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Rose takes checkers at Chickamauga

18.Sep.2010 by Rob Newell

HIXSON, Tenn. – In NASCAR, some drivers are good at super speedways, others excel at short tracks, and a few are considered road course specialists.

In the same way, some bass pros shine on natural lakes, others find their element on smallmouth fisheries, and when it comes to TVA lakes, there is little doubt Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., is a force to be reckoned with, especially in the summer or fall.

In June, Rose finished second at the FLW Tour event on Lake Guntersville. Last year, he scored a fourth-place finish at Kentucky Lake. He also has two wins on Pickwick for an FLW Series in 2007 and an American Fishing Series Championship in 2009.

Now he adds a Lake Chickamauga FLW Series win to his résumé as well.

Today Rose brought in 11 pounds, 8 ounces to hold off hard-charging local Wesley Strader for victory. For the books, Rose recorded a four-day total of 56-15 and collected $44,778 for his win.

<-- Here's a better look at Mark Rose's bank of Lowrance units on his bow.

Much of Rose’s success on TVA lakes has come via his obsession with ledge fishing along the Tennessee River channel. Over the last three years, Rose had dedicated large amounts of fishing time to understanding the subtleties of bass behavior on TVA ledges.

“I love it,” said Rose of catching bass on offshore structure. “It’s a culmination of understanding so many subtle things: bottom composition, structure, current, fish position, bait, reading electronics, proper lure presentation. It’s like a giant combination lock – once you get the right combination dialed in, there’s no faster way to catch quality bass.”

His offshore efforts have been aided greatly by a new era of electronics that feature detailed contour mapping, super-sensitive sonar and side scanning capabilities. In Rose’s Ranger there are a total of five Lowrance depth finders including three in the bow and two in the console.

When he is fishing in the bow, he is monitoring three to four different screens at a time, which include a Navionics map, a Hot Spots map, sonar, Lowrance’s DownScan and StructureScan.

“At times I can see my lure on the screen and literally watch a bass come eat it,” Rose said.

Rose grew up as a shallow-water fisherman on the Mississippi, White and Arkansas rivers. His grandfather was a commercial fisherman, and Rose learned a lot about where fish position in current during fishing trips with his grandfather. These days Rose applies that same basic river fishing knowledge to an old Tennessee River channel that’s submerged some 15 to 30 feet deep.

Mark Rose's best ledge lure for the week: a Strike King Sexy Spoon.

Though Rose relied on a bevy of ledge-fishing lures during the week, most of his damage was done on a Strike King Sexy Spoon (sexy shad color) tied to 20-pound-test Seaguar Invisx fluorocarbon line.

He fished the spoon on a Kistler Z-Bone Mark Rose spooning rod.

“I’d actually drag a Strike King ¾-ounce football jig until I got one fish to bite,” Rose said. “Catching a fish on the jig would get the school fired up, and then I could catch them one after another on the Sexy Spoon.”

Today he resorted to a crankbait on 10-pound-test Seaguar Invisx to catch his fish.

“As much as I’ve studied TVA impoundments, the one thing that always eludes me is the weekends, which is when most major tournaments end,” Rose revealed. “They just don’t run much current on the weekends, and it really makes things much tougher than during the week when they’re pumping water. If I could ever figure out how to catch them on Saturdays and Sundays on TVA lakes, then I might be a little closer to putting this whole ledge-fishing puzzle together.”

As for now, though, it looks like Rose is holding his own pretty well on TVA ledge fishing.

Mark Rose wins the Stren Series Championship.

By Rob Newell -  07.Nov.2009

FLORENCE, Ala. – In professional fishing, there is an odd phenomenon that exists in which certain pros have special relationships with certain lakes. Every time they compete on that body of water, they are a certain threat to win.

Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., undoubtedly has that kindred connection with Pickwick Lake in Alabama. Every time he competes on Pickwick, he does not just excel, he dominates.

In 2007 he won the Walmart FLW Series tourney on Pickwick in wire-to-wire fashion. In 2008 he led a team of anglers to victory on Pickwick in the PAA Corporate Cup event.

And Saturday, Rose tightened his stronghold on Pickwick with yet another wire-to-wire win in the Stren Series Championship with a three-day total of 55 pounds, 1 ounce worth $115,000.

Adding the $115,000 he won today with his other Pickwick winnings, Rose has earned a combined total of about $250,000 on his favorite lake in the last three years.

“I’ve got a special place in my heart for this lake,” Rose said after his win today. “I just love it here. I’ve got a lot of great friends up here, and the lake just fits everything about the way I like to fish. Whenever my boat hits this lake, I automatically feel right at home. I live in Arkansas, but Pickwick is two and a half hours from my driveway, and I’ve fished it a lot over the years.”

However, as much as Rose likes Pickwick, he formed the foundation for his Stren Series Championship win this week over on Bay Springs Lake, which connects to Pickwick via the Tombigbee Waterway.

Bay Springs is a small, clear-water lake, known regionally for its huge spotted bass population, which is exactly what Rose exploited over three days to secure victory.

Despite the nearly 80-mile run to Bay Springs, Rose felt the risk was worth it based on the need to do something different.

“In competitive environments like tournament fishing, you have to stay one step ahead of the competition,” Rose said. “You have to do something to separate yourself from the pack. The last time I won the (FLW) Series here, I used a big spoon to win – not many anglers knew about that lure at the time, and that was my competitive advantage. This time around I felt like a long run away from Pickwick would get me away from the pressure and allow me to capitalize on Bay Springs’ big spotted bass in the fall, when they move up shallow and feed over those clay points.”

All along, Rose’s master plan was to fish a schooling hole in Pickwick to secure a quick limit and settle him down with a few swimmers in the box before making the long run to Bay Springs.

On day one his plan worked like a charm. With a last-flight check-in, Rose was able to secure an early limit of schoolers for about 14 pounds before running to Bay Spring where he culled up to 22 pounds, 5 ounces thanks to a 7-6 largemouth.

“Everything went perfect that first day,” he said. “I caught a limit quick and then had plenty of time to run down there and fish relaxed. And that’s when those big bites happen, when you’re totally relaxed.”

The next two days, however, were more of a challenge, as his Pickwick schooling hole left him high and dry, and he was forced to go fish in Bay Springs with an empty livewell.

His main lure of choice in Bay Springs was a suspending jerkbait fished on 12-pound-test fluorocarbon.

“It’s a classic fall pattern for big spots on clear lakes,” Rose said. “After the water cools down, they move up shallow and start feeding up – looking up in the water column. The real gift today was a good breeze that blew across those clay points, ruffling the surface and making it perfect for my pattern. I caught more fish down there today than any other day.

“I was pretty nervous running down there this morning. But once I caught three decent bass pretty quick and realized I still had several hours to fish, I really settled down and got in the groove like I needed to.”

In addition to his win, Rose also qualified for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup by being the top finisher in the Stren Series Championship from the Central Division.

Incidentally, the Forrest Wood Cup will be held on Lake Lanier, another clear lake known for big spotted bass.

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