UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Rose closes Wheeler deal

Rose closes Wheeler deal
With daughter Hannah Grace peeking from behind, National Guard pro Mark Rose shows off two of his winning fish.

DECATUR, Ala. - It's neither fair, nor respectful to other competitors to assume a tournament is "in the bag" just because a guy brings a huge lead into the final round. But Mark Rose, at least indirectly, justified any such murmurings with his dominant wire-to-wire win at the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake.

Ever the humble gentleman, Rose simply won't engage in that line of thinking. He'll thank God, his family and his sponsors and he'll let others draw their own conclusions. For him, it's simply a matter of being fortunate enough to fish his style of fishing during a period when Wheeler's bass were positioned well for it. Essentially, the fish are just starting to move into their fall transition of shallow migration, but the water's still on the warm side, so plenty of quality fish remain out deep. With a solid understanding of these seasonal patterns and significant experience at picking apart the deep bottoms of TVA impoundments, Rose was in his comfort zone and simply went to work methodically locating and engaging his finned opponents.

"I just felt comfortable out there - I just get in tune with it," he said. "It's a passion I have. I really like it. IA modified crankbait proved essential for Mark Rose in his dominant victory on Wheeler Lake. like it when I'm not catching anything because I'm trying to figure them out.

"I made a conscious effort about four of five years ago to get offshore. There's one of the best ledge fishermen in the country in the audience here - Randy Haynes (FLW competitor from Counce, Tenn.) - and I owe him a lot. He taught me a lot and spent a lot of time with me when I first started getting out, so I just have to thank him."

Now, here's where we justify that "dominant" statement. Day one, Rose weighs the event's biggest bag - a limit weighing 21-6 that gave him the lead he would never relinquish and a margin of 3-7. He followed on day two with 17-8 and expanded his advantage to 4-6. Day three yielded Rose's smallest bag of the tournament (15-10), but the way the other weights lined up, he found himself heading into the final day of competition with a big-time lead of 7-1.

Flash forward to the culmination of today's final weigh-in. After starting day four in third place, behind Blake Nick, Chevy pro Luke Clausen had moved up from third place to first with 58-12, while Nick slipped below Clausen with 57-2. Rose takes the stage with a three-day total of 54-8, so he's just 4-pounds, 8 ounces off the lead before yanking the first fish out of his bag.

Second-place finisher Luke Clausen watches as Mark Rose pulls another big fish from his bag.Given his previous three averages, a single fish would've done it for him. But within this sincerely modest man beats the heart of a fierce competitor, so it came as no surprise when Mark Rose dropped 16-14 on the scales and blew this one out with a total weight of 71-6 and a massive winning margin of 12 pounds, 10 ounces.

Rose spent most of his time fishing about 15 miles from the tournament site and targeted fish in about 21-23 feet of water. Well familiar with the Tennessee River's extensive ledges, he knew he'd need to dial in the specific little sweet spots that would be most likely to attract quality fish. He found just such attraction over mussel beds - lively areas that typically hold baitfish. Rose said his Lowrance HDS-10 with StructureScan was essential to locating his quarry.

"That's my eyes and ears," he said. "I could not have done this without my electronics. Those mussel beds were the key, but every now and then, there were some stumps. I was trying to get around those stumps and if you touched a stump, a lot of times you'd get bit."

Rose had two main areas for most of the tournament, but a third spot opened up for him today when a fellow competitor who had been fishing there did not make the final-round cut. This spot produced aSurrounded by his family, Mark Rose celebrates a huge victory on Wheeler Lake. good flurry of early activity, but Rose rotated through all of his spots throughout the day.

"I just milked it for all it was worth today." He said. "I have to thank the people of this community. I had a lot of people out there watching me and they let me fish. I only had three little old spots and they left it alone and I appreciate that."

Rose used a variety of baits this week, but he caught most of his fish on a deep diving crankbait with a few stealth modifications for maximum depth. Today, the crankbait produced four of his keeper, with the fifth biting a Strike King football head jig with a Rage Craw trailer. Rose said he also caught fish on a Texas-rigged 10-inch worm and he also employed a Strike King jigging spoon to stimulate fish that played hard-to-get.

"The bigger fish wanted the crankbait more than anything else," he said. "For whatever reason, it takes time to figure out those bigger fish and I figured out that they wanted a crankbait."

Rose said that fishing his baits on 12-pound Seaguar fluorocarbon was essential for getting them to the target depth, while promoting longer casts and providing optimal durability.

Clausen climbs into second

Chevy pro Luke Clausen moved up a notch to finish second at Wheeler.Clausen had held steady at third place for the first three days of the event before overtaking Nick in the final round. His productivity had depended on two to three big bites each day, but in the final round, he had just one quality fish and end up with a limit weighing 11-13.

Noting that he never identified any particular patterns during the tournament, Clausen essentially junk fished his way into the final round. Today, he located a productive stretch of bank with trees that still had sufficient water for bass to hold beneath. The TVA had been pulling water during the tournament, so shoreline depths kept declining.

"The water dropped about two feet so it was hard to fish anything that I had been fishing," he said. "All week, I had been driving around and fishing new stuff. I found some water on a little wood so I went flipping for a little while."

Clausen caught one on Zara Spook, three on a shaky head with a Z-Man finesse worm and one on a Z-Man flipping bait. His biggest fish hit while Clausen was flipping an overhanging tree and nearly gave him the slip.

"It was actually kind of a surprise - I was going around a trip and flipped up there and as I was reeling the bait back up he grabbed it," Clausen recounted. "Luckily, I was able to catch up to it and sling it in the boat really quick. With the kind of weights we're catching - except for Mark Rose - you catch one 4-pounder and that really changes your day."

Nick struggles, slips to third

Alabama pro Blake Nick brought a lot of Wheeler experience into the tournament and had no troubleAlabama pro Blake Nick struggled on day four and slipped one notch to third. determining where he needed to fish. His only regret was not maximizing the potential in the early goings.

"I knew there were two places with good, healthy populations of fish - one's at the Guntersville Dam and the other one's at the Wheeler Dam," he said. "I had one place (at the Wheeler Dam) and I pulled in there and made 10 casts and caught 18 pounds. I thought I'd be smart and leave because I didn't think anyone was going to catch 18 and there comes Mark with 21 pounds. In hindsight, I wish I would have stayed there and whacked on them."

Fishing mostly football heads, Nick spent increasingly longer periods on his key spot each day and caught a couple more competitive limits on days two and three. Today, he managed only a limit of 9-11.

"It was a little different day," Nick said. "I don't know if it was affected by the water being down, because it was a deep bite. I have a feeling (the TVA) pulled water all night and the fish probably fed for a long time last night. But everybody has to face the same conditions to go out there and catch them. So there are no excuses."

Long settles at fourth

Missouri pro Shane Long did most of his damage the past few days with a dropshot.For Missouri pro Shane Long, the event's highlight was the 7-pound, 4-ounce largemouth that took Big Bass honors on day two and propelled him up from 17th place to fifth. Bagging one nearly 5 pounds on day three helped move him into fourth and a solid final-round limit of 12-7 kept him there with a tournament total of 55-0.

Fishing far up the river near the Guntersville dam, Long found the bass unwilling to eat his jig, so he decided to try something different - a dropshot. Fitted with Luck "E" Strike finesse worms in green pumpkin and pink, the rig proved just the ticket.

"There were several boats in that area and everybody's throwing a jig, Carolina rig, Alabama rig and all that big stuff," Long said. "I was just trying to catch five - it was pretty tough. So I pulled out a dropshot, dropped it down there and caught a 4-pounder, so I stuck with it. I caught that 7-4 on the second day and I had (another big fish) yesterday and I jumped off one today that was about 4 1/2. I mean, they'll bite it."

Hite rises to fifth

Brett Hite, of Phoenix, Ariz., tied for 10th place on day one, rose to sixth on day two, gave up threeNational Guard pro Brett Hite moved up from eighth place to fifth in the final round. notches on day three and regained some ground today to finish fifth with 51-6. Hite's final-round weight of 13-3 was the day's second largest, behind Rose.

The National Guard pro said he had minimal success in practice but located a key area that showed him a couple of quality bass. He decided to camp out there and relentlessly work his signature bait - a Phenix vibrating jig. Hite also recognized his boat and motor sponsors, Ranger and Evinrude, for providing an effective fishing rig.

"For the last three seasons, I have not been to a service trailer with a motor issue," Hite said. "Also, if it wasn't for (Ranger Boats founder) Forrest Wood, we wouldn't be here today, so my hat's off to them."

Best of the rest

Rounding out the top-10 pro leaders at the FLW Tour Open event on Wheeler Lake:

6th: Randall Tharp, of Gardendale, Ala., 50-13
7th: Michael Williamson, of Fort Smith, Ark., 49-9
8th: Larry Nixon, of Bee Branch, Ark., 47-6
9th: Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 45-10
10th: Jerry Lawler, of Athens, Ala., 36-4

Tags: david-a-brown  headline-story  2012-09-20-wheeler-lake 

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Miller Wins Wild Card on Kentucky Lake

Weighing limits of 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day one and 15-3 on day two, Michael Miller of Greenville, S.C., overcame a tough-fishing Kentucky Lake to win the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Wild Card and qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

Coastal Carolina Wins on Hartwell  

The Coastal Carolina University duo of Max McQuaide of Tyngsborough, Mass., and Grant Tattersall, of Conway, S.C., won the YETI FLW College Fishing tournament at Lake Hartwell presented by Costa with a five-bass limit weighing 13 pounds, 11 ounces. The victory earned the Chanticleers’ bass club $2,000 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

Allison Comes from Behind on Cumberland

By catching four quality smallmouth bass on the final day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland, Missourian Chad Allison was able to come back from 10th place and win the co-angler division, earning more than $30,000. READ MORE »

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

Upshaw Closes on Cumberland

For the second time this season, Andrew Upshaw is an FLW champion thanks to consistent days spent targeting big Southern smallmouths. The Tulsa, Okla., pro won the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland in Burnside, Ky., with a three-day total weight of 42 pounds, 15 ounces. The win comes less than seven months after Upshaw won the FLW Tour event on Cherokee Lake in east Tennessee. READ MORE »

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW Live Leaderboard - Lake Cumberland

FLW media staff provides unofficial weight estimates for the 2019 Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Cumberland Day 3 Coverage

Andrew Upshaw continues to roll on Cumberland. READ MORE »

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Upshaw Moves Ahead at Cumberland

Day two of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland was a bit tougher for some, given the post-frontal conditions featuring lighter winds, sun and cold temperatures. As projected, consistency has been the key and Andrew Upshaw continued to dial in his program adding 15 pounds, 1 ounce to his day-one bag of 14-15 for a total of 30 pounds even. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Cumberland Day 2 Coverage

Day one of the Costa FLW Series Championship proved to be about as challenging as many anglers anticipated after a tough practice period, but it wasn’t all bad. Zimbabwe’s Roger Cousens certainly wasn’t complaining. His tournament-leading 17-pound, 2-ounce bag was exactly what he had hoped for as the tournament kicked off, and he’s gunning for another big stringer today. READ MORE »

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

Zimbabwe’s Cousens Grabs Lead

The FLW International Division is well represented in the Costa FLW Series Championship, and perhaps none represented the division better than Roger Cousens of Zimbabwe, who didn’t seem bothered by the stingy conditions of Lake Cumberland on day one. With the only bag that topped 17 pounds for the day (17-2), Cousens enters day two with a 3-ounce lead over Robert Nakatomi, who qualified from the Western Division. READ MORE »

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

Cumberland Day 1 Coverage

With rain early and a cold snap forecasted to move in this afternoon, the first day of the Costa FLW Series Championship on Lake Cumberland could present some unique challenges for the 193-boat field, especially after a fairly mild and pleasant practice period.  READ MORE »

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Fitzpatrick All the Way on Grand

Roger Fitzpatrick has had quite a fall fishing season. He won the BFL Super Tournament on Lake of the Ozarks in September, then qualified for the All-American by winning the BFL Regional on Grand Lake in October. READ MORE »

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

Drury Wins on Lake of the Ozarks

The Drury University duo of Cole Breeden of Eldridge, Missouri and Cameron Smith, of Nixa, Missouri, won the YETI FLW College Fishing event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Bass Pro Shops with a five-bass limit weighing 18 pounds, 9 ounces. The victory earned the Panthers’ bass club $2,650 and a slot in the 2020 FLW College Fishing National Championship. READ MORE »

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Myers Makes Long Run for Kentucky Win

Mark Myers of Cedar Falls, Iowa, is no stranger to the victory circle with FLW, having previously won a BFL as a boater to go with two FLW Tour victories as a co-angler and two more as a co-angler in Costa FLW Series competition. But, his latest win at the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Regional on Kentucky and Barkley Lakes is the realization of his long-time goal to qualify for the All-American. READ MORE »

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

Beavers Wins Potomac Regional

A severe storm backed up the tides and drained many of the best areas on the Potomac. Adjusting to the unusual conditions and grinding out daily limits were the keys to success in the BFL Regional. READ MORE »

New Dominates Seminole Regional

New Dominates Seminole Regional

Belmont, N.C., angler Bryan New, who’s regularly one of FLW’s top performers in the grassroots ranks, had established a dominant pace. New weighed in 22 pounds, 9 ounces on day one and added 20-2 on day two to carry a lead of 6 pounds, 15 ounces into the finals. A roughly 7-pound margin isn’t necessarily a sure thing on Seminole, but the fall bite was a bit slower than what the lake can produce, and it was obvious New was cruising. READ MORE »

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

Hays Rallies for Ozark Title

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude was no walk in the park for the top 10 pros. With a cold front passing through at the start of the event, a high-pressure system settled in for the final round of fishing. While most struggled, Dylan Hays of El Dorado, Ark., sacked up 14 pounds, 6 ounces today – the biggest limit brought in during the final day – and finally was able to wrangle his first FLW title. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 3

The final day of the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude is fixing to get fun based on what’s already happened today and what could happen. READ MORE »

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Top 5 Patterns from Lake of the Ozarks – Day 2

Sure enough, with conditions changing from rain and clouds to sun and wind, the Costa FLW Series Central Division on Lake of the Ozarks, which is presented by Evinrude, has made it tough on guys. Of course, day-two leader James Watson predicted that some of the biggest bags of the event would come in today despite the conditions, and he was right. READ MORE »

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Consistency Puts Watson Out Front

Weather has been the storyline leading up to the Costa FLW Series Central Division finale on Lake of the Ozarks presented by Evinrude. With storms and rain blowing through yesterday ahead of a cold front, the cooler weather set in today making fishing tough on some, but others took advantage of the change. READ MORE »

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

Lake of the Ozarks Midday Update – Day 2

A cold front that brought temperatures in the 40s, rain and wind has the bass in a funk on day two of the Costa FLW Series Central Division event presented by Evinrude on Lake of the Ozarks. READ MORE »