Rose Still Leads FLW Tour Bass Fishing Tournament On Wheeler Lake
DECATUR, Ala. (Sept. 21, 2012) – Similar conditions led to similar weights Friday at the FLW Tour Open on Wheeler Lakeas bass-fishing pros continued their four-day battle for a top cash award of up to $125,000. Underneath sunny bluebird skies with 80-degree temperatures, FLW anglers continued targeting bass at a variety of depths with a variety of baits and techniques.
National Guard pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., increased his lead after the Day 2 weigh-in – his second straight day at the top of the leaderboard – after again weighing the largest five-bass limit of the day of 17 pounds, 8 ounces. Rose’s two-day total of 10 bass weighing 38 pounds, 14 ounces now gives him a commanding 4-pound, 6-ounce lead heading into the third day of the tournament. Blake Nick of Adger, Ala., remains in the No. 2 spot – also for the second straight day – after bringing a five-bass limit to the scales weighing 16-9, for a two-day total catch of 10 bass weighing 34 pounds, 8 ounces.
“It was just a good, average day for me,” said Rose, who has four tournament wins from fisheries on the Tennessee River chain in his FLW career. “The good Lord really blessed me. I still didn’t catch a whole lot of fish – I only had seven or eight bites again today. You just really have to capitalize on the ones that do bite. I’m fishing with a lot of confidence right now. I haven’t spent a whole lot of time on Lake Wheeler, but I like it. I’m confident fishing on the Tennessee River, and I’m just fishing my style.”
Rose said he mainly fished two deeper offshore areas today and would run to the bank when it looked right.
“I’ve been throwing a topwater, but it’s coming into play pretty randomly,” Rose said. “Whenever I see a bank that I really like, with a bunch of shad and a little shade, I’ll go throw a topwater on it. I usually won’t stay long, but a lot of times there will be a big one there. It’s more offshore, deeper fishing, and I’m coming in when I see a bank that looks good.
“The areas I’m fishing are about 15 miles from the harbor and awful small,” he continued. “I’m not real confident that they can hold up. I may have to go looking for some new fish yet. The locals have been real respectful, though. There hasn’t been a lot of fisherman in my spots. I hope to continue to have these areas to myself and just milk them for all they’re worth.”
Rose said he has been mixing it up the past two days, fishing deep by throwing crankbaits, worms, spoons and swimbaits and mixing in the shallow topwater. When asked what he was doing differently, Rose said he still didn’t know.
“I may be throwing a bait that has a little different color that may make a difference, but I really don’t know,” Rose said. “Strike King really makes the best colors for any scenario, so it may be triggering the better bite for me. These are really just some little niche deals that I found, so I just have to keep fishing and make the best of it.”
The top 20 pros that will fish Saturday on Wheeler Lake are:
1st: Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 10 bass, 38-14
2nd: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 10 bass, 34-8
3rd: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 10 bass, 31-13
4th: Michael Williamson, Fort Smith, Ark., 10 bass, 30-4
5th: Shane Long, Willard, Mo., 10 bass, 29-6
6th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 10 bass, 28-7
7th: Corey Saint, Lexington, Ala., 10 bass, 28-1
8th: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 10 bass, 27-2
9th: Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 10 bass, 27-1
10th: Jerry Lawler, Athens, Ala., 10 bass, 26-14
11th: Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., 10 bass, 26-10
12th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 10 bass, 26-6
13th: Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La., 10 bass, 26-3
14th: Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 10 bass, 25-12
15th: Art Ferguson III, Saint Clair Shores, Mich., 10 bass, 25-7
16th: Tommy Martin, Hemphill, Texas, 10 bass, 24-13
17th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 10 bass, 24-9
18th: Jonathan Newton, Rogersville, Ala., 10 bass, 24-7
19th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., 10 bass, 23-11
20th: Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 10 bass, 23-5
Long won the day’s big bass weighing award with a fish weighing 7-4 on the pro side to win $500.
Overall there were 388 bass weighing 850 pounds, 5 ounces caught by pros Friday. The catch included 68 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Ben Todd of Pierson, Fla., leads the co-angler division with a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 21 pounds, 13 ounces, followed by Nick Loeffelman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., in second place with 10 bass weighing 21-9.
The top 20 co-anglers are:
1st: Ben Todd, Pierson, Fla., 10 bass, 21-13
2nd: Nick Loeffelman Jr., Valles Mines, Mo., 10 bass, 21-9
3rd: Jonathan Henry, Grant, Ala., 10 bass, 20-13
4th: Hiroyuki Watanabe, Shizuoka, Japan, eight bass, 18-8
5th: Casey Martin, New Market, Ala., eight bass, 16-1
6th: Alan Hults, Gautier, Miss., 10 bass, 15-15
7th: Theo Corcoran, Kansas City, Mo., seven bass, 15-10
8th: George Yund, Albany, N.Y., nine bass, 15-1
9th: Mark Horton, Nicholasville, Ky., 10 bass, 14-11
10th: Kevin Brumfield, Madison, Miss., 10 bass, 14-10
11th: Castrol pro Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., eight bass, 14-7
12th: Jim Krider, North Vernon, Ind., nine bass, 14-0
13th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 10 bass, 13-13
14th: Hale White, Vestavia Hills, Ala., seven bass, 13-3
15th: Cecil Chunn, Spring Hill, Tenn., eight bass, 13-0
16th: Patrick Bone, Cleveland, Ga., 10 bass, 12-15
17th: Jimmy Brumfield, Madison, Miss., 10 bass, 12-8
18th: Philip Henderson, Pineville, La., five bass, 12-6
19th: Gary McClain, Chesapeake, Va., five bass, 11-7
20th: Terry Chastain, Guthrie, Ky., seven bass, 11-6
Watanabe also caught Friday’s big bass weighing 4-2 in the co-angler division to win $250.
Overall there were 216 bass weighing 367 pounds even caught by co-anglers Friday. The catch included 19 five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
Anglers will take off from Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St. in Decatur at 6:30 a.m. each day. Saturday and Sunday’s final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. S.W. in Decatur beginning at 4 p.m.
Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. S.W. in Decatur on Saturday and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.