UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Pickwick Lake

Rose Ready to Chase a Cup Title

Rose Ready to Chase a Cup Title
Mark Rose

Feeling the momentum, open-minded, respectfully apprehensive – all relevant terms describing Mark Rose’s Forrest Wood Cup outlook. The 20-year FLW Tour pro from West Memphis, Ark., readily acknowledges the wind in his sails complements of his Pennzoil Marine Angler of the Year title. However, he knows he’ll need every ounce of motivation and mental edge to take on an August event on Lake Ouachita.

August fishing is a tough proposition in the South, and Rose knows well the physical and mental drain that stifling heat can inflict. Still, he’s excited about the opportunity of staking his claim in what he believes will become a big Easter egg hunt.

“If you get on the right deal at Lake Ouachita, you can win. There are so many things that can be successful, but there will be one thing at the Forrest Wood Cup that will be a difference maker,” Rose says. “Nobody knows what that is right now, but you put 50 of the best anglers in the world out there and they’ll find it. Somebody will find that one little thing that’s different, and that will be your champion.

“I don’t have a lot of experience on that lake. I’ve only fished there for tournaments. But everybody who reads my bio knows that my biggest weakness is deep, clear grass, and that’s one thing we’re going to be dealing with. If that’s the deal, I’m probably not going to be the champion.”

Fortunately, Rose expects plenty of familiar patterns – from topwaters to Texas rigs and a bunch of stuff in between – to produce. He says the rivers (Ouachita and South Fork) will hold good numbers of smaller fish, with the lower end likely to kick out the week’s biggest bass. He’ll spend most of his time hunting the latter.

“I like fishing tough tournaments because they can be some of the easiest to win, if you figure out that key deal,” Rose says. “But that key deal is the hardest to find in a tough tournament.

“I don’t think a guy will be able to take one bait and go out and win the Forrest Wood Cup, and I don’t think he will be able to fish one depth in the Forrest Wood Cup.”

 

Expectations and preparations

With extreme heat nearly a foregone conclusion, Rose knows he’ll need to pack lots of water for practice and tournament days, but a few weeks before the big event he’ll start leaning up his diet, eliminating any sugary beverages and going with straight H2O. He’ll also increase his daily walking regimen to frequent runs to work off a few pounds and get himself in shape for those grueling days.

Admittedly, Rose often neglects a proper lunch on the water – as his travel roommate and fellow Cup qualifier Greg Bohannan often reminds him. However, Rose says his wife, Christi, will make sure he has a solid midday meal – probably a sandwich and fresh fruit, rather than the usual Nabs (peanut butter cheese crackers) – for each tournament day. Tournament breakfasts will be Raisin Bran or oatmeal.

Much more than meal prep, Mark says he’ll appreciate having his wife, daughters, Natalie and Hannah Grace, and Lily, the 6-year-old Havanese, join him during Cup week for the grounding they provide.

“There’s going to be a lot of hype going into the Cup, so a guy has to try to not get caught up in the distractions,” he says. “I’ll try to stay secluded with just me, my family and my dog so I can stay focused. It’s going to be hard enough trying to figure out the Ouachita bass for the week.”

 

Perspective in the moment

Come Aug. 10, Mark Rose will fish his 12th Forrest Wood Cup. An even dozen equals a lot of experience, but he says the thrill never gets old, nor does the potential for a career-changing achievement.

“Every Tour event we fish we have the chance to win $100,000. At the Forrest Wood Cup, we have the chance to win $300,000,” Rose says. “It’s like having the chance to win three tournaments all at one time.

“That, in and of itself, enhances the excitement and the level of intensity. Having said that, if you finish last, you’re going to win $10,000, so that takes the sting off of it a little.”

Notwithstanding the requisite seriousness Rose will surely bring to this event, the accomplished veteran says he intends to treat this event as he’s treating the latter years of his full-time tournament career.

“I feel like I have another good 10 to 15 years left in my career,” Rose says. “I’ll be honest, I’m going to try to have fun with them. I’ve been truly blessed to win some titles in this sport, to win the money, to make a living; but I think we can get caught up in a lot of things in this sport and lose the fun factor that we used to have.

“I don’t ever want it to be that way. That’s why I don’t bass fish hardly any between tournaments. That’s because when I go to an event, I still want to laugh and joke with my competitors, I still want to have fun, I still want to enjoy it, I still want my heart to be happy. So I’m going to go to the Forrest Wood Cup, and I’m going to have a lot of fun.”

Tags: david-a-brown  pre-tournament  2018-08-10-forrest-wood-cup- 

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