Mark Rose builds upon day-two lead, AOY race unofficially decided
23.Jul.2011 by Gary Mortenson
FLORENCE, Ala. – The “ledge master” just keeps on rolling. After holding down a 4-pound advantage over the first two days of competition, Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., said he was getting a little nervous about the precarious nature of his lead and wanted to put a little more distance between himself and the rest of the field. And today he did just that. Using a day-three catch of 18 pounds, 4 ounces, Rose propelled himself to a 7-pound lead over hjs next closest competitor by stringing together a combined three-day weight of 61 pounds.
With only one day remaining in the Pickwick Lake competition, it’s officially Rose’s tournament to lose.
“It feels good,” said Rose, who has dominated the tournament from the start. “Heading into tomorrow’s finals I’d definitely be nervous if we were fishing somewhere like Lake Mead. But being on Pickwick Lake, I really feel comfortable here. I’ve spent so much time here over the years – it’s only two hours from my driveway. I really appreciate this place. It’s got a special place in my heart.”
Rose said that he continued to target bass adhering to ledges in about 17 to 25 feet of water using a Strike King football jig in a green-pumpkin color.
However Rose also said that contrary to popular belief, this tournament has not been easy for him in the slightest – and today was no exception.
“I had about 6 pounds today at around 1 p.m. and I was starting to get a little nervous,” he said. “But then they turned the water on and started to run current. When that happened, I knew where I needed to be.”
When the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) decides to run current, the fish become much more active on the Tennessee River chain of lakes as it induces feeding. And that’s exactly what Rose took advantage of. However, Rose knows all too well that the TVA could just as easily decide not to run any current tomorrow – a fact which could ultimately throw the tournament wide open.
“Like I said, it feels good to have a 7-pound lead but who knows what tomorrow will bring,” said Rose, who is amazingly searching for his first-ever FLW Tour victory. “I could come back with 18 pounds tomorrow or I could catch 5 or 6 pounds. You just never know here. It’s great to have the lead but it’s definitely no guarantee.”