Rose and Haynes: Brothers of the Ledge

Mark Rose and Randy Haynes share the same passion for fishing offshore that amounts to a pretty interesting friendship.

It's a friendship formed from a common passion, a bond built by mutual respect. Walmart FLW Tour pros Randy Haynes and Mark Rose - two of the nation's top ledge fishermen - are not lifelong buddies. They met about seven years ago during Rose's victory at the FLW Series event on Pickwick Lake. However, the close relationship they've established since then is solid and a bit incongruous in a sport where individual accomplishment is paramount and friendly rivalries predominate. What got the ball rolling? Haynes sort of downplays the answer, but if you know this salt-of-the-earth straight-shooter, you can detect the sincerity in his words that bespeaks a deep regard for his pal and genuine appreciation for a kindred spirit. "I've always kind of kept this stuff to myself," Haynes drawls. "I don't know why I warmed up to Mark; that's just how it worked out." Mark Rose entices a schooling largemouth to bite his crankbait. Rose is a little more forthcoming: "It's fun having someone who has as much passion for something as you do. I share stuff with him; he shares stuff with me. It's a good relationship." That's how it is. The ledge scene can be one of the most competitive, temper-testing deals in fishingdom. Secret spots typically stay that way, at least until the first day of the tournament rolls around. Otherwise, loose lips will guarantee a scrum of boats precisely where you don't want one. Yet Haynes trusts Rose with such information, and vice versa. "There aren't many people who I share 100 percent of offshore fishing with, but Randy's one of them," Rose says. Randy Haynes Case in point: Haynes and Rose roomed together at the recent Rayovac FLW Series event on Kentucky Lake and finished first and third, respectively. The evening conversations in which they compared notes no doubt helped each of them. Why Ledges Growing up near Pickwick Lake, Haynes latched onto the offshore approach early in his career. Intrigued by the same bunch of "old-timers" who consistently hauled monster sacks from this Tennessee River powerhouse, he knew he needed to learn their game. Randy Haynes is an electronics expert and a master at interpreting fish activity on a depth-finder screen. For him, ledge proficiency meant a couple of key things: first, understanding when and how big fish utilize certain areas of the ledge; second, developing an intuition for bait selection that enables him to stretch a good bite. Both he learned the old-fashioned way - time on the water. For Rose, it was one of those next-level things. After eight years as a pro angler, he was making a decent living, but yearning for more - something to ignite the kind of career that he had dreamed about even before he got started. Mark Rose finished second in April Seeking to complement what he felt were above-average shallow-water skills, and inspired by the maverick offshore success of one of the original ledgemeisters, David Fritts, Rose immersed himself in ledge studies. Anyone can go down a bank and pick up fish here and there, he felt, but Rose wanted to master a skill that, though extremely difficult to learn, would add another strong dimension to his game. "There's more to it than just learning what fish look like on a graph - it's understanding what you're looking at," Rose observes. "I never want to say that I know it all, but I've been a student of that game. "I'm in a comfortable spot - offshore fishing revived my career," he adds. "I now have a passion. I can go out and idle ledges all day long and scout. It's like hunting. Part of successful hunting is going out and patterning a big buck." Knowledge Shared Rose doesn't hesitate to credit his pal Haynes for helping him refine his ledge game. But in fairness, the notion that Haynes taught Rose all that he knows simply isn't accurate. Rose had not yet met Haynes when he won his first ledge-oriented tournament (that Pickwick event). So, it wasn't so much that Haynes "trained" him; it was more of a refinement: graduate school, if you will. "I became good friends with Randy after I developed a passion for offshore fishing," Rose adds. "We started fishing together and really feeding off one another." Haynes recalls that he was impressed at how quickly Rose would grasp any piece of insight he provided. "I understood where the fish set up and the times they use certain things," he says. "I knew what time fish would pull up on certain holes. I showed him these things, and he ran with it. It was a pretty neat deal." As Rose adds: "Randy helped me understand that there's a bank out there offshore. I was used to looking with my visible eyes. He helped me understand structure - the contour of a lake. It's what we don't see with our eyes. He helped me understand how fish move in the offshore realm. Once I understood that there's a bank offshore, then it became a matter of having the confidence to rely on electronics. "It's like a pilot having to fly at night or in a storm. Now I can't fish without my electronics. I can't go bream fishing without a depth finder." Traversing the Two-Way Street As with all good relationships, these guys have mastered the give-and-take. A Strike King 10XD, Profound Outdoors Z-Boss 20 crankbait and a football jig were Randy Haynes Haynes, who won the 2013 Tour event on Lake Eufaula, notes that while he's very confident with his offshore game, going shallow on some Walmart FLW Tour lakes is like a strange new world for him. That's where Rose never hesitates to reciprocate with advice that will help Haynes deal with a shallow bite. "It's an honor to have helped Mark's career, but at the same time, I'm learning stuff from him too," Haynes says. "I feel comfortable fishing offshore, but I'm trying to back up now and learn some other things like the shallow stuff - how to flip, for instance. "Mark's still holding my hand right now - I'm not afraid to say it," Haynes adds. "He gives me confidence to help me get by on lakes where I haven't got a clue. Without him I wouldn't be able to fish the Tour." Rose acknowledges his impact on Hayne's shallow game, but thinks that his friend is being modest about his well-rounded skill set. Nevertheless, the lines of communication remain open. "Anytime Randy has a question, I answer it with sincerity and honesty," Rose says. "He's taken it and applied it, and he's competing at a good level." This mutually beneficial relationship includes a healthy dose of sportsmanship on the water. "We respect one another's areas, and a lot of times, we rotate spots," Haynes says. "If he does better [in a tournament], he gives me a couple spots to help me to do better, and vice versa." Friendship aside, both anglers have families to support, and careers to build. They help each other, but when they're on the water in a tournament, they fish to win. "In a nutshell, I think we help make each other better because he's always wanting to beat me and I'm always wanting to beat him," says Rose. "But at the end, we're really good friends. We're good friends before we're competitors, and nothing's going to get in the way of that. We've worked really hard at that, and no matter what we're going to keep our friendship intact before we let the fishing get in the way of that." So, it's not so much a mentorship, but a complementary friendship - often spurred by two competitive personalities. "Tiger Woods needs Phil Mickelson, and Phil Mickelson needs Tiger Woods; Lebron James needs Koby Bryant and vice versa," Rose says. "When it comes to ledge fishing, knowing that I have to beat Randy means that I have to work hard at it." Looking Ahead With the final Tour event on Kentucky Lake, the scene is set for Haynes and Rose to finish the season in their preferred scenario. Haynes says he's looking forward to competing against his friend, and he's confident they'll both have plenty of good spots to fish. "Kentucky Lake is such a big body of water; people move around, and fish move around," Haynes says. "I feel good about us both doing well here because we'll be able to move around and find fish without being on top of each other." For Rose, there's no need to even consider anything but the obvious. "I can guarantee you one thing, I won't have a flipping stick on my boat," he notes. "I know what I'll be doing. The goal is to find as many schools as we can and figure out which one has the biggest fish in it."

Tags: article 

/tips/2015-05-19-missed-opportunities-at-beaver-lake

Missed Opportunities at Beaver Lake

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-14-2015-flw-tv-schedule

2015 FLW TV Schedule

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-12-strader-maintains-lead-at-halfway-mark

Strader Maintains Lead At Halfway Mark

Midway through the 2015 Walmart FLW Tour, Tennessee pro Wes Strader is in first place in the Angler of the Year race, and his prospects for winning it are as good as anyone’s. Two upcoming events, at lakes Eufaula and Chickamauga, “fish” in a way that suits his style, and he has a good track record on the Potomac River, the last Tour stop of 2015. A good finishing kick could earn the veteran his first AOY title. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-10-mother-of-ramie-colson-jr-passes

Mother of Ramie Colson Jr. Passes

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-07-community-outreach-sportsmanship-award-

Community Outreach (Sportsmanship Award)

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-06-tornadoes-sweep-across-oklahoma

Tornadoes Sweep Across Oklahoma

2014 Rayovac FLW Series Champion Zack Birge, whose appears in the Central Division Tournament on Kentucky Lake was cut short by tornados at his home town in Oklahoma, characterized the damage to his house as “a near miss.” READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-05-weekend-wrap-up-may-4-2015

Weekend Wrap-Up – May 4, 2015

This weekend saw history being made at the Rayovac level. Plus, it was a bush- and flipping-filled BFL Saturday and the College Fishing ranks produced some Guntersville giants. Here’s a recap of last weekend’s tournament action. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-05-01-walmart-bfl-tournament-preview

Walmart BFL Tournament Preview

The 2015 Walmart Bass Fishing League season will continue with six tournaments on Saturday, May 2. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-30-flw-raises-88k-for-charity

FLW Raises $88K for Charity

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-29-20-questions-with-ray-hanselman

20 Questions with Ray Hanselman

Ray Hanselman is on fire. The Del Rio, Texas, pro won back-to-back Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournaments to start the 2015 season. His first win was in February on Lake Amistad, which is Hanselman’s home lake and where he runs a guide service. His second win came last week on Sam Rayburn. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-26-queen-and-black-crowned-high-school-fishing-champs

Queen and Black Crowned High School Fishing Champs

Kristopher Queen and Tyler Black of the North Carolina Student Angler Federation won the 2015 SAF High School Fishing National Championship on Oklahoma’s Grand Lake. Queen and Black bested a field of the 10 best High School Fishing teams in the two-day competition. They caught 17 pounds, 2 ounces on Saturday to make it to today’s final round of five teams in second place. Then today, the Tar Heel State’s best backed it up with 17-15 to surpass Oklahoma’s Trevor Yates and Jacob Keenom, the day-one-leaders, by 4 pounds, 6 ounces with a two-day total of 35-01. Queen and Black earned a $10,000 scholarship for their win. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-25-keenom-yates-grab-high-school-lead

Keenom, Yates Grab High School Lead

Oklahoma’s Trevor Yates and Jacob Keenom sacked a five-bass limit weighing 17 pounds, 3 ounces to top the leaderboard on day one of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on Grand Lake. Kristopher Queen and Tyler Black are hot on their heels in second with five bass weighing 17 pounds, 2 ounces. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-25-a-high-school-fishing-grand-finale

A High School Fishing Grand Finale

Adrenaline and optimism were running high among the 19 young guns gathered at Wolf Creek Park as they anxiously awaited takeoff on day one of the Student Angler Federation High School Fishing National Championship on Grand Lake. Set for April 25-26 on the legendary Sooner impoundment, the championship pits the nation’s top 10 two-person high school teams in an all-out bass battle for the national title and a $10,000 college scholarship. One contestant, Cameron Pappan, is fishing solo. The road to the finals began in 2014, with state and open championships leading to one of five conference finals, then ultimately to Grand Lake. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-21-weekend-wrap-up-april-21-2015

Weekend Wrap-Up – April 21, 2015

With the College Fishing National Championship and the kickoff of the Rayovac FLW Series Central Division going on, this past weekend was pretty hotly anticipated. Lucky for fishing fans, it sure lived up to the billing. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-18-grand-lake-midday-update-day-3

Grand Lake Midday Update Day 3

READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-17-grand-lake-midday-update

Grand Lake Midday Update

As the second day of competition in the Rayovac FLW Series event on Grand Lake draws on, the sight-fishing bite is still strong, but day-one leader Todd Castledine has been unable to capitalize thus far. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-16-grand-lake-day-1-midday-update

Grand Lake Day 1 Midday Update

GROVE, Okla. – After the fog delay stalled action on day one of the Central Division opener on Grand Lake the anglers are now enjoying perfect weather for sight-fishing. Lingering light fog and clouds gave way to calm, sunny conditions this afternoon. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-15-weekend-wrap-up-april-13-2015

Weekend Wrap-up – April 13, 2015

The week after the Easter break turned out to be pretty spectacular. We saw incredible feats at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division event on Sam Rayburn and the FLW College Fishing event on Table Rock. Plus, BFL competition was hot across the country. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-10-top-5-patterns-from-sam-rayburn-day-2

Top 5 Patterns from Sam Rayburn Day 2

Two limits of more than 20 pounds have pushed Del Rio, Texas, pro Ray Hanselman atop the leaderboard at the Rayovac FLW Series Texas Division tournament on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Mercury. Hanselman is flipping and pitching plastics to flooded brush and trees, with careful consideration to the spots that allow him the best targeting efficiency. The lake level remains at a 15-year high, so anglers are chasing scattered bass in areas the fish rarely see. Overcast skies dominated the day, and isolated showers popped up throughout competition. Overall, productivity was lower than that of day one, with fewer fish and limits caught, and overall weights down. READ MORE »

/tips/2015-04-08-college-fishing-takes-on-table-rock

College Fishing Takes on Table Rock

KIMBERLING CITY, Mo. – FLW College Fishing is headed to Table Rock Lake April 11 for the first of three regular-season stops in the Central Conference. A full field of college teams will be competing for a top award of $2,000 and a berth in the Central Conference Championship tournament. READ MORE »