Havasu’s Rojas wins on pro bass circuit
Into his first final round of the season, Lake Havasu City angler Dean Rojas took control in the morning and won by more than six pounds to claim the championship at Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Stage Five in Cullman, Alabama.
Rojas returned to a location on the upper end of Smith Lake he found in practice earlier in the week and it paid off, catching 23 bas weighing 36 pounds, 5 ounces by the end of the morning period. That haul alone was more fish than the rest of the field would catch the rest of the day and more weight than all but one other angler, setting him up with a comfortable lead fore the rest of the day.
“I had to mix it up to catch all those fish, but there was bait all over that area, so I had a feeling the fish should be there this morning,” Rojas said to MajorLeagueFishing.com.
“I went to that spot every morning in the ride-around to see if they were still spawning, because that’s what they were doing in practice. I didn’t go to it until the elimination round because my other stuff wasn’t working, and then didn’t fish it in knockout because (another angler) was fishing there. I went there this morning and they were busting, so I sat down on it and fished it out.”
Rojas finished with 30 bass weighing a total of 47-0, more than six pounds ahead of Kansas’ Brent Chapman, who caught 22 fish weighing 40-14.
“It’s not too often that you get into a championship round where the fish are biting like that and you can use multiple baits to rack up a big lead,” Rojas said.
“The conditions were right: we had overcast skies, a breeze, warm temperatures, and the fish were just feeding in the area I was in. It was just about capitalizing on this format. I knew I had to catch as many fish as I could early to put some distance between me and the field.”
Rojas said he fished shad spawn with a mix of baits, primarily a crankbait, swim jig, frog and swimbait.
“At the end of the first period, that was the end of (the bite),” Rojas said. “It was a big deal that I caught as many fish as I could to build a big lead. Period 2 and Period 3 were a matter of catching a few here and there, but I was struggling because they just wouldn’t bite.”
The win is Rojas’ first on the new tour and his first at the top level since April 2011, when he won the Bassmaster Elite Series title on the Toledo Bend Reservoir in Louisiana.