On Jan. 17, 2001, Dean Rojas pulled 45 pounds and 2 ounces of bass from Lake Tohopekaliga to set the Bassmaster tournament record for heaviest one-day catch. The record still stands.
Now, almost exactly 10 years later, the ideal fishing conditions Rojas tapped into are brewing again on Toho. Coincidentally, the “perfect storm” is happening just in time for the Jan. 20-22 Bass Pro Shops Bassmaster Southern Open out of Kissimmee, Fla., the event that kicks off the 2011 Bassmaster season.
Trevor Fitzgerald of Belleview, Fla., champ of last season’s Southern Open finale, is among those who contend that the Toho tournament could reset the 45-2 record. He has more grounds than most to make the prediction. For one, he was at the Toho tournament in 2001 as an 18-year-old co-angler.
“I was paired with Alton Jones, and we fished within eyesight of Dean Rojas,” Fitzgerald said. “It was an experience — I’d never seen so many big fish in my life. For that matter, I haven’t seen so many big fish in one tournament since. It was just amazing.” [Read more…]