Rose rules Pickwick

Pickwick domination: Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., wins yet another tournament on Pickwick Lake in wire-to-wire fashion with his Stren Series Championship victory.

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. Mark Rose shows off a dandy Bay Springs spotted bass. 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. Newton second NatioNational Guard pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ark., finished second with a three-day total of 50 pounds, 10 ounces. He is also Forrest Wood Cup bound in 2010.nal Guard pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ark., finished second with a three-day total of 50 pounds, 10 ounces worth $25,000. Newton spent his week up in Wilson Lake, fishing bluff walls in heavy current with a 3/4-ounce homemade jig (black-and-blue, brown-and-black) tipped with a big plastic chunk. He also used a Berkley Hollow Belly swimbait rigged on a 1/2-ounce jighead. "I was keeping the boat in 14 or 15 feet of water and pitching the jig right up against the bluff wall in the current," Newton said. "Whenever I came to a really good current break or eddy, I'd make a couple of casts into it with the Hollow Belly, just kind of slow-rolling it through the boil, and I culled every fish today with that Hollow Belly." Newton opted to fish his big jig on 20-pound-test Big Game monofilament for a slower fall in the current. "I didn't catch anything on wood all week," Newton said. "The main thing I was keying on was big rock underwater. I've got a couple of bluff stretches up there that have big boulders out in 6 to 10 feet of water that make great current breaks. The trick was remembering where all those big rocks and breaks were so I could make the most of each pass in that current." Newton also earned a ticket to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup by being the highest finisher in the championship from the Stren Southeast Division. Defoe third Land O'Lakes pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., finished third with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 6 ounces . He is also Forrest Wood Cup bound in 2010. Land O' Lakes pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn., finished third with a three-day total of 47 pounds, 6 ounces worth $34,000. Defoe played his championship week close to the McFarland Park launch site, fishing Pickwick's bluff walls and current breaks in the upper lake with a 5/8-ounce Tabu jig (Texas craw) teamed with a twin-tail grub. He fished the jig on 25-pound-test Trilene 100% fluorocarbon. "I was fishing any bank junk that hung down into the water and helped break the current," Defoe said. "Some of it was vines, bushes or lay-downs that had junk trapped alongside them. Getting the fish out of all that stuff in the heavy current was a real trick, but that Trilene 100% fluorocarbon is bullet proof when it comes to that kind of fishing." Defoe also punched his ticket to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup by being the highest finisher in the championship from the Northern Division. Pace fourth Keith Pace of Monticello, Ark., finished fourth with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 7 ounces. Keith Pace of Monticello, Ark., finished fourth with a three-day total of 45 pounds, 7 ounces worth $19,000. Pace spent the week in Wilson Lake. His primary technique was to slow-roll a variety of big, heavy spinnerbaits down to 10 to 12 feet for better-quality bites. His spinnerbait selection included a Stan Sloan 1-ounce model, a 1/2-ounce War Eagle "Screaming Eagle" and a custom spinnerbait made by Glenn Osborne. All spinnerbaits featured willow blades. "When I first got on slow-rolling the spinnerbait pattern earlier in the week, the water in Wilson had a good stain to it from that last rain," Pace said. "But as the week wore on without any more rain, the water got clearer each day. So I started compensating for the lack of stain by slow-rolling the spinnerbait under shady banks and any wind-blown banks I could find. The shade and wind helped break up the visibility a little in that clearing water. I probably could have gone to a crankbait or something else, but that spinnerbait really brought the better quality bites." Canterbury fifthScott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 6 ounces. Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala., finished fifth with a three-day total of 44 pounds, 6 ounces worth $20,000. Canterbury spent his week fishing Pickwick from the Wilson dam down to Seven Mile Island. He flipped bluff-type banks in heavy current with a Sweet Beaver-style bait in a Bama-bug color with a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight on Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon line. Rest of the best Rounding out the top 10 pros in the Stren Series Championship on Pickwick Lake: 6th: Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa., three-day total of 43-0, $19,000 7th: Lloyd Pickett of Bartlett, Tenn., three-day total of 40-12, $18,000 8th: Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala., three-day total of 39-4, $9,000 9th: Matthew Jones of Spokane, Mo., three-day total of 38-14, $16,000 10th: Eric Ambort of Mabelvale, Ark., three-day total of 37-4, $7,000 Other Forrest Wood Cup Qualifiers In addition to Rose, Newton and Defoe, other pros receiving invites to the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup in Atlanta via the Stren Series by being the highest finisher in their respective divisions during the Stren Series Championship included Chad Hulbert of Gilroy, Calif., from the Western Division and Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala., from the Texas Division.

Tags: headline-story  rob-newell 

/news/2015-06-29-dobson-sticks-with-jerkbait-for-win

Dobson Sticks With Jerkbait for Win

Scott Dobson of Clarkston, Michigan, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 21 pounds, 6 ounces Saturday to win the first Walmart Bass Fishing League Michigan Division tournament of 2015 on Lake St. Clair. For his victory, Dobson earned $5,804. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-johnston-targets-beds-for-big-limit

Johnston Targets Beds for Big Limit

Cory Johnston of Cavan, Ontario, Canada, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 25 pounds, 13 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Northeast Division tournament of 2015 on 1000 Islands. For his victory, Johnston earned $5,632. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-football-jig-helps-bates-net-title

Football Jig Helps Bates Net Title

Matthew Bates of Greenville, Mississippi, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 20 pounds even Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Mississippi Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Ferguson. For his victory, Bates earned $3,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-hipsher-hops-ledges-for-victory

Hipsher Hops Ledges for Victory

Craig Hipsher of Benton, Kentucky, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 22 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League LBL Division tournament of 2015 on Kentucky and Barkley lakes. For his victory, Hipsher earned $4,385. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-lauer-wins-on-ohio-river

Lauer Wins on Ohio River

David Lauer of McConnelsville, Ohio, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 12 pounds, 5 ounces Saturday to win the second Walmart Bass Fishing League Buckeye Division tournament of 2015 on the Ohio River. For his victory, Lauer earned $6,289. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-29-creature-bait-does-it-for-berhorst

Creature Bait Does it for Berhorst

Dennis Berhorst of Holts Summit, Missouri, weighed a five-bass limit totaling 16 pounds, 12 ounces Saturday to win the fourth Walmart Bass Fishing League Ozark Division tournament of 2015 on Lake Truman. For his victory, Berhorst earned $5,963. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-wendlandt-back-at-the-top

Wendlandt Back at the Top

It’s been 14 seasons since Clark Wendlandt last stood on a Walmart FLW Tour stage and hoisted a tournament championship trophy. Since that time, the Texas pro has experienced ups and downs, including an Angler of the Year title (his third) in 2009 and a major medical issue that sidelined him for most of the 2014 season. All that’s in the past now, however, and Wendlandt is right back where he belongs in the world of bass fishing – in first place after the final day on the Potomac River in the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-top-10-patterns-from-the-potomac-river

Top 10 Patterns from the Potomac River

Clark Wendlandt didn’t pull off any secret techniques to win the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. He simply found an area with the right quality of bass to win and managed it perfectly despite facing a medley of Mother Nature’s toughest challenges. The rest of the top 10 stuck with the standard Potomac targets too, namely grass, docks and wood cover. The only underlying trend of the top 10 is that they found areas to themselves. Here’s how the rest of the top 10 got it done at the 2015 Tour finale. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-28-potomac-river-day-4-coverage

Potomac River Day 4 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-wendlandt-receives-helping-hand

Wendlandt Receives Helping Hand

Not to discredit Clark Wendlandt’s skills as a bass fisherman, but if it wasn’t for an extreme act of kindness on the part of fellow competitor Shin Fukae, Wendlandt wouldn’t be where he is this evening – leading through three days of competition at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-3

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 3

Pouring rain, gusting winds, a remarkable act of kindness, an Angler of the Year title on the line – day three of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River certainly was not boring. To say the top 20 anglers were waterlogged after Saturday would be any understatement, but as nasty as the weather was, it wasn’t the biggest story of the day. Shinichi Fukae generously helped Clark Wendlandt retain his lead, while Scott Martin sealed the deal on his first AOY title. Meanwhile, a number of other anglers scrambled to adjust with what the weather and the Potomac are throwing at them. Here’s how the rest of the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-27-potomac-river-day-3-coverage

Potomac River Day 3 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on the Potomac River presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-wendlandt-in-familiar-territory

Wendlandt in Familiar Territory

A lot of flip-flopping took place on the second day of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. When the scale closed, it was three-time Tour Angler of the Year Clark Wendlandt who found himself on top with a two-day total of 32 pounds, 10 ounces. Wendlandt caught 17-13 today – the day’s second-heaviest limit – and leads Potomac local Bryan Schmitt by 1-12 going into the weekend. Wendlandt missed part of last season after suffering a heart attack but has rebounded with good success this season. He has won three times on Tour but hasn’t finished in first place since Beaver Lake in 2001. Details to come on the patterns of the top five. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-26-potomac-river-day-2-coverage

Potomac River Day 2 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-jersey-boy-leads-the-pack

Jersey Boy Leads the Pack

Talk about a traffic jam. And, no, we’re not talking about the streets around the Washington, D.C. area. We’re talking about the standings at the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. Adrian “Jersey Boy” Avena leads the way with a 16-pound, 12-ounce limit, but a total of 41 pros weighed in at least 12 pounds. Many pros lamented the tough bite today, but the results say otherwise as 114 limits were brought to the scale on the pro side. Troy Morrow trails Avena by just 1-06, and 1 ounce behind Morrow is one of the most successful tidewater bass anglers of all time, Bryan Schmitt. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-top-5-patterns-from-potomac-river-day-1

Top 5 Patterns from Potomac River Day 1

It might seem impossible for 405 miles of water to fish small, but space was hard to come by on day one of the Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on the Potomac River. The creeks near takeoff at Smallwood State Park have seen as much traffic as a Washington, D.C. highway at rush hour. On the flip side, anglers who were able to develop patterns that got them away from the crowds, such as day-one leader Adrian Avena, have been able to reap the benefits of what has been a stingy fishery. Here’s how the rest of the pros in the top five caught their fish today. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-aoy-shake-up-martin-makes-his-move

AOY Shake-Up: Martin Makes His Move

Scott Martin has been talking about winning the Angler of the Year title since before the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour season started. It’s on his mind and for good reason: Angler of the Year is the only major FLW title he hasn’t won in what Martin has built into one of the most decorated professional fishing careers in FLW Tour history. Today, on the first day of competition at the Tour finale on the Potomac River, Martin has unofficially moved into the lead in the AOY race for the first time all season. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-25-potomac-river-day-1-coverage

Potomac River Day 1 Coverage

Daily updates from the Walmart FLW Tour event on Lake Chickamauga presented by Ranger Boats. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-richardson-wins-all-american

Richardson Wins All-American

Curtis Richardson has a way of surprising people – even himself. The Ontario angler had all but written himself off in the championship round of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American, thinking his limit of five bass wouldn’t hold up for long with the likes of Jeremy Lawyer and Bill Schroeder breathing down his neck. READ MORE »

/news/2015-06-20-all-american-midday-update-day-3

All-American Midday Update Day 3

Big changes might be coming in the standings of the Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American on Kentucky Lake, as some of the top 10 leaders struggled this morning to catch limits. Canadian angler Curtis Richardson, who currently is leading, had only one 3-pound keeper by midmorning. And second-place boater Billy Schroeder, who had fished just below the Paris Landing Bridge for the first two days, finally bailed out from there after catching four keepers this morning. READ MORE »