DRAGONFLY - RAYMARINE

ROJAS LEADS AT TOLEDO BEND

Posted by Z3 MEDIA STAFF on 05/03/2014

Story by Matt Pangrac - Photos by Dave Rush

Many, LA – Dean Rojas made his presence felt during the second day of competition on Friday at Bassmaster Elite Series tournament on Toledo Bend when he crossed the stage with the heaviest limit of the day weighing 24-15 to vault into 2nd place in the standings.  

On Saturday, the Arizona pro with a knack for boating big limits on Toledo Bend took the tournament lead with another limit weighing 17-14 to boost his overall weight to 62-11.   

With two previous victories on Toledo Bend coming in 2001 (Bassmaster Top 150) and again in 2011 (Bassmaster Elite Series),  Rojas will enter championship Sunday looking for the hat trick on the famed fishery located on the border between Louisiana and Texas.   

Chasing Rojas is Virginia’s Jacob Powroznik who took over the tournament lead on Friday but dropped to 2nd place on Saturday with a small limit weighing 11-13. Fishing for just the second time in his career on Toledo Bend, Powroznik is just 2 pounds, 10 ounces behind Rojas and well within striking distance.  

3rd place on Saturday went to Jared Lintner, who led the first day of the tournament on Thursday before falling slightly off the pace.  With 17-8 on Saturday, the Californian is less than 3 pounds out of the lead.  

Grass fishing expert Randall Tharp jumped up to 4th place on Saturday with 17-4 on the day and a total weight of 58-6, and local favorite Todd Faircloth rounded out the Top 5 with a total weight of 57-4.  

Casey Ashley was the last angler inside the Top 12 cut, finishing the day with 54-7.   

After 22 limits over the 20-pound mark over the first two days of competition, the 50 remaining competitors on Saturday combined to bring in just three 20+ pound limits, and Glenn Browne’s 21-0 effort was the heaviest limit of the day.   

Mark Davis made his fifth consecutive Elite Series Top 12 cut on Saturday dating back to the final tournament of the 2013 Elite Series where he finished in 2nd place on the Detroit River.  Davis finished Saturday on Toledo Bend in 7th place with a total weight of 56-5.

Tournament: Bassmaster Elite Series (Stop #4)
Location: Toledo Bend – Many, Louisiana
Day Three Leader: Dean Rojas (19-14, 24-15, 17-14: 62-11)
2nd Place: Jacob Powroznik (60-1)
Total weight separating 1st from 12th Place:  8-4  

1st Place: Dean Rojas (19-14, 24-15, 17-14: 62-11)
Rojas on catching his 7-2 kicker on Saturday:
“I was fortunate to have a big one today that separated me and kept me from having a much smaller limit. I found it (the fish) today.  I think that I spooked the fish when I Power-Poled down, and the male really didn’t want to do anything.  The big one wouldn’t commit, so I left and came back about a half-hour later.  The second time, my boat positioning was a lot different and I stayed way back.  

“I threw my Warmouth up there and the male bit on my second cast.  I thought that it was the female, so I reared back and set the hook.  As I was fighting the male, I saw a different coloration in the water moving towards (the bed).  I let the male go, rigged up my Warmouth, and made one pitch.  I never saw the fish eat it, but when I picked up my line it was swimming out towards the middle of the pocket.  I hammered her as hard as I could and the fight was on. I knew that fish was a game changer.”   

Rojas on leading the tournament heading into the final day:
“I know how important it is to get a big bite, and that’s what separates everything here.  I could catch 10-pounds or 8-pounds tomorrow – I just don’t know.  I just keep looking and I find a big one each day.  If another one or two come up tomorrow and I find them, I can close it out.  

“I don’t have any expectations or anything.  I don’t what to do anything different than I have been (doing). I’m just fishing the moment and fishing the time.”

Rojas on his slow start to the mornings:
“When I’m not sight fishing, I’m just fishing and throwing along a grass line or point with a topwater, crankbait, swimbait or whatever it might be.  My mornings have been miserable because I can’t seem to catch anything in the morning and I really struggle.”   

Rojas on the changing conditions:
“The water cooled down on the first day of the tournament after we had temperatures in the 40’s, but it’s heating back up again and is probably two to three degrees warmer than it was when the tournament started.  It’s a concern because I’m not finding many new ones (bedding bass).  The big one that I found today was fresh, though, because I went through that same area on Thursday and there was nothing there.”

Rojas on how spectator boats affect bedding bass:
“The spectator boats don’t affect them to much because they’ve been staying pretty far back.  The only challenging thing is when the spectator boats start fishing.  There are boats all over the lake, so it really hasn’t been a problem that I’m worried about.”  

Rojas on what he things he will need on Sunday to have a shot at winning:
“I have no idea.  I really didn’t have any idea how well I was doing today or how well I was doing yesterday.  I’m just going out and fishing what is in front of me and looking to come across a big one that I can catch.”

2nd Place: Jacob Powroznik (24-14, 23-6, 11-13: 60-1)
Powroznik on how the thick smoke from a controlled burn in the Toledo Bend area hurt his bed fishing area:
“That’s fishing and it’s just part of the day.  You couldn’t see (in the water) at all.  It was like standing in a burn barrel.  The fish are still there, so maybe tomorrow the fire won’t be so smoky and I’ll be able to see them.”

Powroznik on how his early morning shad spawn bite died on Saturday:
“The shad spawn deal this morning did not pan out because I only caught one keeper in the morning.  That’s just part of the deal and tomorrow they could be right back up there and you could catch another big bag.  You have to try that pattern for the first hour or two each morning.  

“There were no shad there at all, and I went and jumped four or five places and they weren’t there either.  I’m going to run a bunch of new places tomorrow looking for that deal because if you find them, it can happen in a hurry.  I thought that the shad would be there for at least the first 30 minutes this morning, but there were a bunch of boats in the area when I got there.”

Powroznik on his expectations for Sunday:
“I know where there’s a pocket with a 5-pounder, and there’s a 6-pounder in that same pocket.  There’s also a 4-pounder in the pocket where the fire is burning, so if I can catch a few in the morning and then go catch those three fish, I’ll have a really good chance.

“This is Toledo Bend and there are a lot of big fish in this lake.  I stubbed my toe a little bit today, but you can get good in a hurry here.  If you pull up on the right spot at the right time, you can catch five big ones in five casts.” 

3rd Place: Jared Lintner (25-7, 16-13, 17-8: 59-12)
Lintner on his Saturday grind on Toledo Bend:
“Yesterday was just a grind and today was even more of a grind.  I caught almost a 6-pounder yesterday and almost a 5-pounder today, and without those, I would have had around 12-pounds each day.  It’s just bad.”

Lintner on the boat traffic on Toledo Bend:
“Like I said up there (on stage), I can’t blame people for wanting to be out fishing and stuff like that.  I’m flipping grass, and when you have 10 boats watching you catch them on the first day and they want to try to help you catch them, it moves the fish around.  I’m not upset and I’m not blaming anybody, but instead of sitting where you can pinpoint them (the bass), they scatter all over the place with the noise and all the boats on top.  

“It’s a real popular area and I knew that going into it.  With all the other tournaments going on, I knew that if I ended up catching them I would have a lot of other boats around.”

Lintner on working for each bite:
“My (marshal) today timed it and he said that I made about four flips each minute.  He calculated it out that with an hour-and-a-half of time for running around and idling and stuff, I made over 1,700 pitches today.  I caught eight fish and missed two, so that’s 10 bites out of 1,700 pitches.  That’s what I mean when I say that it’s a grind.”  

Lintner on sticking with his primary area despite the traffic:
“I know that the potential is there because that’s where I caught 25-pounds on the first day and I lost another big one.  In practice, there were giants floating around but they’re gone now.  I’m hoping that they’re using the grass lines as highways and I can pick them off as I go.” 

DAY THREE STANDINGS

PlaceNameDay 1Day 2Day 3Total FishTotal Weight
FishWeightFishWeightFishWeight
1 Dean Rojas 5 19-14 5 24-15 5 17-14 15 62-11
2 Jacob Powroznik 5 24-14 5 23- 6 5 11-13 15 60- 1
3 Jared Lintner 5 25- 7 5 16-13 5 17- 8 15 59-12
4 Randall Tharp 5 16- 5 5 24-13 5 17- 4 15 58- 6
5 Todd Faircloth 5 21-14 5 18-13 5 16- 9 15 57- 4
6 Skeet Reese 5 17- 7 5 23-14 5 15- 5 15 56-10
7 Mark Davis 5 17-14 5 22- 9 5 15-14 15 56- 5
8 Chris Zaldain 5 22- 6 5 15-15 5 18- 0 15 56- 5
9 Cliff Crochet 5 21-10 5 13-15 5 20- 6 15 55-15
10 Chad Morgenthaler 5 18-15 5 24-13 5 11-12 15 55- 8
11 Jonathon VanDam 5 14- 7 5 19-10 5 20-14 15 54-15
12 Casey Ashley 5 15- 6 5 21-11 5 17- 6 15 54- 7
13 Glenn Browne 5 16- 0 5 13-15 5 21- 0 15 50-15
14 Cliff Pirch 5 20-13 5 15-14 5 13-13 15 50- 8
15 Mike Kernan 5 22- 1 5 12-13 5 15- 5 15 50- 3
16 Hank Cherry 5 15- 7 5 19- 8 5 15- 0 15 49-15
17 Scott Rook 5 15- 9 5 14- 5 5 19-12 15 49-10
18 Alton Jones 5 19- 3 5 14- 6 5 15-15 15 49- 8
19 Kevin VanDam 5 17- 5 5 13-13 5 17-14 15 49- 0
20 Keith Combs 5 13- 4 5 17- 7 5 18- 3 15 48-14
21 Brandon Palaniuk 5 9-13 5 21- 8 5 17- 1 15 48- 6
22 Brett Hite 5 17- 9 5 16- 9 5 14- 3 15 48- 5
23 Randy Howell 5 22- 4 5 14-15 5 10-14 15 48- 1
24 J Todd Tucker 5 25- 0 4 7-11 5 14-11 14 47- 6
25 Rick Clunn 5 22- 2 5 18- 5 4 6-13 14 47- 4
26 James Niggemeyer 5 20- 5 5 11- 2 5 15- 1 15 46- 8
27 Brent Chapman 5 16- 6 5 16-12 5 13- 6 15 46- 8
28 Bobby Lane 5 21- 5 5 13-13 5 11- 0 15 46- 2
29 Terry Scroggins 5 12-13 5 16-14 5 16- 6 15 46- 1
30 David Mullins 5 14- 9 5 15-13 5 15-10 15 46- 0
31 Stephen Browning 5 16-14 5 13- 7 5 15- 8 15 45-13
32 Kelley Jaye 5 18- 0 5 16- 5 5 11- 7 15 45-12
33 Chad Pipkens 5 20- 8 5 13- 9 5 10-14 15 44-15
34 Greg Hackney 5 17- 5 5 12-15 5 14- 6 15 44-10
35 Russ Lane 5 19- 4 5 14- 5 5 10-12 15 44- 5
36 Josh Bertrand 5 18- 0 5 15- 8 5 10-10 15 44- 2
37 Chris Lane 5 13-14 5 15-10 5 14- 7 15 43-15
38 Marty Robinson 5 13-12 5 16-10 5 13- 0 15 43- 6
39 Kotaro Kiriyama 5 13- 7 5 17- 0 5 12-11 15 43- 2
40 Stephen Kennedy 5 16-14 5 13- 2 4 13- 2 14 43- 2
41 Greg Vinson 5 18- 1 5 12- 3 5 12-13 15 43- 1
42 Brandon Lester 5 14- 7 5 20- 5 4 8- 2 14 42-14
43 Nate Wellman 5 15-12 5 15- 3 5 11- 6 15 42- 5
44 Gerald Swindle 5 12- 6 5 18- 8 5 10-11 15 41- 9
45 Kelly Jordon 5 15- 6 5 13- 8 5 12- 9 15 41- 7
46 Mike McClelland 5 16- 1 5 14-14 5 10- 5 15 41- 4
47 Morizo Shimizu 5 16-12 5 13-11 5 10- 9 15 41- 0
48 Brian Snowden 5 15- 1 5 14- 2 5 10- 3 15 39- 6
49 Matthew Herren 5 17- 3 5 13- 9 4 6- 6 14 37- 2
50 Keith Poche 5 18-14 5 11- 4 4 5- 7 14 35- 9