Rojas Earns Group A Qualifying Round Win at Lake Eufaula

Suzuki pro boats two-day total of 44-11 to win Group A Qualifying Round, Top 10 pros advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round

EUFAULA, Okla. (May 2, 2024) – After a week of erratic weather and fluctuating water levels and clarity, conditions are finally stabilizing on Oklahoma’s Lake Eufaula at the Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour MillerTech Stage Four Presented by REDCON1. Judging by the numbers on SCORETRACKER® on Thursday, both the bass and competitors appear to be settling in.



Arizona pro Dean Rojas of Lake Havasu City, figured out the rapidly changing puzzle the best in Group A and leads the list of 10 anglers from the group who qualified for Saturday’s Knockout Round. Rojas finished with 16 bass for 44 pounds, 11 ounces over two days of qualifying competition.

The 26-year veteran has shown consistency throughout a week of fishing defined by massive swings on SCORETRACKER® from day to day. Rojas found himself in third place after Day 1 with seven bass for 20-8 and added nine more for 24-3 Thursday to clear second-place finisher Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, by more than 5 pounds, eventually spending a good portion of his day on Thursday looking for more areas on Oklahoma’s largest lake.

The top 10 anglers advancing from Group A will now have an off day from competition Friday, while the 40 anglers competing in Group B will complete their two-day Qualifying Round. The top 10 anglers from each group advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to the Championship Round. In Sunday’s final day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.


Although he’s never fished Oklahoma’s Lake Eufaula, Rojas is relying on his years of tournament experience to combat the changing conditions. In short, he’s seen this movie before and knows how it will end.

“It’s my first time (at Lake Eufaula), but I’ve seen this scenario play out so many times,” Rojas said of the quickly changing water levels. “Going into the event, I had a good practice before the rains came and flooded everything out. That bite was done on the last day of practice, and I couldn’t get a bite. I started the tournament where I had the most bites in practice and had to change my approach based on how the fish were positioned with the changing water levels.”

With water levels now stabilizing, Rojas is confident that he knows what to look for when he returns to action two days from now in the Knockout Round.

“When the water first comes up that fast like it did, the fish are in shock. You don’t know where they’re at because they are spread out everywhere,” he said. "I’ve been checking the water every night, and it’s starting to come down a little. You can see gaps between the leaves with water on them on the first day. Now things are beginning to settle, and I feel like I know what’s going on.”

Rojas has been catching fish “doing a little bit of everything” and simply fishing what the lake gives him.

“I’m catching some in a foot of water and some as deep as 6 feet,” he said. “Some are super shallow, and some are out deeper; you just have to fish everything in front of you. As much as I’ve done this, I recognize when I have to ‘do this here’ and ‘do that there’ based on the cover and structure in front of me.”

Rojas is running the same pattern in several areas around the lake, and it appears to work everywhere he goes. Once he felt safe inside the cut on Thursday, he expanded areas and continued to fish.

“I wanted to make sure I had enough (weight) to get inside the Top 10 and then was able to look for more likely areas,” Rojas said. “I would get a bite and then roll out and try to find more stuff. Then I’d catch another and leave. That told me what to do the rest of the tournament.”

The one benefit of a challenging, changing fishery is that you’re never really out of it. That point was proven loudly Thursday as a handful of pros turned the tables on SCORETRACKER® and will live to fish another day.

Five anglers started competition Thursday in 28th place or lower and rocketed to the Top 10 thanks to banner days. The quintet of Marty Robinson, LeBrun, Brent Chapman, Jacob Wheeler and Luke Clausen managed just six bass between them the first day of fishing and 58 today.

Robinson made one of the most dramatic moves with several clutch catches late in the day. He entered with zero and bagged 27-2 Thursday to leap into ninth place. LeBrun soared from 34th to second, Chapman jumped from 32nd to fifth, Wheeler sprang from 30th to 10th and Clausen rose from 28th to seventh.

The top 10 pros from Group A that now advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round on Lake Eufaula are:

1st:          Dean Rojas, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., 16 bass, 44-11
2nd:        Nick LeBrun, Bossier City, La., 13 bass, 39-7
3rd:        Dave Lefebre, Erie, Penn., 17 bass, 37-12
4th:         Jason Vance, Battle Ground, Ind., 16 bass, 34-11
5th:         Brent Chapman, Lake Quivira, Kan., 15 bass, 33-15
6th:         Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 13 bass, 29-12
7th:         Alton Jones Jr., Waco, Texas, 10 bass, 29-4
8th:         Anthony Gagliardi, Prosperity, S.C., 12 bass, 28-14
9th:         Marty Robinson, Lyman, S.C., 10 bass, 27-2
10th:      Jacob Wheeler, Blaine, Tenn., 10 bass, 25-9

Eliminated from competition are:

11th:      Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 11 bass, 25-7
12th:      Bradley Roy, Lancaster, Ky., nine bass, 24-4
13th:      Dustin Connell, Clanton, Ala., 11 bass, 24-3
14th:      Marshall Robinson, Landrum, S.C., 11 bass, 24-2
15th:      Chris Lane, Guntersville, Ala., eight bass, 21-6
16th:      Jonathon VanDam, Kalamazoo, Mich., eight bass, 21-3
17th:      Keith Carson, DeBary, Fla., eight bass, 20-3
18th:      Todd Faircloth, Jasper, Texas, nine bass, 19-13
19th:      Andy Morgan, Dayton, Tenn., six bass, 19-12
20th:      Justin Lucas, Guntersville, Ala., 10 bass, 19-12
21st:      Bryan Thrift, Shelby, N.C., nine bass, 18-12
22nd:     Brandon Coulter, Knoxville, Tenn., seven bass, 17-12
23rd:     Matthew Stefan, Junction City, Wis., seven bass, 17-4
24th:      Jeremy Lawyer, Sarcoxie, Mo., eight bass, 16-10
25th:      Alton Jones, Lorena, Texas, seven bass, 15-15
26th:      Justin Cooper, Zwolle, La., seven bass, 15-10
27th:      Mark Rose, Wynne, Ark., eight bass, 15-5
28th:      Andy Montgomery, Blacksburg, S.C., five bass, 15-0
29th:      Casey Ashley, Donalds, S.C., six bass, 13-12
30th:      Wesley Strader, Spring City, Tenn., five bass, 12-15
31st:      Boyd Duckett, Guntersville, Ala, six bass, 12-15
32nd:     Mark Daniels Jr., Tuskegee, Ala., five bass, 12-14
33rd:     Jared Lintner, Covington, Ga., six bass, 12-9
34th:      Shin Fukae, Osaka, Japan, four bass, 11-3
35th:      Grae Buck, Green Lane, Penn., four bass, 11-0
36th:      Mark Davis, Mount Ida, Ark., five bass, 9-15
37th:      Dylan Hays, Hot Springs, Ark., four bass, 9-11
38th:      Cliff Crochet, Pierre Part, La., three bass, 8-11
39th:      Kelly Jordon, Flint, Texas, one bass, 2-7

A complete list of results can be found at MajorLeagueFishing.com.

Overall, there were 193 scorable bass weighing 457 pounds, 14 ounces caught by 38 pros Thursday, which included two 5-pounders, 14 4-pounders and 23 3-pounders.

Pro Nick LeBrun of Bossier City, Louisiana, earned Thursday’s $1,000 Berkley Big Bass Award with an 5-pound, 12-ounce largemouth bass that he caught on a jig during Period 3. Berkley awards $1,000 to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass each day, and a $3,000 bonus to the angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the tournament.

It appeared that the Fishing Clash Angler of the Year standings would shift significantly after Wheeler’s struggles on the first day of Stage Four, but his rebound put him back up top.

Wheeler holds a 10-point lead over Alton Jones Jr. in the race to claim the $100,000 payout. Both anglers made the Knockout Round and things could get tighter by the end of this event.

The six-day tournament, hosted by Vision Eufaula, showcases 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing for a purse of $659,000, including a top payout of $100,000 and valuable Fishing Clash Angler of the Year (AOY) points in hopes of qualifying for the General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and REDCREST 2025, the Bass Pro Tour championship.

The 39 Anglers in Group A competed in their two-day Qualifying Round on Tuesday and Thursday – the 40 anglers in Group B on Wednesday and Friday. After each two-day Qualifying Round is complete, the anglers that finish first through 10th from both groups advance to Saturday’s Knockout Round. In the Knockout Round, weights are zeroed, and the remaining 20 anglers compete to finish in the top 10 to advance to Sunday’s Championship Round. In the final-day Championship Round, weights are zeroed, and the highest one-day total wins the top prize of $100,000.

Anglers will launch at 7:30 a.m. CT each day from the Peter’s Point-Nichols Point Boat Ramp, located on Dabbs Road in Eufaula. Each day’s General Tire Takeout will be held at the boat ramp, beginning at 4 p.m. Fans are welcome to attend all launch and takeout events and also encouraged to follow the event online throughout the day on the MLFNOW!® live stream and SCORETRACKER® coverage at MajorLeagueFishing.com .

The MLFNOW!® broadcast team of Chad McKee and J.T. Kenney will break down the extended action live on the final four days of competition from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT. MLFNOW!®  will be live streamed on MajorLeagueFishing.com and the MyOutdoorTV (MOTV) app.

On Saturday and Sunday, May 4-5, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. MLF welcomes fans of all ages to visit Peter’s Point-Nichols Point for the MLF Watch Party and Kids Fishing Derby. Fans can watch the pros live on the MLFNOW! big screen, enjoy free food, enter to win hourly giveaways and cheer on their favorite pros. The first 50 kids 14 and under will receive a free rod and reel from Pure Fishing each day. Additional fishing gear will be provided onsite for the fishing derby or kids can bring their own. The final 10 Championship Round Bass Pro Tour anglers will be on hand at the trophy celebration on Championship Sunday to meet and greet fans, sign autographs and take selfies.


The MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 features the MLF catch, weigh, immediate-release format, in which anglers catch as much weight as they can each day, while also feeling the pressure and intensity of the SCORETRACKER® leaderboard. The tournament features anglers competing with a 1-pound, 8-ounce minimum weight requirement for a bass to be deemed scorable. The MLF Fisheries Management Division determines minimum weights for each body of water that the Bass Pro Tour visits, based on the productivity, bass population and anticipated average size of fish in each fishery.

The Bass Pro Tour features a field of 79 of the top professional anglers in the world, competing across seven regular-season tournaments around the country, for millions of dollars and valuable points to qualify for the annual General Tire Heavy Hitters all-star event and the REDCREST 2025 championship.

Fishing Clash, an interactive 3D fishing simulation game that’s played by more than 80 million people worldwide, is the official AOY sponsor of the Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Invitationals, Toyota Series and Phoenix Bass Fishing League. You can download Fishing Clash for free in the App Store and on Google Play or log on to www.fishingclash.game for more information.

Television coverage of the MillerTech Stage Four at Lake Eufaula Presented by REDCON1 Knockout Round will air as a two-hour episode starting at 7 a.m. ET, on Saturday, Oct. 12 on Discovery, with the Championship Round premiering on Oct. 19. New MLF episodes premiere each Saturday morning on Discovery, with re-airings on Outdoor Channel.

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