Bagwell’s Bass Tactics

25/03/2013:  Rojas vs. Jones, who owns the water?

by Jeremiah T. Bagwell

While spending a relaxing day on the couch watching all of the fishing shows I had in my DVR, I came across the Bassmaster Elite event on the Sabine River in Orange, TX.

The show and the tournament itself were pretty uneventful until they showed a little clip of Dean Rojas throwing a temper tantrum on the water because Alton Jones was fishing in his area. He claimed that Jones had not been in there the day before and proceeded to call Alton “Garbage” and said he “Wasn’t a Professional.” Of course he didn’t say it loud enough that Jones, who was twenty feet away, could actually hear it.

Both camera crews on the water that day and the marshals in the boats, all said Alton Jones did nothing wrong. Jones’ Marshal that was in his boat with him Thursday seemed to dispute Rojas’ claim based on a text he sent, that Jones later posted on his Twitter account. It was basically telling Alton to hold his head high because he, Jones, and the Man Above knew where he had fished. Jones also made another Twitter message of his own saying “I don’t even know why Rojas was mad. We’d been fishing that same bayou together all week and I was trying to win too.”

As a viewer I feel like B.A.S.S. was throwing Jones under the bus and making him look horrible on television. Wouldn’t their own BASSTrak technology had been able to show that Jones had in fact been in there previously? Oh wait, then people all over the internet wouldn’t be talking about that boring tournament still. I also did not like that they never asked Jones about the incident and if they did it wasn’t aired on television.

On the flip side I also feel like they made Dean Rojas look like a total jerk and a poor sport too. The clip showed that Dean actually felt as though it was really his private water and Alton had no business being there because Rojas was in the lead.

Personally I think Jones was still in contention even though he was 9 lbs back. They were in Texas for crying out loud, a giant fish is always just one cast away. At the same time he probably could have shown Dean a little bit more courtesy and backed off from his area a little bit. I don’t really think that it was Dean’s water but the guy was leading the tournament. Maybe if he would have respectfully said something to Alton like a man, instead of trash talking and calling him names behind his back, things would have turned out a little differently. It is really hard to tell based on how they edited that program.

I just think that courtesy and respect on the water goes a long way and at the end of the day, none of us own the water. I also think that top tier fishing organization like B.A.S.S. should not intentionally put footage on the air that is going to make one of their most well known and respected anglers look bad (or two of them in this case). It looked way too much like they were trying to fabricate some drama for the sake of ratings. Unfortunately it really tarnished the images of two long time Pros.

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