KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Lake Havasu City angler Dean Rojas caught just three fish on Friday in his group’s elimination round at the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour Stage One on Lake Toho, missing the cut.
Rojas, who entered the day with a big gap to make up to reach the cutline, caught three bass weighing 5 pounds, 14 ounces in the second round, finishing in 37th in Group B. The top 20 anglers made the cut to advance to tomorrow’s Knockout Round.
Rojas finished with a two-day total of seven bass weighing 12 pounds, 10 ounces. In the “every fish counts” competition format, that mark was more than 20 pounds shy of the cut, with hometown angler Bobby Lane taking the last spot with a haul of 22 fish weighing 33 pounds, 9 ounces.
San Tan Valley’s Josh Bertrand (12 for 23-12) also fell short of the mark, as did big names like Kevin VanDam and Skeet Reese.
The 20 anglers from Group B will now join the 20 that made Thursday’s cut in today’s Knockout Round. All scores will be zeroed out, with the top 10 from today’s round advancing to Sunday’s championship.
Boats will launch at 5:30 a.m. local time with lines out at 1:30 p.m. All of the action can be streamed online at MajorLeagueFishing.com.
The next stop on the tour will head to southeast Texas, at Lake Conroe, a popular recreational lake in Texas located about 40 miles north of Houston. That tournament will run from Feb. 12-17.
Many of the Bass Pro Tour’s 80-man roster, among which are seven anglers from Texas, have experience on the 21,000-acre lake that serves as an alternate drinking water supply to Houston. However, previous knowledge may not be much of a factor during the 2019 Bass Pro Tour competition dates of Feb. 12-17, because recent rains have carried new debris into the lake to create additional bass hideouts and possibly altered some of the known brushpiles and other existing cover in the lake.
The following two dates will be at the end of March in Raleigh, North Carolina and in mid-April in Dayton, Tennessee. Locations for the final four stages of the tour’s inaugural season have yet to be named.
Both Rojas and Havasu’s Roy Hawk have qualified for the Bassmaster Classic which will be held from March 15-17 in Knoxville, Tennessee.