Dean Rojas has been a fixture on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail for years and is one of the biggest names in bass fishing. He is currently in 7th Place on the Bassmaster Elite Series Points list and coming off a win at Toledo Bend and a 20th place finish at West Point Lake this weekend. I had the chance to talk with him and discuss the importance of momentum in fishing, life on the road and developing fishing products for his sponsors.
TB: Dean, you have been on a roll lately. After a win, how do you balance the media responsibilities, while not losing the focus on the next event?
DR: It has been a very busy few weeks for me. I have been doing a bunch of promotions stuff for my sponsors, doing interviews, participating in writer's conferences and making sponsor appearances. It takes more effort definitely, but it's part of my responsibility for my sponsors and I am willing to do whatever it takes to promote them.
TB: Now that you are qualified for the Classic, does that take the pressure off? Also, how did momentum from the win help you on the next event?
DR: The Classic qualification is huge, I don't have to worry about that and I can fish the way I want to for the rest of the year. I can fish for the win at each event and not worry about just trying to gain points. Momemtum is great, it gives you that extra boost of confidence.
TB: Speaking of fishing the way you want; you are really known for fishing with a frog and sight fishing, what other techniques or styles do you feel are your best?
DR: I have really been labeled a "frog guy" because of everything I have done with the bait, but I really like flippin' and pitching my fighting frog by Big Bite Baits. Really, I love to do it all man.
TB: The Fighting Frog is a great bait, and it seems like you have a bunch of great signature series baits. Tell me about the process of designing new baits. How long does it take from the prototype stage to being available to the average angler?
DR: It can take some time. For example, I was using the Big Bite Baits Warmouth last year at Smith Mountain and finished 3rd with it. It took some refining and development, but around the end of 2010 it was ready to go. Some baits we test never make it to the production line because we find they aren't up to our standards. We want to make sure we always put out the best baits and products we can.
TB: The WarMouth is a cool bait and looks like it would be great on beds. What other uses have you found for it? Also what are your favorite colors?
DR: For colors, my favorites are the Green Pumpkin, War Party and Chartreuse Bluegill. Besides bed fishing, I have also had some success pitching around grass edges.
TB: With all of the great colors you developed for Eco Pro Tungsten, which are your favorites?
DR: The green pumpkin is a perfect match for the green pumpkin WarMouth. I also really like the Black Neon and Sapphire Pumpkin.
TB: You just did great at West Point Lake, have you ever fished it before this weekend? How do you prepare for a new lake you have never fished?
DR: I went up to West Point before the cutoff and did alot of looking around. On a new lake I do as much research as I can. I look at lake maps and look for likely areas. That way, when official practice comes I can either verify or deny any preconceived notions I have of the place. Research definitely pays off.
TB: Lake Havasu City, Arizona is a long ways from pretty much all of the tournament venues. How many days are you on the road each year, and what made you want to live in Lake Havasu?
DR: Lake Havasu is a great training ground. When I was getting started professionally I knew I wanted to live there. The diversity of the lake really prepares you for all of the situations we fish. The lake is full of all types of structure, largemouth and smallmouth, current, rocks, clear water and dirty water. It has really worked out and it's home for me. I am gone quite a bit between tournaments, traveling, prefishing and with sponsor obligations. I would say I am gone roughly 180 days of the year, so about half of the time.
TB: The life of a pro angler isn't as glamorous as it looks. It takes time, being on the road and dedication in order to succeed. Dean Rojas is a true professional and an ambassador to the sport.