Rose Dominates FLW Tour Bass Fishing Tournament On Wheeler Lake
DECATUR, Ala. (Sept. 22, 2012) – Mark Rose slipped a bit and only weighed in the second-biggest stringer of the day at the FLW Tour Open on Wheeler Lake. It was still enough to increase his lead to a near-insurmountable 7 pounds, 1 ounce heading into the fourth and final day. The top cash award of $125,000 is now his to lose as bass-fishing pros continued their four-day battle at Wheeler Lake on Saturday.
The West Memphis, Ark., native moves on to the final day of competition as the No. 1 seed with a five-bass limit Saturday of 15-10. Rose’s three-day catch of 15 bass weighing 54-8 gives him a dominating lead heading into Day 4.
“It’s awful special to be able to come out and be in the lead here,” said Rose, who is hunting for his sixth FLW tournament championship. “The Tennessee River just has a really special place in my heart. I’m fishing with a lot of confidence right now, just doing what I love to do.”
Rose said the bites were hard to come by Saturday and he really credits his Lowrance Structure Scan as being the key to his success.
“You have to idle and find these fish, and see where and how they’re set up,” Rose said. “You have to use your Lowrance to find the depths and positioning, and then decide what baits to throw. I couldn’t be doing this without it.
“I know what the fish are doing, it’s just a matter of if they’re pulling up,” he continued. “There are a lot of fish out deep, and I’m having to catch the few aggressive ones that are pulling up to feed. I’m still only getting 6 or 7 bites a day. I lost a big one today, and it’s key to get those big bites. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing and make the most of it.”
Rose did not want to give out any information about his specific baits, but did give a few hints.
“I’m throwing some reaction baits in the morning,” he said. “They seem to be biting the aggressive stuff earlier in the day. Then I’ve been slowing it down with some plastics and getting a few bites that way as well. I’m really wearing out my area, though. I’m milking it for all it is worth and I really hope that there are five more bites there for me tomorrow. It’s slim pickings.”
Pro Blake Nick of Adger, Ala., remains in the No. 2 position through three days of competition, and advanced to the final round of 10 pros with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 47-7.
The top 10 pros advancing to the final day of competition on Wheeler Lake are:
1st: Mark Rose, West Memphis, Ark., 15 bass, 54-8
2nd: Blake Nick, Adger, Ala., 15 bass, 47-7
3rd: Luke Clausen, Spokane, Wash., 15 bass, 46-15
4th: Shane Long, Willard, Mo., 15 bass, 42-9
5th: Michael Williamson, Fort Smith, Ark., 15 bass, 39-15
6th: Larry Nixon, Bee Branch, Ark., 15 bass, 39-9
7th: Randall Tharp, Gardendale, Ala., 15 bass, 38-12
8th: Brett Hite, Phoenix, Ariz., 15 bass, 38-3
9th: Scott Suggs, Bryant, Ark., 15 bass, 37-3
10th: Jerry Lawler, Athens, Ala., 15 bass, 36-4
Finishing in 11th through 20th are:
11th: Russell Lane, Prattville, Ala., 15 bass, 35-3, $6,720
12th: Brent Ehrler, Redlands, Calif., 15 bass, 34-4, $6,720
13th: Art Ferguson III, Saint Clair Shores, Mich., 15 bass, 34-2, $6,720
14th: Chad Grigsby, Maple Grove, Minn., 14 bass, 33-15, $6,720
15th: Greg Hackney, Gonzales, La., 15 bass, 33-14, $6,720
16th: Tommy Martin, Hemphill, Texas, 15 bass, 33-10, $6,424
17th: Jonathan Newton, Rogersville, Ala., 15 bass, 33-0, $6,424
18th: Corey Saint, Lexington, Ala., 12 bass, 31-14, $6,424
19th: David Dudley, Lynchburg, Va., 15 bass, 31-6, $6,424
20th: Mike Surman, Boca Raton, Fla., 14 bass, 29-9, $6,424
Overall there were 95 bass weighing 198 pounds, 9 ounces caught by pros Saturday. The catch included 17 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.
Nick Loeffelman Jr. of Valles Mines, Mo., won the co-angler division and $20,000 Saturday with a three-day total of 15 bass weighing 33 pounds, 7 ounces, followed by Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., in second place with 14 bass weighing 28-2 worth $4,309
“This is such an experience,” said Loeffelman Jr. “It is awesome. I knew I would need at a five-bass limit today and luckily I was able to catch that by 9:30 a.m. Then it got very tough and I didn’t catch another fish throughout the entire day. I was pretty nervous.”
Loeffelman Jr. said that all of the fish that he weighed in this week came on a Crock-O-Gator Shaker Head with a green pumpkin-colored Zoom Trick Worm.
“I’m not much of a deep fisherman,” Loeffelman Jr. said. “I’m from Lake of the Ozarks. So here, I still used the same baits – just another 10 feet deeper. One thing that really helped me this week was all three of my boaters gave me plenty of water to fish. I knew if I just did my thing and the fish cooperated it would work out for me, and this time it did.”
The top 10 co-anglers finished:
1st: Nick Loeffelman Jr., Valles Mines, Mo., 15 bass, 33-7, $20,000
2nd: Jonathan Henry, Grant, Ala., 14 bass, 28-2, $4,309
3rd: Alan Hults, Gautier, Miss., 15 bass, 26-7, $2,825
4th: Richard Peek, Centre, Ala., 15 bass, 25-15, $2,232
5th: Mark Horton, Nicholasville, Ky., 15 bass, 23-10, $1,639
6th: Ben Todd, Pierson, Fla., 11 bass, 23-0, $1,342
7th: George Yund, Albany, N.Y., 13 bass, 21-14, $1,045
8th: Casey Martin, New Market, Ala., 12 bass, 21-6, $1,177
9th: Kevin Brumfield, Madison, Miss., 15 bass, 20-6, $867
10th: Philip Jarabeck, Lynchburg, Va., 12 bass, 20-6, $808
Overall there were 58 bass weighing 95 pounds, 9 ounces caught by co-anglers Saturday. The catch included six 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 presented by Walmart. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.
The top 10 pros will take off at 6:30 a.m. from Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St. in Decatur on Sunday. Sunday’s final weigh-in will be held at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. S.W. in Decatur beginning at 4 p.m.