UPCOMING EVENT: TOYOTA SERIES - 2020 - Ft. Gibson

Catching up with Mark Rose

Catching up with Mark Rose
Mark Rose

Mark Rose made history last month at Lake Travis when he became the first person to ever win back-to-back FLW Tour events. Now, heading into Tour stop No. 3, Rose is still riding a wave of excitement and notoriety within the industry.

FLW contributor Sean Ostruszka caught up with him to find out what these last few weeks have been like and to ask him about his AOY chances.

 

At Lake Travis you became the first to win two FLW Tour events in a row. Did you ever dream of doing anything like that?

No. I don’t even have winning a tournament as one of my goals for each season. So definitely not two.

 

What are your goals then?

Just to be the best I can be and give it my all in every tournament. I’ve always trusted in my ability, and that I could make a living in this sport if I just don’t screw it up. You do that, and you expect to win one every so often.

 

So what was it like winning back-to-back tournaments?

It was incredible, but winning two in a row doesn’t surprise me as much as how it all went down. To beat the same guy by less than a pound both times; that’s harder to script. Then to come out on top over one of the best in the world both times; it’s a true blessing.

 

Obviously you and Bryan Thrift have a bit of history, after he came back to beat you at Sam Rayburn in 2014.

Yeah, I don’t feel too bad about beating him both times after what happened in 2014. That’s sports, though. Phil Mickelson beats Tiger. Tiger beats Phil. Magic beats Jordan. Jordan beats Magic. When you get the top guys in a sport together, it’s going to happen. It’s just very seldom you get the best of a guy as good as Thrift.

 

Now, I have to ask, can you win three in a row?

Oh, gosh. That’d be unheard of. I’m not saying it can’t be done, though. You can do anything if God wants it to be. So if He wants me to win again, then it can happen. I’m a very realistic guy, though, and it’s probably not going to happen.

 

So no pressure going into the Harris Chain?

No. I’m just looking to have a good finish. There are too many good fishermen, and I’m not greedy. I’ll just give it all I can like always.

 

Well, you certainly have momentum.

Yeah, I’ve gotten off to the best start toward making the Forrest Wood Cup. That always helps. I don’t know the percentage the mental aspect is to our sport, but it’s big. I compare it to baseball. There are times when you get in the box and the ball looks like a volleyball. Then there are times when you can’t seem to see it at all. Right now, it’s looking like a volleyball for me, so I’ll ride it as long as I can.

 

You’ve never won Angler of the Year. Has it crossed your mind?

That’d be a great honor, but it’s not something I have to do. You talk to guys that say they have to win AOY or the Cup to have a successful career. I don’t have those goals. It’d be great to win Angler of the Year or the Cup, but if not, that’s OK.

 

So how do you stay motivated for the rest of this season?

Well, I’ve been in this situation before when I’ve been on top, and for some reason I’ve always eased up. I have to stay focused this time instead of getting complacent, slacking up and resting. This time, I want to stay sharp and keep putting gas on the fire.

 

Before we go too far, I have to ask, was that 5-pounder that you caught in the final minutes at Guntersville to win the tournament the most memorable catch of your life?

No doubt.

I won a tournament on Pickwick back in 2011 that was similar. I was actually on my way back in when I saw some current around a buoy. I’d been waiting all day for current to fire up my main spot, and I figured I had enough time to turn around, run back 10 miles and make a few casts. So that’s what I did. I ran away from check-in, pulled up on my spot and caught a 5 1/2-pounder that was the difference on almost my last cast.

Guntersville, that was my last cast. I had seconds to spare, but if I didn’t do what I did at Pickwick again – run away from check-in to fish a higher-percentage area – I don’t have that fish and I don’t win.

 

I hear you’re a bit of a celebrity now after winning back-to-back tournaments to start this year.

Yeah, it’s been pretty cool. I’m soaking it all in.

 

How many radio and television shows have you been on?

A couple television shows and probably 15 radio shows.

 

Have they all been outdoor shows?

No. I’ve gotten a lot more speaking opportunities at churches since all of this.

Actually, what I find pretty neat about all of this is to have a platform to live out my faith. I’m a competitor, but my faith is my passion. It’s not about the money; that’s for my family. I can live on crackers and water. And I like all the media attention to help out my sponsors who have been so good to me and stood by me, but my faith is my passion. It’s been good to have so many different avenues for my ministry.

 

Have you had any moments since receiving all this attention where you thought, “Wow, I can’t believe this?”

Probably filming a commercial for Strike King. I’ve done commercials before, but this was like a whole movie set with a director and a script. That’s not something you see every day for a fisherman.

 

How was your acting?

When they showed up with a script I told them right away that was a bad idea. I’m a simple, old country guy. I can’t read a script. So I got a good idea of what they wanted, then I wadded up the script and made my own version of it. Hopefully it turned out well.

 

Did you ever imagine when you started your career that you’d be setting records and doing commercials?

It just shows hard work pays off. I always had a goal, and I always knew I was going to succeed.

 

It wasn’t always easy, though, I assume.

Definitely not. I didn’t have rich grandparents or anything to help. It was me. There was a long time where my wife’s teaching salary was very appreciated early on. Fortunately, it didn’t take as much to make a living years ago, and I always had one or two tournaments where I’d finish well enough to keep me going.

Now, to see it all pay off is very satisfying. If a simple guy like me can do it, anyone can.

 

One word to describe what you’ve experienced so far this season is …

Blessed. Just truly blessed.

 

Mark Rose

Mark Rose

Tags: mark-rose  sean-ostruszka  article 

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