By Todd Ceisner - BassFan Editor -
Photo: FLW / KYLE WOOD
By his own estimation, Mark Rose’s 2015 FLW Tour season was following a typical progression through the first couple tournaments. He’d logged Top-60 finishes at both Lake Toho and Lewis Smith Lake, earning $10,000 checks at each stop.
“I feel like I was off to just another normal year,” Rose said. “I didn’t get started as well as I’d like to, but I was still right there.”
He arrived at Beaver Lake, where he’d posted Top-20 finishes the last 4 years, for the third tournament thinking that was where he would start to make his ascent up the point standings, especially with two ledge-oriented events on the horizon at Lake Eufaula and Lake Chickamauga.
Beaver, however, proved to be his undoing as his season unraveled following a disqualification on day 2 for violating FLW Tour Rule 13 that covers competitors’ responsibilities in the event of a boat breakdown.
The resulting 142nd-place finish sent Rose for a loop. He made a check at Eufaula, but a 118th-place finish at Chickamauga basically snuffed out his hopes of making the Forrest Wood Cup despite a 28th at the Potomac River finale.
Between 2009-14, Rose racked up 11 Top-10 finishes in Tour and Tour Open competition, including wins at Pickwick Lake (2011) and Lake Wheeler (2012). This season, he barely sniffed the Top 20 with the Potomac serving as his best showing. He finished 76th in points, his lowest result since 2003.
“It did something to me,” Rose said of the DQ. “My wife even said it. It got me in a mental rut. I’m as mentally strong as anyone out there, especially on the water, but when you tell me that I did something wrong and give me a black eye, that does something to me. I work hard to do good by this sport and the outdoors. To get a DQ, it did something to me.”
DQ Still Doesn’t Sit Well
Rose doesn’t dispute that when he encountered motor trouble some 10 miles from check-in on day 2 at Beaver, he and his co-angler, Nick Loeffelman, abandoned his boat without properly securing it either to a dock or on shore. Rose and his co-angler were transported back to the ramp by fellow pro Cody Kelley.
However, he doesn’t completely agree that the DQ was warranted.
“It was a split-second decision I made, leaving the boat to drift,” Rose said. “That was my fault, but I felt like the punishment didn’t match the crime. I felt like I deserved a penalty, not a DQ. I’m not going to harp on it, but it did something to me mentally. It got me in a rut.
“Did I deserve a penalty? Absolutely. I worked 8 hours for those fish I was about to weigh in. With only six tournaments, I’m only guaranteed 12 days of that, so don’t take one of those 12 days away from me. In my mind, DQs are for when you gain an advantage on another competitor.”
Rose said he’s had conversations with FLW officials about reviewing the severity of penalties related to the rule he broke.
After a 58th-place finish at Eufaula, Rose figured to be among the favorites at Chickamauga, a Tennessee River lake that fits his ledge-fishing acumen. He didn’t engage in fishing among groups of other competitors on crowded spots and wound up 118th.
“I was still in my rut from the deal at Beaver,” he said. “I was just mentally out of it. Two, I’m not going to succumb to this new age of pulling in on top of one another. Having said that, I did fish close to someone, but it’s because when I first pulled up, they told me to come on in. That’s the sort of communication that we need to work on more.
“I found a lot of fish a lot of the Top 10 did well on, but I chose not to fish right on top of somebody and I didn’t know how good some of those areas were. At Chick, timing was really big and I was spending my mornings in practice looking for a shallow deal when the ledge deal was good early on.”
Rose wanted to make sure the bad mojo didn’t leak over into the offseason and he was encouraged by his performance at the Potomac, where he’d had a couple previous finishes in the 20s.
He caught 10 1/2 pounds on day 1, but knew he had to change his strategy if he was to move up the leaderboard.
“The last day at the Potomac, I felt like I was still in it,” he said. “I was catching fish in a crowd, but then something clicked. I said to myself, ‘What are you doing? You’re sitting here catching little fish.’ So I just went fishing and stumbled on something better and that’s the way I fished the rest of the day. I hope that was the snap-out-of-it moment. It builds your confidence and gives you something to build on.”
He admits he hasn’t been putting in the same amount of time on the water as he did in past years, especially when he was learning and refining how to best break down offshore structure. His sponsor commitments and speaking engagements related to his outdoors ministry work have kept him off the water a bit.
“One thing where I haven’t done as well in the past couple years, is I was fishing a lot,” he said. “When StructureScan came along, I’d go to the Tennessee River lakes and was focused. I was into it. I’ve lost a little bit of that the last couple years. I do realize the way the competition is getting, it’s more cutthroat and it’s part of a two-fold intensity level I’m going to be trying to get back to this winter.”
Despite missing the Cup, which will be held a couple hours from his house, Rose is already looking forward to a fresh start in 2016.
“I felt good toward the end,” he said. “I may not catch a bass next year, but my intensity level will be as high as it’s ever been. I plan on being better on all fronts next year.”
Read more: http://www.bassfan.com/news_article/7309#.VfcQpxHBzGc#ixzz3ljrfAinK
Article and Photo courtesy -
Mark Rose said he was simply unaware of the specifics of the rule he violated on day 2 of the Beaver Lake FLW Tour. His weight for the day was disqualified and he ended up with a 142nd-place finish on the basis of his day-1 bag alone.
When Rose's boat became inoperable due to a mechanical issue en route to the weigh-in, he and co-angler Nick Loeffelman Jr. flagged down pro Cody Kelly and rode with Kelly and his co-angler back to the launch in Rogers, Ark. The violation occurred when they left Rose's boat unattended on the water.
FLW Tour Rule 13, which primarily deals with permitted fishing locations, also contains language regarding breakdowns. The applicable portion reads: "Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight."
Said Rose: "We were coming in and we were pushing it to the last minute and we were still about 10 minutes out when we (broke down). Cody Kelley was the only boat behind us, and I just want to express how much I appreciate him stopping. We figured we had just enough time, and we both jumped in his boat in the heat of the moment. There was no intent to break a rule – it was a last-second decision and it turned out to be the wrong one.
"In all my years of bass fishing, when you break down you and your partner have to ride in with another competitor. Evidently that rule (regarding a boat left adrift) was changed last year or the year before."
He originally thought the issue was his lower unit, but after a visit to the service trailer it was determined that the problem was a hole in the diaphragm caused by the ethanol that's added to fuel.
"I'd recommend everyone use a Lucas Oil ethanol treatment. I use it, but probably not every tank. It'll be every tank from now on."
Rose was forced to release a limit that he estimated at 8 pounds – the same amount he'd weighed the previous day. He wouldn't have finished in the money, but the error cost him approximately 60 places in the standings and a lot of valuable Angler of the Year points.
He felt badly for Loeffelman, who had three quality fish and likely would've gotten a check.
"It was certainly costly, but I just want to encourage people, when something like this happens, to lean on their faith and work hard, and what's meant to be will happen. But it sure does sting.
"It was a mistake that I won't make again."