Saturday.
Actually, that something extra was very large: a 7-pound, 2-ounce largemouth bass. And it proved to be the catch that made all the difference for Rojas on the third day of the May 1-4 Evan Williams Bourbon Bassmaster Elite on Toledo Bend.
Because of the big cull his 7-2 made possible, Rojas turned his day around. The so-so limit he would have had became a good day’s catch of 17-14.
Best of all, the 7-2 helped him to a 2-10 advantage over Friday leader Jacob Powroznik.
“I was fortunate today to have that big one that separated me from having a small limit,” said Rojas, who’s from Lake Havasu City, Ariz. Read More
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 4: 5, 21-10 (20, 76-09) Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito For 3 days, Rojas watched just about everybody else in the Top 12 tote 20-plus pound stringers to the stage while he hung around with 17- to 19-pound bags.
Today was his turn in the big-bag bonanza and it allowed him to climb seven spots and notch his third runner-up finish in the Elite Series.
"Aside from a 2nd place I had at Rayburn (2006) fishing with my frog, this was the funnest 2nd-place finish ever," he said. "Coming up from 9th like I did and catching a bag like I did today was a lot of fun. I felt like a lot of guys ahead of me were going to catch them like I did, but that didn't happen. Chris had such a big lead. I knew it would be difficult to catch him, so I'll take it."
He didn't make any major adjustments today. He just stayed with his game plan and it finally paid off.
"I did the same thing in the same area. Today, I just got three big bites," he added.
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
12:00 Kermit is in the house. Dean Rojas just set down his flippin' stick and reached into the rod locker for another stick. As he unwrapped the line and made his first cast with it, the assembled spectators let out a collective, "oooooooooooh," as they realized Rojas had broken out the frog.
11:55 We're back on Dean Rojas, and he tells me he hasn't upgraded in a while. He's working closer to the rip rap bank, much to the delight of the land-based spectators.
We're about to leave Rojas so Jerry Cunnungham can get more photos of other anglers. Rojas just said he's "married to this area." He's not leaving it today. There's a lot less wind today and the sun is bright and climbing higher, two factors that Rojas says will make his spot turn on in a big way. We'll probably be back with him a little later today, but for now we're on the move again.
Dean Rojas has a limit in the boat. It's not the kind of limit he needs to stay in contention or win this thing, but it's a good start. We watched Rojas fish this area yesterday, and he mostly stayed close to the rip rap bank that separates this pocket from the rest of the lake. But today he's expanding into other parts of this roughly 6 or 7 acre area.
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