National Guard pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 16 pounds, 11 ounces Sunday to take his lead wire-to-wire and win $125,500 at the Walmart FLW Tour on Pickwick Lake presented by AMP Energy with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 77-11.
The catch gave him his first FLW Tour win by a solid 5-pound, 1-ounce
margin over Kevin Snider of Elizabethtown, Ky., who caught a total of 20
bass weighing 72-10 and earned $28,392.
“This means a lot to me right here in front of these people,” said
Rose, who now has posted an EverStart Series Championship title on
Pickwick Lake as well as victories in FLW Series and FLW Tour
competition. “They’ve been good to me over the years. They’ve come out
and watched when I’m in the lead. They’re the most courteous people
while I’m out on the water and I really appreciate them.
“This (FLW Tour win) wasn’t something I’ve been chasing my whole
career,” Rose added. “I go out and do my best every day and take what I
get. I’ve had a lot of hard knocks through the years where I’ve finished
dead last. I’ve finished second in these things and every other
position in between, and they’ve all been a learning experience.”
During the first two days of competition, Rose said he targeted ledges
on the Tennessee end of the lake and relied on a Strike King shaky-head
rig to catch his early limit and then culled fish using a large
soft-plastic worm as well as a chartreuse Strike King 6XD crankbait.
Rose said his larger fish, including a 5 1/2-pounder he caught Friday,
came on the crankbait, and he led the first two days of the competition.
However, Rose said things changed Saturday and he had to get creative
and employ a variety of baits. He began throwing a vertical jigging
spoon and a shaky-head rig and managed to hold onto his lead for a third
On Sunday Rose said he emptied his tackle box and threw a variety of
baits to catch his winning limit, including a ¾-ounce Strike King
football jig, Strike King shaky head, Strike King Sexy Spoon, 12-inch
worm and a vertical jigging spoon as well as other baits.
“I’m always looking at my graph,” Rose said. “I’ll throw a shaky-head
when there’s no current and it’s slick and high skies. I’ll throw a
football jig when there’s a lot of current and I want to feel every rock
out there because those fish are sitting up on those ambush points.
I’ll throw a hair jig when the fish are porpoising on minnows because I
like the way that hair jig’s tail pulsates. I do it all.
“Ledge fishing is reading each ledge and reading each fish and
understanding what’s going on and figuring it out,” Rose added. “I
basically try to understand what I see on my screen.”
Rose said he had only 9 pounds at 12 o’clock Sunday but wasn’t
discouraged. He said he had about an hour left to fish when he noticed
current running against a buoy and he made the decision to turn around
and run 20 miles to a spot near Panther Creek.
“I caught a 5 (pounder) and two 3 (pounders), and that sealed the deal
for me,” Rose said. “It’s those instincts I’ve learned on the Tennessee
River to trust. And the Lord gives me those instincts and knowledge.”
Snider did his best to catch Rose, who said Saturday that if he could
catch 13 pounds on the last day it would force someone to catch 20
pounds in order to catch him. Snider sat in sixth place after three days
of competition with a total of 15 bass that weighed 51 pounds, 2
ounces, which was 9 pounds, 14 ounces out of the lead. Snider’s final
day weight was five bass for 21 pounds, 8 ounces, but it wasn’t enough
to capture the title.
“My hat’s off to Mark,” said an emotional Snider. “He put them in the boat and I didn’t. He deserved to win.
“I caught the fire out of them (today),” Snider added. “I stuck them
good. I didn’t lose any fish. I was just a couple of days late, I
The remaining top 10 pros finished the tournament in:
3rd: Robbie Dodson, Harrison, Ark., 20 bass, 71-7, $24,292
4th: Lance Vick, Mineola, Texas, 20 bass, 67-14, $20,192
5th: Kenneth Woods, Hazard, Ky., 20 bass, 67-9, $16,092
6th: EverStart pro Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., 20 bass, 65-2, $13,632
7th: Kyle Mabrey, McCalla, Ala., 20 bass, 65-0, $12,812
8th: Planters pro Jim Dillard, West Monroe, La., 20 bass, 64-5, $11,992
9th: Shad Schenck, Waynetown, Ind., 20 bass, 63-6, $11,172
10th: National Guard pro Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 49-7, $10,352
Ehrler chose not to fish the final day of competition to return to his
home in California to be with his family, wife and newborn son who was
born Saturday night.
A complete list of results can be found at FLWOutdoors.com.
Overall there were 45 bass weighing 141 pounds, 7 ounces caught by pros Sunday. The catch included nine five-bass limits.