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Roumbanis & Fritts Shine at World Championship

Fred Roumbanis, the veteran angler from Arkansas teamed with Bass Fishing Hall-of-Famer David Fritts to finish 4th in the pairs standings at the recent Black Bass World Championship at Lake Sabor in Portugal. They were the most consistent of the three American duos in the event, placing 5th on the first day and 11th in the final round (one day was canceled due to severe weather).

Roumbanis has been a member of the gold medal-winning USA Bass team in three straight editions of the World Championship. In 2022, he teamed with James Watson to capture top honors among pairs.

“I love the format,” he said. “I feel like I’m a better international fisherman now than I am against our guys and it’s always a huge honor to represent our country going against fishermen of that caliber.

“It’s a lot like what we have on the General Tire Team Series – we get to talk by phone during the day and work with each other and make sure we’re all catching them. If one (pair) is struggling, the other guys can lead them in the right direction. We can give each other the ‘juice’ and all the secrets.”

Lake Sabor is a highland reservoir that was impounded less than a decade ago. It reminded Roumbanis of Lake Shasta in his native California, although Sabor is home to only largemouth whereas the bass in Shasta are mostly of the spotted variety.

“All the trees and rocks and runoffs made it look like the Pit River arm at Shasta,” he said. “Even though the fish were largemouth, they acted a lot more like spotted bass. It came pretty natural to me because it was the way I grew up fishing.”

In the opening round, he caught a 4 1/2-pounder on a topwater plug early in the day and a 4 3/4 on a dropshot from 47 feet of water later in the day.

“I think that lake is going to be one of the best in the world in the next few years,” he concluded. “There’s so many fish and so much bait and it’s a really healthy environment. The water was so clear that the Garmin LiveScope electronics had the sharpest imagery I’ve ever seen.”