MANY, La. -- Looking at the 'big girls': Dean Rojas said he will continue to sight-fish Saturday. That's how he's been getting the key bites that have put him on top after two days with 42 pounds, 14 ounces.
"We're on a full moon right now, and there's still some fish that are moving up shallow," he said. "All I need are a couple of those big girls to put this away today."
He was happy to see the north-northwest wind direction Saturday morning: "It should help me in some of the areas I'm fishing."
Leading two days running, Rojas said his Saturday goal was a sack of fish in the 20-pound class. To get it, he's willing to adjust, as he has been doing the first two days, and "fish where the wind will allow me to fish."
If the sight bite doesn't pay off, or if the wind gives him trouble, he won't hesitate to fall back on patterns that don't involve bedding fish, he said.
"I am going to go look at some new stuff, some (spots) I found in practice," he said.
Toledo history: Dean Rojas won a Bassmaster tournament on Toledo Bend in February 2001. The event was the Louisiana Top 150, and Rojas took it with 55 pounds, 8 ounces.
He also was in three other Bassmaster events on Toledo: 2003 Open Championship (Rojas finished 28th); 2003 Louisiana Showdown (48th); and 2002 Louisiana Central Open (fourth).
Other Elite pros with good Toledo history: John Murray won the 2003 Open event, and Takahiro Omori was second in the 2003 Showdown and sixth in the 2002 Open.
Hooked Up! guests: Clark Reehm, Kevin Short, Mike McClelland and Tommy Martin were scheduled to appear on Saturday's Toyota Hooked Up! hourly updates beginning at 11 a.m. ET on Bassmaster.com.
Hosted by Bassmaster emcee Dave Mercer, the Toyota Hooked Up! segments on Saturday and Sunday precede the pre-game shows hosted by Tommy Sanders and Mark Zona.
Reehm, Short and McClelland will share their experiences of their two days in the TroKar Battle on the Bayou. Martin, the 1974 Bassmaster Classic champion, lives in Hemphill, Texas, and calls Toledo Bend home water. His vast experience on the lake includes eight Bassmaster events, one of which he won.
Weatherman: Early Saturday morning before arrived at the launch ramp, Chris Lane studied the weather so he'd know how to adjust his strategy for Saturday's competition.
"The temperature's dropped probably 15 to 20 degrees this morning after the front pushed through yesterday," he said. "The wind's blowing pretty good. It's out of the north-northwest, and it (the water) will be rough all over."
The wind direction told him to go back to fishing against the lake's Texas side. There, the land mass breaks the full force of the wind, forecast for Saturday to be up to 15 mph with higher gusts.
"I'll fish a little slower, really concentrate on getting some bigger bites," he said. "I might try to find some new stuff the way the wind's hitting it."
In sixth place after two days, Lane is 7 pounds, 9 ounces in back of leader Dean Rojas, who has 42-14.
Surf-froggin': Saturday morning, Cliff Crochet was determined "bust a big bag" and get himself into the top 12 cut to fish Sunday.
Going into the day, he sat at 45th place, exactly 4 pounds, 5 ounces out of that No. 12 spot, last man in for a shot at the $100,000 top prize and a 2012 Bassmaster Classic berth.
His main pattern is working shallow grass pockets with a frog. He's hoping the wind speed drops so his frog won't "surf on the waves," what it was doing Friday in the high wind.
Fueled: Kevin Wirth chewed on a breakfast bar as his boat bobbed at the docks Saturday morning.
"It's my nutrition for the day. This, and my vitamins," he said.
It's his routine on the water to stop at 10 a.m. to eat another bar and more vitamins, and repeat at 2 p.m.
Wirth asks his Marshal to tell him when it's 10 and 2 o'clock.
"At the end of the day, you still can make decisions, you're not too tired to make good ones," he said.
His morning decision was to go to new water instead of beating on the same areas.
"You just have to go out, see what's available to you. Today, new water's the better water," he said.
With 29 pounds so far for 33rd place, Wirth is looking for enough weight to boost him into a top 12. He didn't know how much weight that amounted to, nor did he feel he needed to know.
"It's irrelevant," he said. "I have to go catch what I can catch. I know I need to keep in the game, keep plugging away."
Team TJ: Dennis Tietje, who grew up fishing Toledo Bend, has been getting a lot of support from fans at Cypress Bend Park, site of the TroKar Battle on the Bayou weigh-ins.
Two of his biggest fans are his sons, Donovan, 20, and Logan, 12. The brothers appeared in "Team TJ" ("TJ" is how Tietje is pronounced) jerseys, their last name emblazoned on back their shoulders, just like their dad's competition jersey.
Donovan is a pre-med student at McNeese State University in St. Charles, La. He might go into radiology, or perhaps psychiatry. His brother -- although it's early to say -- just might be his father's protégé.
"I fish, a lot," Logan said. His favorite fishing partner is his father. "We slam 'em when he's around."
Tietje made the cut to compete Saturday. However he ends up, he's enjoying the local support.
"When I stepped out onto that stage Friday, and saw that crowd, it was unbelievable," he said.
In the Magic 12 slot: Ott DeFoe dropped from sixth place to 12th, where the final cut will be after Saturday's fishing.
His strategy to hang there -- or improve -- is to return to his the same area from which he took all of his fish on Friday, and four of his fish the first day.
He won't die there, though. If the spot doesn't produce, he said he'd try something else, but he would likely return in the late afternoon.
"For some reason, the fish seem to get more aggressive again at 2 or 3 o'clock, so I'll be back in there again this afternoon," said DeFoe, the leader in the Bassmaster Rookie of the Year race.
He said his sweet spot is in a bay off the main lake, semi-protected from the wind.
He can stand some wind, he said, but he is hoping to not see a repeat of Friday's 25 mph winds with gusts of up to 40 mph. "The wind affects ability to pinpoint my casts more than anything," he said.
"My legs are sore, even my toes are sore. I've been using them to grip the deck like a cat used its claws to hold on."
-- Randy Howell (3rd place)
"One 5- to 7-pounder, that's the key, the weights are so tight."
-- Greg Vinson (8th place)
"That's fishing. You just suck it up and go to the next one."
-- Dave Wolak (out of the cut at 59th place)
"This place is awesome -- a little windy, but awesome."
-- Takahiro Omori (7th place)
"Anytime you're a pound or two out, you have a shot at making the top 12. Even a win is still possible for anyone in the top 20, even though Dean (Rojas) has a good lead on 12th place."
-- Jason Williamson (19th, 1-6 from place No. 12, and 12-2 out of the lead)