Skip to main content

B.A.S.S. Reporter's Notebook: Who's Happy with 2012 Elite schedule?

For Kelly Jordon; To shake the rust out; and… Click in this week to the Federation Nation

B.A.S.S. Reporter's Notebook: Who's Happy with 2012 Elite schedule?
B.A.S.S. Reporter's Notebook: Who's Happy with 2012 Elite schedule?
B.A.S.S. Reporter's Notebook: Who's Happy with 2012 Elite schedule?

Who's happy with the 2012 Elite schedule? Dean Rojas, for one.

Rojas owns wins at Toledo Bend and Oneida Lake, two of the eight stops on the slate in 2012 for the Bassmaster Elite Series. But he likes every fishery on the newly announced schedule.

"With the exception of one, I've had a Top-10 finish at each one of them," said Rojas, a Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Lake Havasu City, Ariz. "I liked the 2011 schedule, but I like this one even better."

The "exception" is the Mississippi River out of La Crosse, Wis.


"It's an unknown to me, and that's the beauty of it," he said. "I won't go in with preconceived notions. And I can enjoy anticipating what's around every corner."


Rojas' high satisfaction with the new schedule comes in no small part from the June stop at Toledo Bend Reservoir. That's where he won in 2011 and secured his fourth Bassmaster title and a berth in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. The win was all the sweeter because it came early in the season, thus eliminating a three-month sweat for a Classic qualification.

Rojas had another win on Toledo Bend, a February 2001 victory in a Bassmaster Top 150. He noted that the 2012 schedule will take the Elite Series corps to The Bend in June.

"Every time I've done well there, it's always been springtime. It's going to be a different lake with that different timing," he cautioned.

If he had to pick a favorite, it would be Oneida Lake, he said. The upstate New York lake was the site of his 2008 Elite Series win, a third place in a 2009 Elite Series event, and a fourth in a 2007 Bassmaster Major.


Oneida's Aug. 23-26 slot in the 2012 schedule doesn't mirror the timing of his Aug. 10, 2008, win, he noted, but it's close enough.

"The bass will still be in their summer haunts. That isn't likely to change until mid-September," he said.

He hasn't been fishing on Oneida since 2009, but he made a point to drive over it twice when his travels brought him near.


What did a few minutes on a bridge do for him?

"Well, it made me feel really good to see 'my' lake again," he said, laughing. "It fishes a lot like Lake Havasu, the way it's laid out, so I feel so comfortable there."

Rojas watchers could consider Douglas Lake in Tennessee (May 3-6) as his third-strongest "like" of 2012. There he earned a second-place finish to Rick Clunn's 2001 win in a Bassmaster Megabucks event. But, of course, there's Elite Series pro Ott DeFoe to consider on Douglas. Because he lives there, DeFoe will be the all-out favorite.

And then there's the "mystery" stop, a TBA site to be slotted into the schedule on June 28-July 1, between La Crosse and New York. Rojas gives the concept of a mystery lake another nod.

"I like that," he said. "But you know, I take them one at a time. Right now, it's the first up that I'm most looking forward to, and that's the Classic and the Red River."

He hasn't been back to compete on the Red since the Bassmaster Classic in 2009, in which he finished 18th. He's planning a late fall scouting trip, he said.

For Kelly Jordon: Jeff Kriet grew up in Oklahoma but claims that the Arkansas River that runs through the state has never been among his favorite fisheries.

"I didn't grow up fishing here, although I did fish it some in my early 20s," said the Bassmaster Elite Series pro from Ardmore, Okla.

He said the main reason he's in this week's Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open out of Muskogee, Okla., is to try to get one of his good friends, Kelly Jordon, into the 2012 Bassmaster Classic.

Jordon was first man out on the Classic qualification points list through the 2011 Bassmaster Elite Series. If an Elite Series pro double-qualifies for the Classic, Jordon will be the first man in. Kriet, who did qualify from the Elite Series, wants to win the Open to get Jordon into the upcoming Classic.

"If I was the first guy out, I'd want him to be fishing," Kriet said. "I'd be mad at him if he'd paid up and didn't go. I figured I'd at least give it a shot."

Kriet is one of two Elite Series pros in position to get Jordon in. Stephen Browning of Hot Springs, Ark., is the other. Like Kriet, Browning's already on the 2012 Classic roster and would be a double-qualifier.

Browning knows the Arkansas River well from the vantage point of his state. He's not claiming any advantage, however.

"This is not the Arkansas River I grew up on. If we were there, I'd feel really at home," he said.

To shake the rust out: Nearly three months after the Bassmaster Elite Series wrapped up its regular season, Keith Poche was feeling restless, itching to get back into a major competition.

He said that's the main reason he's competing this week in the Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Central Open on the Arkansas River out of Muskogee, Okla. Competition days are Sept. 8-10.

"I like this body of water," he said. "And I haven't fished in a big tournament in a while, and I wanted to stay in shape."

First prize in the Central Open includes a berth in the 2012 Bassmaster Classic. Poche already owns a 2012 Classic entry, earned through the regular Elite Series season by finishing 10th in points, the 30-year-old's best season yet. So a Classic berth wasn't a carrot.

And Poche couldn't end up helping out fellow Elite Series pro Kelly Jordon. Jordon was the first man out of the Classic through the Elite Series points system. If Poche were to win this week's Open, the Classic seat would not be awarded to Jordon because Poche didn't compete in the season's first Central Open. The rules state that an Open winner can't claim a Classic seat unless he or she competed in all three divisional Opens of the season.

He is in Oklahoma to stretch his competition muscles, mental as well as physical. Tuesday, judging from what he saw after a few practice days, he liked the way the challenge was shaping up.

"When I first was on the water Sunday, the bite was good. Then a cold front came through from the north. But once the bass stabilize from that, I think the cooler water is going to help the bite," he said.

He said the water level is stable and the water is relatively clear. He's hoping for some current from generation at the dam, or from a series of barges locking through. And some wind.

"Wind will really help me, I'd be in position then to really catch them," he said.

He estimated that 13 pounds a day could get him into a Top-12 position for the final day, Saturday.

"A lot of five-fish limits will come in, but the big ones might be hard to come by," he added.

Click in this week to the Federation Nation: The B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Mid-Atlantic Divisional is happening this week through Friday in Burlington, N.J., on the Delaware, a river with a reputation for tidal fluctuations that challenge the best of anglers.

The event will qualify more anglers for the Nov. 3-5 B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Championship presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats on the Ouachita River out of Monroe, La. From the championship, six Federation anglers will advance to the 2012 Bassmaster Classic on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, La.

The Divisional competition began Wednesday and will continue through Friday. The event is being covered extensively at Bassmaster.com with reports, results, photo galleries and video. Streaming video of the weigh-in and a real-time leaderboard will begin each day at 2:45 p.m. ET.

About B.A.S.S.

For more than 40 years, B.A.S.S. has served as the authority on bass fishing. The organization advances the sport through advocacy, outreach and an expansive tournament structure while connecting directly with the passionate community of bass anglers through its Bassmaster media vehicles.

The Bassmaster brand and its multimedia platforms are guided by a mission to serve all fishing fans. Through its industry-leading publications — Bassmaster Magazine and B.A.S.S. Times — comprehensive website Bassmaster.com, ESPN2 and Outdoor Channel television programming, Bassmaster provides rich, leading-edge content true to the lifestyle.

The Bassmaster Tournament Trail includes the Bassmaster Elite Series, Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Open Series, B.A.S.S. Federation Nation events presented by Yamaha and Skeeter Boats and the ultimate celebration of competitive fishing, the Bassmaster Classic.

B.A.S.S. offers an array of services to its more than 500,000 members and remains focused on issues related to conservation and water access. The organization is headquartered in Celebration, Fla.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Hunting Elk with the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter in 6.5 PRC

Michael Cassidy and Paul Pluff talk about their elk hunt in New Mexico using the Ruger Hawkeye Long Range Hunter.

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

Catch More Bass on a Jerkbait in the Cooler Months

This one simple trick will trigger more bass strikes on a jerkbait during the fall months.

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Action and Power Ratings- How to Choose the Right Bass Rod

Most fishing rods feature both an action and a power rating, but what do those ratings mean and how do you use them to select the right rod for different scenarios? In this video, outdoor writer and tackle specialist Shane Beilue breaks down the difference between a rod blank’s action and power and discusses what the various ratings of each mean.

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

Hobie MirageDrive 360 Kayak Propulsion: Amazing Control and Power

The Hobie MirageDrive 360 pedal propulsion system is the pinnacle of kayak control with more efficient fin designs, glide technology and allows the boat to be moved in any direction.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together Wild Game

10 Recipes for Your Backyard Get Together

Game & Fish Online Staff

Celebrate with great food for your backyard BBQ or picnic with these outdoor recipes.

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties are accompanied by melted Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, and Thousand Island dressing and then pressed in between two toasted and golden brown pieces of rye bread.Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe Wild Game

Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe

Kristy Crabtree - October 27, 2020

This Elk Venison Patty Melt Recipe makes the perfect wild game sandwich. Elk burger patties...

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers Other Freshwater

Get On Board: Species 101 for Beginning Anglers

Game & Fish Staff

Quick look at common, easy-to-catch fish species (video).

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use it as needed.Venison Chorizo Recipe Wild Game

Venison Chorizo Recipe

Allie Doran - October 30, 2020

Make this venison chorizo recipe and cook it right away or freeze it (cooked or raw) and use...

See More Trending Articles

More Stories

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successfulPamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter Stories

Pamela's Story: A Memorable Fly Fishing Encounter

April 28, 2017

Editor's Note: Our popular Camera Corner features reader photos and stories from successful

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths. Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more trophies in these waters than just largemouths.Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee Fishing

Chase a Mixed-Bag Bite at Lake Oconee

Larry Larsen - April 28, 2020

The The eastern Georgia lake may be best known for its bass, but anglers will find more...

Actions speak louder than words when sharing the passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors.Outdoors Perspective: The Power of Paying Forward Stories

Outdoors Perspective: The Power of Paying Forward

Keith Sutton - November 12, 2018

Actions speak louder than words when sharing the passion for hunting, fishing and the outdoors.

As wintertime takes hold, power plant lake bass fishing heats up for anglers that focus on a lake's optimal water temperatures.For Wintertime Power Plant Bass Lakes, Water Temperature is Key Stories

For Wintertime Power Plant Bass Lakes, Water Temperature is Key

Lynn Burkhead, OSG Senior Digital Editor

As wintertime takes hold, power plant lake bass fishing heats up for anglers that focus on a...

See More Stories

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Game & Fish App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now