Mark Rose weighed in several hours early today on day 1 of the Toyota Texas Bass Classic at Lake Conroe and will get on the water several hours late on day 2. In between, he headed home to West Memphis, Ark. for a significant family event.
Rose's daughter Natalie, a sophomore at West Memphis High School, is part of the homecoming court and her father will serve as her escort at the football game this evening. Then he'll sleep a few hours in his own bed before getting up at 3:30 a.m. to make the 2-hour drive to Little Rock, where he'll catch a flight back to Houston. From there, it's about a 45-minute drive to Conroe.
If his plan comes off with no major hitches, he'll launch at about 10 o'clock on day 2.
"My priorities have always been faith, family and fishing, and I'm keeping them in that order tonight," he said. "There's always lots of tournaments to fish, but this is a pretty special time for one of my kids."
He made the most of his initial short day at Conroe, catching a solid 14-12 stringer. His first fish was a 6 3/4-pounder.
"It makes it a little easier when you start the day with a fish like that," he said.
He flew from Houston to Memphis this afternoon, but there were no flights available in the opposite direction on Saturday morning, which will necessitate the drive to Little Rock.
Mark finishes 7th at the FLW CUP!!!
Day 4 - Mark finishes 7th at the Forrest Wood Cup.
Day 3 recap -
For the third consecutive day, Mark Rose holds down fifth place, even though his 9-pound, 9-ounce stringer was his lightest yet of the week. Rose made a quick stop at his primary area at the mouth of Port Lake and the main river channel, but as he suspected that area was milked dry.
He then completely scrapped his plan and ran towards the White House. Instead of fishing in it with Nixon and Matt Arey, Rose cranked a shallow flat on the outside. He had been contemplating the move for some time as the Walmart pro believes the water clarity is slowly improving. After he left the White House he fished other similar areas, all in Pool 5.
"I caught a 3-pounder late in the day that really saved me," said Rose, who finished second at the 2011 FLW Tour qualifier on the Red. "I have a lot of anticipation for tomorrow; I still don't think I'm out of it. I've said all along 12 pounds a day would win this thing so I need 15 pounds tomorrow."
Earlier in the week when he fished close he flipped with the new 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig and used a shaky head with a Fat Baby Finesse Worm. He also occasionally mixed in the Strike King Series 3 crankbait.
Rose's total weight sits at 34 pounds, 6 ounces.
Day 3 Images
Day 2 recap -
Mark Rose weighed an 11-pound, 14-ounce stringer Friday and retained fifth with a two-day total of 24 pounds, 13 ounces. Rose has spent most of his time just outside the mouth of Port Lake that feeds into the main river, but he's contemplating a change.
"The 12 pounds or so I'm doing now, it's about over," said Rose, who finished second on the Red in 2011. "I've milked it, but I just wanted to ride it and survive and I did that."
Rose described his primary pattern as a little spot on the edge of a drop with a lily pad field right behind it. Once he's fished that, he'll flip the bank or cover it with a crankbait.
"I weighed two today flipping with the new 1/2-ounce Strike King Structure Jig, one on a Series 3 crankbait and two on a shaky head with a Fat Baby Finesse Worm."
Rose was vague about the change he's contemplating, but it's clear he sees a window starting to open.
"I've been saving some areas. There's something that I'm waiting for to happen. I'll just say the river needs to change and it's starting to."
Day 2 Images
Day 1 recap - Mark Rose is now considered the ledgemaster, but he cut his teeth fishing shallow rivers. He took second the last time the FLW Tour visited the Red and he's currently fifth after
"It's a good start," said the Walmart pro. "I'm going to treat this like a marathon. I wasn't fast out of the gate, but I am catching a good number of fish. I had a pretty good practice, but I actually think the water clearing up right now is going to help the shallow bite more. I know I'm around big fish, but today was sort of a backwards day for the fish. I'd like to start in the same place tomorrow but go somewhere different in the afternoon."
Rose said he's throwing a new Strike King bait that he'll reveal later in the week.
"I'm just going to go out tomorrow and fish my red-headed heart out and see how it goes." – Walmart pro Mark Rose.
Day 1 images
"Christi-Cam" Behind the scenes pictures courtesy of Christi Rose