DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

ROJAS BACK IN THE LEAD

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 03/16/2013

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Orange, TX – After leading the first day of the Bassmaster Elite Series stop on the Sabine River, Arizona’s Dean Rojas dropped to 2nd place on Friday as Todd Faircloth took over the top spot on the leaderboard.  On Saturday, Rojas regained his position at the top in front of an impressive crowd gathered to watch the weigh-in in Orange, Texas.   

With a limit weighing 11-14, Rojas pushed his three day total weight to 38-6, and will enter championship Sunday with a lead of 3 pounds, 9 ounces over Todd Faircloth, who dropped to 2nd after only managing four keepers on Saturday weighing 7-14 for a total weight of 34-13.  

Eight of the 50 remaining anglers blanked on Saturday, including Cliff Crochet, who entered the day in 3rd place.  Not a single angler was able to break the 12-pound mark even though 16 anglers crossed the stage with a five bass limit.  

The 5 Day Three Facts from the Sabine River:
Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (March 14-17)
Location:  Sabine River – Orange, Texas
Leader/weight:  Dean Rojas (15-10, 10-14, 11-14: 38-6)
50th place weight: Kurt Dove (7-1, 3-14, 0-0: 10:15)
Total weight separating 1st place from 12th place: (11-10)

1st Place: Dean Rojas (15-10, 10-14, 11-14: 38-6)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
“I only had one gameplan and I really didn’t have a ‘plan B’ at all.  I knew what the area was capable of because of what I’d caught out of there for two days in a row, so I just dedicated myself to that area.”  

Dean Rojas How would you summarize your day as a whole?
“It was a very slow start to the day and I didn’t have a fish in the first hour.  I had three for about four hours and I was dying in there.  I caught a 3-pounder and then I caught my last keeper with 15 minutes left in the day. 

“It was a real grind for me today.  I only had six keeper bites and I caught five of them.  I hooked one other one that was a good one that headed towards deeper water and it just came unbuttoned.  I had a couple key bites that really paid off for me.  

“The area has deep water and it winds back.  There’s a lot of bait and cover back there so the fish are moving back there.  With the water warming up, it’s just a matter of getting the fish to bite.  There are certain stretches that are better than the rest.”  

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
“My last keeper in the final minutes of the day was critical because I would have only had around 10-pounds without that fish.  You have to have a limit every day to win this thing.  Tomorrow, my main goal is to catch five. 

“The real key moment for me today was when I caught my fourth keeper.  It was a 3-pounder and I had just gone for three and a half hours without a keeper bite.” 

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
“One of the other guys in there cut right in front of me and I couldn’t even fish today; that’s how bad it was.  I’m just trying to do the best that I can and not worry about him.”

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
“Some of the company in there affected my decision making today because I couldn’t even go to where I wanted to fish because he cut me off.  It was a bad deal because I had to almost play defense and I couldn’t fish the way that I needed to.

“As much as I wanted to (say something), I knew that it would throw me off my game and I couldn’t allow that.  I’ve worked hard to get where I’m at and I’m not going to blow it mentally by blowing up. I just need to focus, and I know that I can catch them better than he can.”

2nd Place: Todd Faircloth (10-7,16-8,7-14: 34:13)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"I whole heartedly believe that my area has the winning fish in it, I just have to figure out how to get them to bite.  I've got a lot better idea of where I need to focus my attention in my area after today, and I am just going to go back in there and bear down tomorrow."

Todd FairclothHow would you summarize your day as a whole?
"It was close to 11:30 or noon before I caught my first keeper.  I probably caught close to 30 fish today, but I never had my fifth keeper on.  I asked myself all day what changed in my area, but it's just fishing and it just didn't click for me today."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"Catching my first keeper was the key for me. I fished for a long time and was really wondering if I was going to zero today.  I was getting really frustrated, so actually catching that first one, even though it was my smallest, really settled me down."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Just thinking that I had the area figured out.  When I left that area yesterday I really thought I was going to catch them today.  That's why I always say you can never really predict what is going to happen from one day to the next.  You can get a feel for it, but you really never know what these fish are going to do from one day to the next."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I have all of my eggs in one basket, and I know if I move and change I will be fishing used water.  I am confident in my decision to stick with my area and I will go back and grind it out tomorrow.  I caught fish all day long, but never had that fifth keeper bite."

3rd Place: Ish Monroe (11-3 ,10-9 ,9-15: 31-11)
What were your expectations heading into the day?
"There are a lot of fish in the area I am fishing, but it's just really hard to get a good bite.  I am just trying to go out there and be consistent.  I'm catching a lot of fish and just going out there and having a good time."

Ish Monroe How would you summarize your day as a whole?
"I've had no company for three straight days, and I've been able to lean on my fish a little harder each day.  I caught another ten pounds today and figure I can do about the same tomorrow."

Was there a key moment for you during the day?
"I made a switch from the Missile Craw to the D Bomb later in the day that helped me upgrade a little.  I threw the frog a little more today than I had over the first two days and was able to catch a few on it also."

What was the most challenging/surprising aspect of your day?
"Catching fifteen keepers and close to thirty fish without catching a big one is challenging, but I just don't think there are many big ones that live in the area I am fishing.  I'm just going to keep doing what I am doing and grind it out."

How would you assess your decision making and execution on the water?
"I didn't lose any fish that I think would have helped me today.  I swung on a few and missed them, but based on what I have been catching, I don't think they were any bigger than the others."

 

DAY THREE STANDINGS

PlaceNameDay 1Day 2Day 3Total FishTotal Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
    1 Dean Rojas 5 15-10 5 10-14 5 11-14 15 38- 6
    2        Todd Faircloth 5 10- 7 5 16- 8 4 7-14 14 34-13
    3        Ishama Monroe 5 11- 3 5 10- 9 5 9-15 15 31-11
    4        Terry Scroggins 3 9-11 5 14-10 3 7- 1 11 31- 6
    5        Jeff Kriet 5 10-13 5 10- 9 5 9- 0 15 30- 6
    6        Mark Davis 5 13-13 4 8- 6 5 8- 0 14 30- 3
    7        Alton Jones 5 7-10 5 10- 0 5 11- 9 15 29- 3
    8        Mike McClelland 5 9- 6 4 8-14 4 9-11 13 27-15
    9        Dennis Tietje 1 2-14 5 13- 5 5 11- 8 11 27-11
    10        Bill Lowen 5 9- 0 5 9- 4 5 9- 1 15 27- 5
    11        Brandon Card 5 8- 6 5 9- 1 5 9-10 15 27- 1
    12        Bobby Lane 5 9-15 4 7- 0 5 9-13 14 26-12
    13        Edwin Evers 4 7- 6 4 9- 8 5 9- 8 13 26- 6
    14        Cliff Crochet 5 13- 0 5 12- 0 10 25- 0
    15        Kevin VanDam 3 8- 2 4 12- 4 1 3-14 8 24- 4
    16        Takahiro Omori 0 0- 0 5 11-13 5 11-14 10 23-11
    17        James Elam 3 7- 3 1 3- 7 5 10-15 9 21- 9
    18        Charlie Hartley 5 8-15 3 9- 1 1 3- 8 9 21- 8
    19        Casey Ashley 5 10- 9 1 1-14 5 8- 9 11 21- 0
    20        Jared Miller 3 5- 5 5 9- 7 3 6- 0 11 20-12
    21        Fred Roumbanis 3 9- 5 5 7- 2 3 4- 5 11 20-12
    22        Chris Lane 1 2- 1 5 9-14 5 8-12 11 20-11
    23        Zell Rowland 4 7- 7 2 3- 3 5 8-12 11 19- 6
    24        Brian Snowden 1 3- 2 4 7- 7 4 8- 9 9 19- 2
    25        Billy McCaghren 3 6- 9 2 3- 7 5 9- 1 10 19- 1
    26        John Crews 2 3-11 5 9- 4 4 5-14 11 18-13
    27        Kelly Jordon 2 3- 0 5 13-15 1 1- 5 8 18- 4
    28        Cliff Pace 4 7-11 3 5- 4 3 5- 2 10 18- 1
    29        Keith Poche 3 5- 7 4 8- 2 1 3-15 8 17- 8
    30        Marty Robinson 3 5-14 2 7-10 3 4- 0 8 17- 8
    31        Rick Morris 1 1-13 2 8- 8 2 7- 2 5 17- 7
    32        Keith Combs 3 6-15 2 5- 2 3 5- 5 8 17- 6
    33        Brent Chapman 2 3-13 4 11- 9 1 1- 8 7 16-14
    34        David Walker 4 7-15 4 7- 4 1 1- 7 9 16-10
    35        Derek Remitz 1 2- 0 4 8- 2 3 6- 0 8 16- 2
    36        Matt Reed 5 10-13 0 0- 0 2 4-14 7 15-11
    37        Shaw E Grigsby 3 5- 9 5 10- 1 8 15-10
    38        Gary Klein 4 6- 9 4 6- 5 1 1-13 9 14-11
    39        John Murray 0 0- 0 5 14-10 5 14-10
    40        Hank Cherry 5 12-11 0 0- 0 1 1-12 6 14- 7
    41        Pete Ponds 1 3-14 4 6-14 2 3- 9 7 14- 5
    42        Clark Reehm 2 3- 3 5 11- 1 7 14- 4
    43        Gerald Swindle 1 1-11 3 8- 9 2 3-10 6 13-14
    44        Stephen Kennedy 3 6- 2 3 5- 2 1 2- 7 7 13-11
    45        Greg Hackney 5 11-13 1 1-13 6 13-10
    46        Matthew Herren 1 3- 1 3 7- 4 2 3- 4 6 13- 9
    47        Skeet Reese 5 9- 1 1 3- 6 6 12- 7
    48        Boyd Duckett 2 3- 9 4 7- 1 1 1-12 7 12- 6
    49        Stephen Browning 1 1-14 4 9- 1 5 10-15
    50        Kurt Dove 4 7- 1 2 3-14 6 10-15