UPCOMING EVENT: T-H Marine BFL - 2019 - Kentucky / Barkley Lake

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

On the Mark

On the Mark
Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., shows off part of his tournament leading 61-pound catch.

It seems like everything's coming up roses for Mark Rose. Earlier this month, the National Guard pro from West Memphis, Ark., became the first-ever recipient of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award presented by Goodwill.

Talking to people who are familiar with the angler, it's no surprise Rose was chosen. The humble pro perfectly embodies the characteristics required for the award, being a man widely regarded for his ethics, integrity and community involvement.

Shaping his life around the needs of others is not a new concept for Rose. Prior to becoming a professional angler, he served as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America, a position that enabled him to network with influential people while exerting a positive influence on local children and his community. That laid the groundwork for what would become a notable career in competitive fishing.

"I learned to deal with different charity organizations and civic organizations," Rose said. "I knew the important people around, and later on, once I became a professional fisherman, they knew me as a guy who worked with kids. I guess they knew that I had a heart for people, and it gave me a platform."

A mentor for all ages

Rob Hicks, a co-angler from Lula, Ga., knows firsthand the kind of impact that Rose has on people. Over the last few years, he has served as Rose's practice partner and has had the opportunity to see up close what kind of man Rose really is.

"He's been like a mentor to me, and I'm older than he is," Hicks said. "One time I stayed at Mark's house, and he needed to go get a haircut. So I rode with him, and even at the barber shop, it was like a movie star walked in. They think so much of him. He never meets a stranger."

Rose's biggest fans, though, seem to be the kids who get to learn how to fish from the man himself, and it's clear that the feeling is mutual.

"The kids around here love Mark Rose," Hicks said of his own neighborhood. "They think he hung the moon."

Besides his early training at the Boy Scouts, Rose has taken his love for children to another level by participating in local kids' fishing rodeos, emceeing the St. Jude charity bass tournament alongside veteran angler Bill Dance, and taking kids with special needs out on the water for a day of fishing.

"When I see the smile on a kid's face after he catches his first fish, I think, `This is why I started fishing. This is what it's all about,'" Rose said. "This is such a great sport, but there are just so many kids who don't have the opportunities."

The ultimate example

Mark Rose giving the glory of his catch to GodBut Rose's goodwill doesn't stop there. He's actively involved at his home congregation in Arkansas, organizing monthly sportsmen's banquets and other activities, and says his faith plays a strong role in making him the kind of person who can be described as the ultimate example of sportsmanship and community leadership.

"I told somebody the other day that I've won tournaments and all, but I probably feel better about winning this award than I did about receiving a trophy for a major win," he said. "The reason is because people will recognize you for what kind of heart you have - not how good you are with a fishing pole. I've said it before: This will all amount to nothing one day, but the time you spend with people will matter. I'm not ashamed of my faith; I try to make that well-known. I strongly believe that what we do for people means a whole lot."

Clearly, people noticed.

"Mark has always been an outstanding angler, whether it's with his performance or his work within the community with his fellow anglers," said Jessica Huckstadt, marketing manager for FLW Outdoors. "He exemplifies the ideals of what this award really means. Our tagline here at FLW Outdoors is that we're the best in fishing on and off the water. Mark is a very ethical person, and he shows that on and off the water."

When talking to people about Mark Rose, the word "ethical" is frequently used.

"His ethics on the water are remarkable," Hicks said. "I've never seen him crowd another competitor, even in practice. He's always willing to help another angler if they have problems, whether it be in fishing or in life. When you have the respect of your peers, that's everything. He's just real."

For Rose, being a good sportsman is simply a matter of giving back, with the side benefit being a renewed enthusiasm for the road he has chosen in life.

"I try to treat others with compassion and respect to try and give back what others have taught me, all that knowledge about such a great sport," he said. "You have to give some of it back because you can teach people so much in a short amount of time, and it will help them for a lifetime.

"We travel all over the country to some of the greatest fisheries in the world, but when I get to take a soldier out, and he's only caught a few fish in his whole life - he thinks it's life-changing, but it's part of my routine. We look at it as work a lot of times, but they look at it as passion."

Tying Goodwill with good will

Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., shows off his first-place trophy on Pickwick Lake after winning his first-ever FLW Tour title.According to Huckstadt, another reason why Rose was such an obvious choice for this award is because his own values are closely aligned with the values of the award's sponsor, Goodwill.

"This award is about our anglers strengthening the communities that they are in and are a part of, so it's a really good fit with Goodwill," she said. "Basically all of Goodwill's revenues go to fund training programs to help people find jobs. That strengthens people's lives and helps make the community stronger. That community commitment makes Goodwill a really good fit."

Huckstadt also hopes that through this award, more and more people will begin to be heralded for their good works, just as Rose is noted for his commitment to community.

"Over the past year, we have realized that there are so many good stories and so many great things that our anglers do that we don't even know about," she said. "I think they should be proud, and I think this award will encourage people to tell us about the commitment they give outside of being a professional angler."

In the meantime, Rose has set a standard for those who will follow in his footsteps as recipients of the Forrest L. Wood Sportsmanship and Community Leadership Award.

"Just do the sport right," he says.

He certainly has.

Tags: jennifer-simmons  article 

Takeoff Delayed at Lake of the Ozarks

Takeoff Delayed at Lake of the Ozarks

The final Costa FLW Series Central Division event on Lake of the Ozarks – which is presented by Evinrude – was originally slated to begin at 7 a.m. CT this morning, but Mother Nature had other plans. A massive thunderstorm has been rolling through Osage Beach, Mo., this morning bringing heavy downpours and lots of lightning. READ MORE »

Major League Fishing to Acquire FLW

Major League Fishing to Acquire FLW

Major League Fishing (MLF) announced today that it has reached an agreement to acquire Fishing League Worldwide (FLW), the world’s largest tournament-fishing organization. The Letter of Intent (LOI) sets in motion the most significant brand merger in competitive bass fishing history, linking a tour and original, award-winning programming featuring the top professional anglers in the world to an extensive grassroots organization that serves tens of thousands of competitive anglers from high school and college students to weekenders and tour pros.  READ MORE »

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

How the MLF Acquisition will Affect Me

The Thursday announcement of Major League Fishing’s acquisition of FLW signifies a historic shift in the landscape of competitive bass fishing. Here’s an overview of how the competitive circuits of FLW will operate. READ MORE »

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

Newberry Wins Southwestern Division AOY

It was sweet redemption in many ways for the Texas legend who still owns and operates his Houston-based HVAC company despite spending so much time on the tournament-fishing circuit. Redemption for missing out on the FLW Cup in his first season. Redemption for what Grand did to him earlier this year on Tour (dropping from sixth to 41st with only one fish on day two). And, in a way, validation for a career filled with big accomplishments. READ MORE »

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 3 Airs Friday 

Rapala Varsity Bass Ep. 3 Airs Friday 

Join FLW for a Rapala Varsity Bass watch party on Friday, Oct. 4 at 2 p.m. CT for the premiere of Episode 3 in the series. READ MORE »

Valdivia is Best in the West

Valdivia is Best in the West

California pro David Valdivia has consistently finished near the top of the standings in the Costa FLW Series Western Division. This year he finally won his first Strike King Angler of the Year award, and he did it by just one point in the standings. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 4

The final five T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournaments took place over the weekend, bringing BFL regular-season competition to a close. Regional tournaments will kick off Oct. 10, and by the end of the month the majority of the field for the 2020 All-American will be set.  READ MORE »

Wild Card set for Kentucky Lake

Wild Card set for Kentucky Lake

Fishing League Worldwide, the world’s largest tournament fishing organization, announced Sunday that the 2019 T-H Marine BFL Wild Card tournament will take place on Kentucky Lake in Gilbertsville, Kentucky, Nov. 8-9. The two-day event, hosted by the Kentucky Lake Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, will launch from the Kentucky Dam Marina in Gilbertsville. READ MORE »

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Dobson Wins First FLW Series AOY

Scott Dobson has earned a pile of accolades up north, but this year, he earned his biggest title yet. Winning the Strike King Angler of the Year in the Costa FLW Series Northern Division presented by Gajo Baits, the Clarkston, Mich., angler finished third at Lake Champlain, 13th on the Potomac River and wrapped the season and the title with a second-place showing on the St. Lawrence River. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 3

The third round of T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) Super Tournament action saw smallmouths, spotted bass and largemouths all make an appearance as six divisions put a bow on the season with their respective two-day events. Here’s a quick recap of what all played out in the action spanning from the Detroit River down to Lake Okeechobee. READ MORE »

Buy a Hat, Help USA Bass 

Buy a Hat, Help USA Bass 

Bass fishing fans have a chance to help the USA Bass team achieve its goal of winning the 2019 Pan American Championship in Canada next month. To help fund the effort, USA Bass, which is a 501c3 nonprofit organization, recently launched a limited edition hat drive with the goal of selling 1,000 USA Bass hats. READ MORE »

A High School Kayak Tournament Experience 

A High School Kayak Tournament Experience 

A recent high school kayak bass fishing tournament showcased the potential of kayaks to get more young anglers on the water and competing. READ MORE »

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Hough is Fighting to Fish

Fishing just her second full season as a co-angler in the T-H Marine FLW Bass Fishing League (BFL) South Carolina Division, mother of two and first-grade teacher Kate Hough was planning and preparing for a chance to do something no woman has ever done in her division: win Co-Angler of the Year. Instead of preparing for the Super Tournament on Lake Hartwell on Sept. 28, however, Hough is simply fighting to leave her hospital bed. READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 2

The second weekend in September saw seven more T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) divisions conclude their seasons with two-day Super Tournament events. From the Tennessee River to the St. Lawrence River and a few places in between, here’s a quick look at how the seven events were won. READ MORE »

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

Check-in Time: Matt Reed

From time to time, FLW checks in with its anglers to find out what they’ve been up to, what they’re listening to, who they’re following and where they’re heading while out on the tournament trail. This week, we caught up with Texas pro Matt Reed.  READ MORE »

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

When to Fish the Flashy Swimmer

In April, FLW Associate Editor Justin Onslow documented how Gross likes to cut the belly of his two favorite hollow swimbaits – the Scottsboro and the Zoom Swimmer – when rigging on a weedless hook to achieve a high hook-up ratio. However, that article didn’t break down where and why Gross prefers to use the Beast Flashy Swimmer hook versus a standard weighted, weedless swimbait hook. So we reached out to Gross for more info. READ MORE »

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

FLW Mourns Passing of T. Boone Pickens

Businessman T. Boone Pickens, who in 2010 partnered with FLW to promote an alternative energy plan to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, passed away Wednesday at the age of 91.  READ MORE »

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

Super Tournament Winning Ways – Week 1

College football, hooded sweatshirts and the conclusion of the T-H Marine Bass Fishing League (BFL) regular season are what come to mind as the calendar turns to September. This past weekend, six divisions put a feather in their cap for the year with their two-day Super Tournament events – where the payouts are bigger – but, more importantly, it’s the last chance to accumulate points to qualify for the Regionals this October. READ MORE »

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Harris Chain to Host 2020 College Championship

Florida’s Harris Chain of Lakes will host the 2020 YETI FLW College Fishing National Championship. The tournament, set for Feb. 26-28, will showcase the top collegiate anglers from across the nation. READ MORE »

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

Martin Makes Young Angler’s Wish Come True

A feature published this morning by Dennis Anderson of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (startribune.com) details the story of a 10-year-old Minnesota boy named Colby, whose wish was to get to meet and fish with FLW Tour pro Scott Martin. Colby, who suffers from a rare autoimmune disorder, got his wish on Wednesday thanks to Martin, Minnesota-based 3M and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Together, they treated Colby’s family to a weeklong vacation, and Martin guided the young angler to a day of fishing for bass and northern pike on Mantrap Lake near Park Rapids, Minn. Martin has been in the Land of 10,000 Lakes for the last week or so filming for various video projects. READ MORE »