UPCOMING EVENT: YETI College Fishing - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Rose maintains lead on Pickwick Lake

Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., shows off his tournament leading catch of 42 pounds, 12 ounces.

FLORENCE, Ala. - Known informally as the "ledge master," Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., is certainly living up to that moniker this week - and then some. For the second straight day, Rose dominated the competition on Pickwick Lake with his ledge-fishing prowess, recording a two-day total of 42 pounds, 12 ounces to maintain the overall lead heading into Saturday's third day of tournament action.

"You always want to be in the lead but I'd really like it to be a 10-pound lead at this point," Rose said. "Tomorrow, I'm going to go out there and try to put some pressure on (second-place contender) `Boo' Woods and some of the other guys. On this lake, no lead is really comfortable."

While most of the top pros are fishing ledges, Rose has turned that technique into an art form, bringing in the largest stringer of the first day of competition - a monstrous 24-pound, 10-ounce sack - and the fourth largest stringer -18 pounds, 2 ounces - in today's action.

"Yesterday was just a blessed day because those days don't come along very often," said Rose. "That 24-pound bag is the reason I still have a 4-pound lead in this tournament. But honestly, it hasn't been easy. People think I just pull up on a spot and catch 15 pounds right away, but that's not the case. It's a real grind out there."

Rose said that he's hunting bass with a combination of Strike King Shakey Head worms and Strike King 6XD crankbaits.

"I'm basically going into one area early in the morning and trying to catch about 13 or 14 pounds with the Shakey Head and once I get that limit I'll start moving around trying to cull up," said Rose. "I'm (targeting) a big school of fish that are pretty deep and not very active. Today I spent a lot of time just sitting on a drop and using a small worm to try and finesse them out. I chose to stay there most of the day and grind it out. But it's a timing thing. If I see a fish jump, I'll pick up one of my moving baits."

While Rose has dominated the competition so far, he said he's hardly resting on his laurels as there are still many potential pitfalls awaiting anglers over the next two days of tourney action.

"With the shorter (tournament days), boat traffic, increasing amount of local anglers on the weekends and the (likely outcome of) no real current on Saturday and Sunday, you never know what's going to happen," said Rose. "Weights could definitely drop off over the next two days. I mean, I could come back with 8 to 10 pounds tomorrow, so you never know what's going to happen."

Woods maintains second-place positioning

On the strength of a two-day catch of 39 pounds, Kenneth On the strength of a two-day catch of 39 pounds, Kenneth "Boo" Woods of Hazard, Ky., remained in second place, nipping at the heels of Rose.

"I'm ecstatic to be where I am right now in the standings," said Woods. "I found some areas during an EverStart tournament here no too long ago and I've just kind of expanded upon that this tournament. My main area is a 6-foot ditch with lots of mussel shells but I have two other pretty good areas I haven't even touched yet."

Woods said that he's been targeting bass in 14 feet of water with a combination of Zoom Speed Worms, Slongs Phattom jigs and spoons.

"I lost three really good fish on spoons today and that hurt me a little bit," he said. "But it's a high-risk, high-reward bait because out of 10 bites, I'll probably only get three of those into the boat."

As for his strategy in tomorrow's competition?

"I'm just going to have to keep on catching them and see what happens," he said.

Vick makes his move

Lance Vick of Mineaola, Texas, used a two-day catch of 35 pounds, 6 ounces to leapfrog from eighth place to third.Lance Vick of Mineaola, Texas, used a two-day catch of 35 pounds, 6 ounces to leapfrog from eighth place to third.

"I really had a slow start today," he said. "It was pretty frustrating at first because I was fishing this ledge with two other anglers and I was watching them put together some really nice sacks while I really wasn't catching a whole lot. But things turned around later and I eventually caught them pretty good."

Vick said the key to his day was patience, patience and more patience.

"I really had to grind it out today," he said. "I basically got to my spot, put my trolling motor down and didn't lift up back up again until I left. I was fishing a Carolina rig and I went over the same piece of dirt all day long. I've probably worn trenches down there with my Carolina rig from going back over the same (pattern) all day long."

Heading into Saturday's competition, Vick said he really like the way the tournament is shaping up.

"I believe I have enough fish to hang in there," he said. "I have this 50-yard stretch and I'm going back there tomorrow and doing the same thing. It's going to be a grind again but overall, I'm feeling pretty good."

Tharp snares fourth place

Using a catch of 35 pounds, 1 ounce, Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished the day in fourth place overall on Pickwick Lake.Using a catch of 35 pounds, 1 ounce, Randall Tharp of Gardendale, Ala., finished the day in fourth place overall. Known as a shallow water specialist, Tharp said that he is pleasantly surprised by his place in the standings after two days.

"I'm really comfortable fishing shallow water, that's where I have a real advantage. But this offshore fishing stuff, I just hate it," he said. "I can do it, I just don't like it very much. It's really a grind and it's pretty boring. But right now I'm on pace. If I can keep catching 17 pounds a day, I think I'll have a good chance to finish in second place."

While Tharp would love a tournament title, especially one that came from fishing outside his comfort zone, he thinks that Rose will be too tough to beat this time around.

"I'm not really sure I can compete with Rose," he said. "This is his home lake and he's just a fantastic structure fisherman. He's head and shoulders above everyone else."

Dodson nails down fifth place

Robbie Dodson of Harrison, Ark., used a 35-pound catch to round out the top-five pro semifinalists.

AOY race crystallizes

First-place AOY contender David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., proudly displays his eighth-place catch on Pickwick Lake.Although four of the top six pros in contention for this season's FLW Tour Angler of the Year race survived today's top-20, the contest is officially a two-horse race between David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va., and Brent Ehrler of Redlands, Calf. As a result of the updated points standings, Dudley (who finished the second day of competition in eighth place) needs only a top-16 finish to claim the crown. However, if Ehrler finishes in the top four after Sunday's weigh-in and Dudley falls somewhere between 16th and 20th in the standings, Ehrler could walk away with the title.

"I feel great about this tournament," said Ehrler, who finished today's competition in sixth place with a total catch of 34 pounds, 15 ounces. "I wanted to come here and win angler of the year and I've done everything I could to try and make that happen. But I really needed Dudley to stumble and he really hasn't so it's going to be pretty tough to win that title now. If he goes out there tomorrow and catches 10 pounds, it's going to be pretty hard to win. Right now, it's Dudley's tile to lose."

Dudley was even more succinct about his goals.

"I'm happy to be in the position I'm in right now," he said. "Anytime you're in the top 10 you should be happy. But my task on hand is winning the title at Pickwick Lake. If I do that, the angler of the year title and everything else will fall into place."

Best of the rest

Although Tom Monsoor of Lacrosse, Wisc., lost out on any slim chance he had to win the AOY crown after a tough first day of competition, Monsoor did win a nice $500 consolation prize today after winning the "Big Bass" award for landing a whopping 8-pound, 11-ounce largemouth.

Davis snares co-angler lead

Using a total catch of 35 pounds, 14 ounces, Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., grabbed the overall lead in the Co-angler Division.

Using a total catch of 35 pounds, 14 ounces, Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., grabbed the overall lead in the Co-angler Division."I'm definitely excited," said David. "I've had a pretty terrible year so far so hopefully this will help me make my (entry fee) money back. It's a little redemption for sure. My best friends won the last two (FLW Tour co-angler titles) and hopefully it's my time to win one as well."

Davis said that he's targeting bass with a B&M jig, fishing in about 12 feet of water.

"As long as I can get a decent draw tomorrow, I should be able to catch them again," he said.

Davis also walked away with the "Big Bass" award in the Co-angler Division after netting a 6-pound, 11-ounce largemouth.

Thill drops to second place

Day-one co-angler leader Dan Thill of Lacrosse, Wisc., couldn't quite hold onto his lead in today's competition, parlaying a total catch of 33 pounds, 8 ounces into a second-place finish heading into Saturday's final day of co-angler competition.

Co-angler Dan Thill of Lacrosse, Wisc., finished the day in second place."Today I obviously didn't have the day I had yesterday but that was to be expected," said Thill, who out-fished 122 out of 123 pros on the opening day of competition with a 22-pound, 13-ounce sack. "Today I didn't have a keeper for over two hours. But I kept my head down, stayed patient and eventually got my limit. This is a very mental sport. You have to constantly keep you eye on the ball and your head in the game."

Thill said he continued to target bass with a custom-made Tom Monsoor jig as well as a Zoom Shaky Head worm.

Overall, Thill said he's happy to be where he is in the standings.

"It takes three days to win a tournament and if I was going to stumble a bit, I'm glad it was today," said Thill.

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-five co-angler finishers in today's competition:

3rd: Chris Hults of Vancleave, Miss., 27-4
4th: Nick Hensley of Cumming, Ga., 26-3
5th: Dean Tucker of Hiawassee, Ga., 25-5

FLW Tour action on the Pickwick Lake continues during Saturday's takeoff, scheduled to take place at 6 a.m. at McFarland Park, located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence, Ala.

Tags: gary-mortenson  headline-story  2011-07-21-pickwick-lake 

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