DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

DEAN ROJAS LEADS DAY ONE AT THE SABINE

Posted by Z3 MEDIA TEAM on 03/14/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Orange, TX – On Thursday, only 17 of the 100 Elite Series pros brought a five bass limit to the scales at the 2013 season opener on Texas’ Sabine River.  Even more surprising is the fact that 13 Elite Series pros failed to cross the stage with a single keeper, and 27 anglers managed just a single keeper bite over the course of the day.  

Arizona’s Dean Rojas took top honors on Thursday with a limit of largemouth weighing an impressive 15-10 that was anchored by a 5-15 brute.  Rojas will enter cut day with a lead of just under 3-pounds over 2nd place finisher Mark Davis, who weighed-in a limit to the tune of 13-13.   Louisiana’s Cliff Crochet rounded out the top three with 13-0 on the day.  

The 5 Day One Facts from the Sabine River:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (March 14-17)
Location:  Sabine River – Orange, Texas
Leader/weight:  Dean Rojas (15-10)
50th place weight: (Tie) Kevin Hawk (4-7), Randy Howell (4-7)
Total weight separating 1st place from 10th place:  5-3

1st Place: Dean Rojas (15-10)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“Just to catch five keepers. Based on practice, I felt like today was going to be a grind, but I also felt like catching a limit was doable.  As it turned out, the keepers came a little bit quicker than I had expected.” 

Dean Rojas How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I made a long run and was able to get to where I needed to go.  I also was able to execute my bites and I didn’t lose any quality fish today and everything turned out really well.  I caught my fifth keeper at around 11:15 and I only had four or five short fish in the mix. I got in a total of about six hours of fishing time today.”   

Was there a key moment for you during the day? 
“The key moment was when I made the decision on what area I needed to fish.  The big fish that I caught was the first fish that I caught, but it’s the first tournament of the year and it’s a tough tournament.  I just wanted to keep it simple so that I didn’t blow it on the first day. I was able to stay in the game because of the decision that I made at the start of the morning.”  

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“The long boat ride and getting to my area is pretty challenging. It’s just a long run.  It’s tough mentally when you’re running wide open for an hour to start the day. On the way back, I just took it easy and made sure that everything was working perfectly. The big fish that I caught today was really a surprise because I had no idea that I could catch one close to six-pounds in the area that I fished.  That fish was really a gift.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“It was flawless today.” 

2nd Place: Mark Davis (13-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I found a little area yesterday where I thought that there were some decent fish.  Other than that, my expectations were pretty low.  I would have been happy with whatever I could come up with.  I figured that you’d do pretty well if you could catch three or four a day.  There’s no history on this fishery, so nobody really knew what to expect.” 

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“It was up and down all day long.  I had nine keeper bites today.  When you already have a limit in the boat, you almost hate to catch another keeper because you know that you’re going to need that fish the next day.” 

Mark Davis

Was there a key moment for you during the day? 
“The first fish this morning really put me in the right frame of mind to slow down.  It was a cold night and a cold morning and the fish weren’t biting very well.  Once I put that first good one in the boat and figured out the bite, I was able to maintain that good slow pace that it took to get bit.  If you sped up, you just couldn’t catch them.”

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“There really wasn’t anything particularly surprising today.  This place is fishing pretty small but I expected that it would.  In the few areas that hold fish, you’re not going to have it to yourself and that’s just the way that it is.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“It was solid today.  I lost a fish or two over the course of the day, but I don’t think it was anything that ended up hurting my overall weight.  My execution was good.” 

Cliff Crochet 3rd Place: Cliff Crochet (13-0)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I honestly thought that I could catch around 10– to 12-pounds.  I thought that would be a legitimate effort.” 

How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“It was a grind that featured different points of interest.  This isn’t a Guntersville deal where you catch 22-pounds by 8:00 in the morning.  I’ll say this about my day: I aged quite a bit during the last eight-hours on the Sabine River.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“There was one aspect to my day that was pretty surprising, and it was a good surprise.  I really don’t want to say what it is, but hopefully I’ll be able to talk about it on Sunday.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“My execution today was 90%.  I missed a few on hooksets, but I think that they were small fish from the way that they bit.  My decision making was good.  I didn’t beat anything up, and if I can continue to make decisions like I made today, I think that I’ll be alright.  At some point on Friday, I’ll have to make a decision and the rest of my week will hinge on that decision.”

4th Place: Hank Cherry (12-11)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I really didn’t know what to expect.  I was expecting to catch one bedding fish that I had located, but after that I really just planned on going fishing.  I knew that the area where I started was probably one of the best looking stretches of the River.”

Hank Cherry How would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I went to a bedding fish and caught it on the first cast of the day.  It was a 3-pounder.  I went down the bank and caught two more close to that size, and then I picked up (another bait) and caught four more keepers and then left the area.   All my fish today came out of one little area that’s about the size of a football field.  They’re still there, so I think that it’s possible to catch them tomorrow.” 

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“I always make one cast to start the morning where I just throw the bait out and wind it back in.  I did that, and then I turned around and flipped to where I thought (the bedding bass) was.  As soon as the bait hit the bottom my line just took off.”  

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“It really hurt this morning because there were seven other boats in the area.  That’s not where I even planned on fishing today.  I happen to be staying at a cabin by the water, and I’d come in every day for lunch. The other day, I parked the boat and looked down and there was a bedding bass sitting there.  Nobody else ever saw her because the water is so dingy.”  

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“I set the hook on a couple fish that I missed, but I think that I missed them because of the combination of the dirty water and the cypress trees.  I think that the fish are moving up to spawn and I think that I was pulling the bait away from them instead of letting them eat it.  I marked those trees and I’m going to go back and hit the tomorrow.”  

5th Place: Greg Hackney (11-13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I guess that I probably met my expectations.  My main objective was to catch a limit and get one good bite.  I had several keeper bites in practice, but I just didn’t catch big ones.”  

Greg HackneyHow would you summarize your day as a whole? 
“I caught my biggest fish early, and then I burnt through seven or eight small ones before I caught another keeper.  It was just a grind today and I had to go through a bunch of fish to get what I caught.”  

Was there a key moment for you during the day? 
“The big one that I caught was my first bite and that set the tone for the day. " 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“There really wasn’t anything that was challenging or surprising.  I did have to cover a bunch of water today to catch a limit.” 

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“It was perfect for me today and I made really good moves.  I could tell that the tide was down in my starting spot and it was pulling out hard.  I spent maybe 10 minutes there and then rolled around the corner because it just didn’t look right.  I caught my big one at my next stop.”  

 

DAY 1 STANDINGS

Place Angler Day 1
FishWeight
1 Dean Rojas 5 15-10
2 Mark Davis 5 13-13
3 Cliff Crochet 5 13- 0
4 Hank Cherry 5 12-11
5 Greg Hackney 5 11-13
6 Ishama Monroe 5 11- 3
7 Jeff Kriet 5 10-13
7 Matt Reed 5 10-13
9 Casey Ashley 5 10- 9
10 Todd Faircloth 5 10- 7
11 Bobby Lane 5 9-15
12 Terry Scroggins 3 9-11
13 Mike McClelland 5 9- 6
14 Fred Roumbanis 3 9- 5
15 Skeet Reese 5 9- 1
16 Bill Lowen 5 9- 0
17 Charlie Hartley 5 8-15
18 Brandon Card 5 8- 6
19 Kevin VanDam 3 8- 2
20 Bernie Schultz 4 8- 1
21 David Walker 4 7-15
22 Cliff Pace 4 7-11
23 Alton Jones 5 7-10
24 Zell Rowland 4 7- 7
25 Edwin Evers 4 7- 6
26 James Elam 3 7- 3
27 Kurt Dove 4 7- 1
28 Keith Combs 3 6-15
29 Kotaro Kiriyama 4 6-13
30 J Todd Tucker 4 6-11
30 Chris Zaldain 4 6-11
32 Jason Williamson 3 6-10
33 Gary Klein 4 6- 9
34 Josh Bertrand 3 6- 9
34 Billy McCaghren 3 6- 9
36 Jason Christie 3 6- 2
36 Stephen Kennedy 3 6- 2
38 Marty Robinson 3 5-14
39 Shaw E Grigsby 3 5- 9
40 Fletcher Shryock 3 5- 8
41 Scott Ashmore 3 5- 7
41 Keith Poche 3 5- 7
43 Jared Miller 3 5- 5
44 Timmy Horton 3 5- 2
44 Morizo Shimizu 3 5- 2
46 Jared Lintner 3 5- 1
47 Bradley Roy 3 4-14
48 Nate Wellman 2 4-10
49 Kevin Hawk 2 4- 7
49 Randy Howell 2 4- 7
51 Michael Iaconelli 2 4- 3
52 Kenyon Hill 1 4- 1
53 Pete Ponds 1 3-14
54 Brent Chapman 2 3-13
55 Tommy Biffle 2 3-12
55 Davy Hite 2 3-12
57 John Crews 2 3-11
58 Paul Elias 1 3-11
59 Boyd Duckett 2 3- 9
60 Scott Rook 2 3- 6
61 Clark Reehm 2 3- 3
62 Cliff Pirch 1 3- 2
62 Brian Snowden 1 3- 2
64 Brandon Palaniuk 2 3- 1
65 Matthew Herren 1 3- 1
66 Kelly Jordon 2 3- 0
67 Dennis Tietje 1 2-14
68 Chip Porche 1 2-11
69 Chris Lane 1 2- 1
69 Aaron Martens 1 2- 1
71 Derek Remitz 1 2- 0
72 Britt Myers 1 1-15
73 Stephen Browning 1 1-14
73 Andy Montgomery 1 1-14
73 Jonathon VanDam 1 1-14
76 Yusuke Miyazaki 1 1-13
76 Rick Morris 1 1-13
76 James Niggemeyer 1 1-13
79 Ott DeFoe 1 1-12
80 Jamie Horton 1 1-11
80 Chad Pipkens 1 1-11
80 Michael Simonton 1 1-11
80 Gerald Swindle 1 1-11
84 Byron Haseotes 1 1- 9
84 Kevin Ledoux 1 1- 9
84 Kevin Short 1 1- 9
87 Russell Lane 1 1- 8
88 Rick Clunn    
88 Jami Fralick    
88 Grant Goldbeck    
88 Matt Greenblatt    
88 Kelley Jaye    
88 John Murray    
88 Takahiro Omori    
88 Cliff Prince    
88 Jason Quinn    
88 Casey Scanlon    
88 David Smith    
88 Jeremy Starks    
88 Greg Vinson