By Todd Ceisner
Time is ticking down. The pattern that worked yesterday isn’t working today. It’s crunch time. There’s an hour left until the weigh-in starts. Your nerves are starting to fray. What do you reach for when you absolutely need to generate bites?
We’ve been asking pro anglers from the various leagues that same question as a way to find out what their ultimate confidence baits are regardless of the situation, along with the reasoning behind their choices. As one might expect, the answers have run the gamut, from big-line, big-weight flipping to light-line finesse and from topwater to slow-dragging baits.
Known for his prowess with a hollow-body frog, longtime pro Dean Rojas reaches for something different when he needs to get things going.
Rojas says there are situations where the smaller bait profile is more effective than the larger version.
After checking out the latest installment in the series, head over to our Feedback page and let us know what your go-to bait is and how you rig it.
> Angler: Dean Rojas
> Confidence bait: Texas-rigged Big Bite Baits Fighting Frog (3.5” & 4.5” versions)
> Gear used: 3.5” bait – 7' heavy-action Duckett Fishing Terex casting rod, Duckett Fishing 360R casting reel (6.3:1 or 7.1:1 ratio), 14- or 16-pound Sunline Super FC Sniper fluorocarbon line, 5/8- to 9/16-oz. Epic Tungsten worm weight, 3/0 Gamakatsu EWG worm hook. 4.5” bait – 7'4" Duckett Fishing Terex casting rod, same reel, same line (18- or 20-pound), same weight (size), same hook (4/0).
> Origin: “The St. Johns River is a great example (where this shines). It’s a typical Florida fishery and we all know Florida strains don’t do well under pressure – fishing of barometric. I fished for them growing up out west and that drove us nuts, so I tend to downsize baits. I’ll start with the bigger size and if it gets tough, I’ll go the 3 ½-inch version with a lighter weight. If trying to just catch 2-pounders, I go to small one just for sheer bites.”
> Why he trusts it: “From doing it over and over again and it’s bailed me out many times. I try to keep it simple. I don’t have a vast array of stuff. I use what I make. Usually, I’m after the shallow bite and I’ll use a variety of baits to find and catch fish, but when conditions change I’ll have to slow down and work the cover. It’s stuff I can’t get them to eat a frog in. It’s my version of a shaky head. It just depends on the cover. Obviously, I’m not going to throw a shaky head in Florida, but I’ll throw this. In the last year, I’ve been going to the small one more and it catches good ones. Some years are weird, thought. There have been years where I’ve relied on the big one more, but the small one also catches ‘em.”
> One more thing: “The cool thing about the 3/0 hook is it encompasses the whole length of the (smaller) bait so when they inhale it they’ve got the hook, too.”