Over the last two days, Mark Rose has been the only pro to find some solid mid-teen consistency in his limits, weighing in 17-3 and 15-13, respectively, to put himself in position to possibly win two back-to-back FLW Tour events.
Rose seems to have found his groove over the last two days, fishing out in water as deep as 30 to 50 feet.
“Shallow on this lake is 15 to 20 feet,” Rose says. “A lot of the tops of these big flats point are in 18-ish feet of water and I consider that shallow here. I can catch some fish up on top, but I’m also catching them on the stair-step-type breaks off those points that fall off into 50 feet of water.”
Rose says he is seeing a lot of his fish on his graph as he eases up to the point and casting on top of it.
“I’ll watch my graph while I’m dragging around up top and if I see a fish or two on my graph suspended off the break, I’ll just back off and fish deeper, dragging a big jig and a Carolina rig off those stair-step ledges.”
Rose’s day got off to a great start Saturday when he caught a roughly 6-pound fish on a swimbait.
“I haven’t thrown a swimbait all week,” Rose says. “In fact, I didn’t even have one tied on. I had some laying in the boat this morning, so I tied one on at my first stop and on my second cast I caught that big one. I threw that thing all morning and never got another bite on it.”
February 5, 2017 by FLW Communications / Photo From FLWOutdoors.com
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, caught five bass Sunday weighing 18 pounds, 3 ounces to win $125,000 at the FLW Tour at Lake Guntersville. Rose’s four-day total of 20 bass weighing 79-11 gave him a 15-ounce margin of victory of second-place angler Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina.
“I knew I had found one little special area, back in Browns Creek,” said Rose, who earned his seventh career win on the Tennessee River in FLW competition. “I just had that gut feeling that it would be special. Nobody else was back there and when I went there on the first day nobody came within a mile of it. I fished other areas, some grass, but all 20 of the bass that I weighed in came out of Browns Creek.
“I figured out a bait that they were just swallowing – an old Strike King Flat Side crankbait, part of their custom shop,” Rose said. “I was using the chartreuse and brown and a shad color. I just switched to the shad today – I made one cast with it and caught my last fish, a 5-pounder. That was at 3:15 and I had to check in by 3:30.
“I fished slow, and just keyed in on rock. I didn’t even make a cast under the bridges. I knew that there were a lot of scattered big fish up and down the rip rap and I’d let everybody else fight on the pilings.”
Rose and Thrift had found themselves in a similar situation at the 2014 FLW Tour at Sam Rayburn Reservoir. In that event Rose held a 2-pound, 14-ounce lead over Thrift heading into the final day of competition, but lost when the North Carolina pro caught 17 pounds to overtake Rose and win the $125,000. Sunday at Lake Guntersville, Rose caught enough to hold off the hard-charging Thrift.
“Any time Bryan Thrift is in the top 10, it’s going to be close,” Rose said. “I felt like I slipped up the last day and lost that Rayburn event. This one, I made Thrift have to beat me. If you want to win you’re going to have to beat the best, and he’s one of them.”
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Photo: Sean Ostruszka
GUNTERSVILLE, Ala. – General Tire pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Arkansas, caught a five-bass limit Saturday weighing 19 pounds even to extend his lead at the FLW Tour at Lake Guntersville. Rose’s three-day total of 61-8 gives him a 4-pound, 12-ounce lead heading into the fourth and final day of competition. The field is now cut to the final 10 anglers in the event that featured 165 of the best bass-fishing anglers in the world competing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.
In second place is Bryan Thrift of Shelby, North Carolina, who weighed in five bass totaling 17-4 Saturday for a three-day cumulative weight of 15 bass worth 56-12. Hometown favorite Alex Davis of Albertville, Alabama, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 20-2 – the largest limit of the day – to move into third place with a three-day total of 54-6.
“I was pleased with how my day went,” said Rose, who is seeking his third career Tour-level victory. “I’m not getting that many bites – one here, one there – but they’re coming. I feel like I’ve got a few things figured out and hopefully we can pull this thing off tomorrow.”
Rose said that he fished around 10 different areas throughout the day Saturday, cycling through some spots along with mixing in a few new ones. He said he caught eight keepers on a little Strike King jig, an old Strike King Flat Side crankbait and a vibrating jig.
‘I’m using the weather to dictate where I fish and what baits I’m throwing,” Rose said. “I’ve been saving one little area that I’m going to go hit tomorrow afternoon, when I feel like the conditions are right. I won’t be changing anything up tomorrow. I’m going to be doing the same thing that I have been doing, so the nerves won’t be too bad.”