UPCOMING EVENT: PHOENIX BASS FISHING LEAGUE - 2020 - James River

Rose Content No Matter AOY Outcome

Rose Content No Matter AOY Outcome
Mark Rose

Mark Rose is on the verge of accomplishing something he’s never done before. That’s saying something, considering his career.

He’s a six-time FLW Tour winner, and has won the Costa FLW Series Championship. He’s also one of the best offshore fishermen in the sport. Yet, despite that, Rose has two monkeys on his back: He hasn’t won the Forrest Wood Cup, and he hasn’t won Angler of the Year.

His highest finish in either has been third, but with one tournament remaining this season at Lake St. Clair and a significant 64-point lead over Scott Martin, Rose is on the verge of giving the AOY monkey the boot.

For many, the AOY title is THE crown to shoot for, as it’s arguably the hardest to attain. For Rose …

“I’ll be frank and honest; it’s never really been a major goal of mine,” says Rose. “I don’t really set goals.

“Besides, no matter what happens at St. Clair, I’ll be OK with myself this fall sitting in my deer stand after what happened at Kentucky Lake.”

 

A day two remember

Rose, obviously, has had a stellar season, missing only one check – barely – all year. That said, none of that mattered going into day two of the Kentucky Lake Tour event last month.

Heading into the derby, Rose was easily one of the favorites, but he only brought four fish to the scale the first afternoon, jeopardizing his tournament and his AOY chances.

“I let those carp intimidate me too much during practice,” says Rose, referring to the invasive Asian carp that have proliferated in Kentucky Lake. “But after seeing what those guys did on day one offshore, I knew what I had to do.”

Rose didn’t have a single school marked from practice, yet he went out with the sole mindset of fishing offshore to his strengths and sacked up nearly 18 pounds to make the cut into day three. Then he cracked nearly 22 pounds to make the top-10 cut, eventually finishing in fifth.

“That may be as proud as I’ve been, personally,” says Rose of his comeback on day two. “If I don’t win Angler of the Year, I’ll still always be proud of that.

“Winning Angler of the Year, that means you advanced as an angler. You grew and adapted to be able to do that. It [day two] showed me I’ve grown. Earlier in my career I don’t know what I would’ve done in that position.

“Plus, I wouldn’t have been content this fall if I blew it on my favorite lake. I would’ve been bummed out.”

 

One more hurdle

Whether it’s Angler of the Year or a Cup berth, often pros talk about calculating out exactly how high in the standings they have to finish to secure their spot.

That won’t be Rose, though, when he heads to St. Clair.

“I’m not going to study the stats and play it safe,” says Rose. “I’m going to do what I always do. I’m going to go out and try to fish to the best of my abilities and hopefully win the tournament. If I end up winning Angler of the Year, too, great.”

Working in Rose’s favor is a significant amount of experience on St. Clair, some pretty high finishes (he has five top-35 finishes in Tour and Costa FLW Series events on the fishery) and the fact that he’ll be fishing offshore. St. Clair’s vast offshore flats make it his favorite fishery in the Great Lakes region, and he feels he’s learned through a few bad tournaments there to better pattern smallmouth schools as they migrate.

Also in his favor is the show of support he’s received from his peers. Rose says he’s had a multitude of anglers from the FLW Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series reach out saying they’re pulling for him to win the title.

“That means a lot to know guys are pulling for you,” says Rose.

“All I know is I’m going to go out there and do what the good Lord has blessed me to do. I’m not changing anything. When you’re this close to accomplishing something, if it doesn’t happen it’s a bummer, but it won’t change me. I’m as confident and content as I’ve been no matter what happens at St. Clair.”

Tags: sean-ostruszka  article 

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