Photos by Seigo Saito/ B.A.S.S. Communications
As they met backstage, Dean
Rojas and Gerald Swindle shook hands, then gave each other a man hug.
Both smiled graciously, both teared up a little.
bested Swindle by 1 ounce in the TroKar Battle on the Bayou. Rojas
secured a wire-to-wire win, his second Bassmaster Elite Series victory.
It was his fourth Bassmaster career win, one
of which, like Sunday’s win, was on Toledo Bend Reservoir.
2012 Bassmaster Classic. He also jumped 23 spots in the all-important
Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race, also the road
to the postseason.
about the win I love â€” the trophy, the check, the points, the Classic,
and winning a tournament in 2011.â€
Bend and fish to the best of my ability,â€ said Swindle, who already
secured a 2012 Classic seat by winning a Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster
Southern Open earlier in the season. â€œThe competition
is the fish â€¦ and most of the time yourself is the enemy if you beat
yourself up, get too bent out of shape.
jumped off during this tournament,â€ he added. â€œYou have to say, â€˜It was
meant for Dean Rojas to win’ because I put 110 percent heart and soul
into this and I didn’t make any stupid mistakes.â€
pounds against David Walker going into the final day. But in the end, it
was Swindle who challenged Rojas, charging from third place with
Sunday’s big bag of 18-14. The final tally was Rojas
with 70 pounds, 15 ounces, and Swindle with 70-14.
said, with his topwater bite producing his larger fish by working one
lure, a natural-shad SPRO Hydro-Pop topwater on Sunline monofilament
line, slowly on the edges of grass.
tournament had. He caught one keeper on the popper, and then a 5-pounder
about 45 minutes into the day. But after the 5-pounder, he didn’t boat
another fish in the area, so he left and went to
his sight fish at 10 a.m.
sight fish. I filled out my limit with my sight fish, and then went back
to that area. I thought, â€˜Well, there was one big one there, there’s
got to be more,’ so I went back.â€
noted that he also lost a fish or two that could have made the
bait he designed for Big Bite Baits. He rigged the bluegill imitator on
a 3/16-ounce Eco Pro Tungsten bullet weight and on 22-pound Sunline
them to bite. I don’t think there’s a finer sight-fishing bait on the
market right now, nothing to compete with it.â€
but it produced smaller bass than did the popper in the grass pockets he
shad in the pockets, and I was working the bait through there, and
they’d come up and eat it,â€ Rojas said.
lead. The points standings determine Classic qualifications and eight
entries into the $100,000 Toyota Trucks All-Star Week postseason
|1||Dean Rojas||5||23- 1||5||19-13||5||14- 9||5||13- 8||20||70-15|
|2||Gerald Swindle||5||19- 9||5||16-12||5||15-11||5||18-14||20||70-14|
|3||David Walker||5||13- 6||5||24- 0||5||16- 0||5||16-12||20||70- 2|
|4||Chris Lane||5||17- 2||5||18- 3||5||16- 1||5||15-13||20||67- 3|
|5||Fred Roumbanis||5||21- 3||5||11-11||5||17-10||5||16- 9||20||67- 1|
|6||Andy Montgomery||5||16-10||5||15- 1||5||18- 7||5||15-14||20||66- 0|
|7||Randy Howell||5||18-11||5||19- 0||5||9- 3||5||16-11||20||63- 9|
|8||Steve Kennedy||5||20- 0||5||9- 0||5||21- 7||5||12-15||20||63- 6|
|9||Aaron Martens||5||18- 7||5||21-13||5||11- 6||5||11- 5||20||62-15|
|10||James Stricklin||5||16- 6||5||17-10||5||13-15||5||10-13||20||58-12|
|11||Greg Vinson||5||15- 2||5||18-14||5||13- 6||4||8- 9||19||55-15|
|12||Ish Monroe||5||11-13||4||18-14||5||15- 9||2||4-13||16||51- 1|