The Interviews

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Johnboat Saves The Day

Question: Mark, I know that family is very important to you. Tell me about your family.

Rose: My daughter Natalie is 4 1/2-years-old and is going to kindergarten next year, and my wife and I are both very excited. My wife is a schoolteacher.

Question: Tell me about some weird tactics that have won bass tournaments for you.

Rose: Sometimes I like to use a johnboat when I compete in a tournament. My ability to get back into back-water situations with all of my Strike King lures is imperative because these lures work best in back-water areas. In my very first B.A.S.S. tournament, I competed in a field of 150 anglers where I used a little johnboat and everyone else had nice, glass, $30,000 boats. Sometimes when the water is fluctuating on the river, you can use a johnboat to get back in these hard-to-reach regions. I caught all my fish on a Strike King jig because all of your Strike King jigs or baits really prevail in those type situations.

Question: Tell me about the fishing locations where using your johnboat has helped you place in a tournament.

Rose: The rivers that come to mind are the Red River and the Mississippi River. On these river systems, johnboats have been instrumental in winning major tournaments in the past three or four years. If you get in a situation where the river level drops, and a big bass boat can't get back in those sloughs, a johnboat works great. Johnboats are light and sturdy, and they can jump logs and beaver dams.

Question: How often do you find those situations?

Rose: I am one of those type people who always looks for those situations. I'd love to use my johnboat every tournament if I could because I can use it to get away from the crowd. When I get away from the crowd, I can catch fish that haven't felt the high pressure from all the bass boats. The pros often overlook these sloughs and back-water areas when picking the winning location to catch the prize fish. A johnboat helps you separate yourself from the other anglers so you can catch the bass that other fishermen may never see.

Question: What colors of Strike King jigs are the best in these back-water regions?

Rose: Bubble gum, hot pink, chartreuse and hot chartreuse work great. All these neon colors are just really getting popular now. I think that a lot of people consider those colors kind of weird, but your off-the-wall colors like bubble gum, pink and chartreuse catch fish. You're gonna start hearing a lot about Strike King's 3X lures in all these fluorescent colors. Tournament fisherman use these colors a lot, but average fishermen consider these colors off-the-wall. They work great for in early spring and fall. You can use these lures with visibility down to 10 feet.

Question: Can you use these colors in murky water also?

Rose: Yeah, these colors really stand out in murky water.

Question: Is there a color that you recommend starting off with and falling back on?

Rose: Anytime that I fish anywhere around the spawn, I use a hot chartreuse or a hot bubble gum color. These colors have really taken on in the last three to four years.

Question: From where did the bright colors for bait come?

Rose: They probably stemmed from sight fishing, which has really taken off in the last few years. Fishermen use these colors to fish around beds. They want a lure that they really can see and that the fish actually will inhale. To learn more about Strike King's quality fishing products, click here.


Keep Old Lures For Success

Editor's Note: Thirty-one-year-old Mark Rose of Marion, Arkansas, has fished professionally for about 3-1/2 years. In the past, he worked as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America's national office. He went pro with Strike King about 3 years ago. Although he's never won a tournament, he proves his consistency and determination by always finishing near the top.

Question: What is another weird tactic you like to use?

Rose: I have a little trick I like to do with my diamond patterns. It's not really a secret because there have been a couple of articles written about it, but I like fishing a Strike King Diamond Shad in the fall. In the fall of the year, your shad have a little bit more of a pale look to them, so I take a chrome-and-blue-bass Diamond Shad and scrape all the paint and the chrome off the side. The effect is a little sparkling on the belly and on the back. I think the bass don't see that color very often.

Question: Tell me about a time where you kept an old lure instead of throwing it out, and it helped you place in a tournament.

Rose: About three years ago, I was fishing my regular chrome- blue-back lure, and after I caught about 30 to 40 fish on it, it got marred and discolored. However, as I was about to take it off my rod, I realized that it seemed like the more marred it got, the more fish I caught. To test my hypothesis, the next day of the tournament, I put on a brand new lure, and I didn't get near as many bites. I realized that my most success came when I used my old lures. So I tied it back on and realized that it was a gold mine, rather than simply an old standby.

Question: Can you give me another example of a tournament where a tactic like this helped?

Rose: Earlier this year in the spring at Lake Wheeler in a FLW Tournament, I finished sixth in that tournament. I caught just about every one of my bass on a chrome-blue-back Diamond Shad that I had scraped the paint off of.

Question: Did any of the other anglers catch on to your secrets?

Rose: I don't know if they are willing to put a knife to a brand-new lure or count on a old lure to save the day. I'm just doing what has worked well for me in the past.


Hiding a Fish to Win

Editor's Note: Thirty-one-year-old Mark Rose of Marion, Arkansas, has fished professionally for about 3-1/2 years. In the past, he worked as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America's national office. He went pro with Strike King about 3 years ago. Although he's never won a tournament, he proves his consistency and determination by always finishing near the top.

Question: Do you think you've done anything that can be considered weird at a tournament?

Rose: Normally, I'd think it is weird for a fisherman to find a big fish in a bed and put a brush top over it so that other fishermen don't spot their fish. But I actually had to utilize this tactic this year. I found a bed in the back of a pocket with a large bass on it. A sailboat was anchored close to the bed. When I reached the bed, I was thinking "how on earth can I hide this fish?"

I looked around and saw no one, so I anchored the sailboat on top of the bed. Since I knew the fish was there, I was able to come back and throw underneath the boat and catch the fish. I don't usually recommend moving sailboats over beds, but I think that tactic was very helpful in this tournament situation. So, if you locate a bed, find a way to hide it. Place something over the bed that doesn't affect the fish and its spawning.

Question: Will a bass move away if you place something on top of its bed?

Rose: No, it doesn't affect its mood or its spawn. This tactic is merely a way that you can set yourself apart from the others.

Question: How do you find these bedded bass, and what tactics do you use to catch them ?

Rose: Some anglers are using their relatives to help them in sight-fishing tournaments. Relatives or someone who hasn't fished on the tournament lake are the only people that can pre-fish with the professional angler. I know lots of tournament fishermen who get their fathers or family members to drive their boats while they look for bedding fish.

I have also seen several guys whose dads idle them around while they stand up on the front seat. People are taking sight fishing to extremes by elevating their platforms so they can see into the water better. The law says that you can't go above the top level of the boat with any kind of elevation, but you can stand in your seat. Sight fishing is really getting competitive, and the fishermen are going to extremes to catch the best bass.

Question: What do you look for when trying to pick the perfect spot to fish?

Rose: When searching for the perfect place to fish, look for the clearest water on the lake and for hard bottoms. Ultimately you want to go toward a dam and find the clearest water. If a certain spot doesn't look as clear as the others, go to the clearest areas. You want to try to plan your pre-fishing around the brightest weather. If you're probably not going to have bright skies during the tournament, don't waste your time looking for beds while you pre-fish. Probably the information you learn won't be applicable.

There are so many ways that you can utilize sight fishing, but most of the time you are looking for the time of the year when the water temperatures gets up to around 50 degrees. So look for the clear water, find the most-perfect fishing spot on a bright, sunny day, and try to read the fish as well as you can.


Hiding a Fish to Win

Editor's Note: Thirty-one-year-old Mark Rose of Marion, Arkansas, has fished professionally for about 3-1/2 years. In the past, he worked as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America's national office. He went pro with Strike King about 3 years ago. Although he's never won a tournament, he proves his consistency and determination by always finishing near the top.

Question: Do you think you've done anything that can be considered weird at a tournament?

Rose: Normally, I'd think it is weird for a fisherman to find a big fish in a bed and put a brush top over it so that other fishermen don't spot their fish. But I actually had to utilize this tactic this year. I found a bed in the back of a pocket with a large bass on it. A sailboat was anchored close to the bed. When I reached the bed, I was thinking "how on earth can I hide this fish?"

I looked around and saw no one, so I anchored the sailboat on top of the bed. Since I knew the fish was there, I was able to come back and throw underneath the boat and catch the fish. I don't usually recommend moving sailboats over beds, but I think that tactic was very helpful in this tournament situation. So, if you locate a bed, find a way to hide it. Place something over the bed that doesn't affect the fish and its spawning.

Question: Will a bass move away if you place something on top of its bed?

Rose: No, it doesn't affect its mood or its spawn. This tactic is merely a way that you can set yourself apart from the others.

Question: How do you find these bedded bass, and what tactics do you use to catch them ?

Rose: Some anglers are using their relatives to help them in sight-fishing tournaments. Relatives or someone who hasn't fished on the tournament lake are the only people that can pre-fish with the professional angler. I know lots of tournament fishermen who get their fathers or family members to drive their boats while they look for bedding fish.

I have also seen several guys whose dads idle them around while they stand up on the front seat. People are taking sight fishing to extremes by elevating their platforms so they can see into the water better. The law says that you can't go above the top level of the boat with any kind of elevation, but you can stand in your seat. Sight fishing is really getting competitive, and the fishermen are going to extremes to catch the best bass.

Question: What do you look for when trying to pick the perfect spot to fish?

Rose: When searching for the perfect place to fish, look for the clearest water on the lake and for hard bottoms. Ultimately you want to go toward a dam and find the clearest water. If a certain spot doesn't look as clear as the others, go to the clearest areas. You want to try to plan your pre-fishing around the brightest weather. If you're probably not going to have bright skies during the tournament, don't waste your time looking for beds while you pre-fish. Probably the information you learn won't be applicable.

There are so many ways that you can utilize sight fishing, but most of the time you are looking for the time of the year when the water temperatures gets up to around 50 degrees. So look for the clear water, find the most-perfect fishing spot on a bright, sunny day, and try to read the fish as well as you can.


Hiding a Fish to Win

Editor's Note: Thirty-one-year-old Mark Rose of Marion, Arkansas, has fished professionally for about 3-1/2 years. In the past, he worked as a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America's national office. He went pro with Strike King about 3 years ago. Although he's never won a tournament, he proves his consistency and determination by always finishing near the top.

Question: Do you think you've done anything that can be considered weird at a tournament?

Rose: Normally, I'd think it is weird for a fisherman to find a big fish in a bed and put a brush top over it so that other fishermen don't spot their fish. But I actually had to utilize this tactic this year. I found a bed in the back of a pocket with a large bass on it. A sailboat was anchored close to the bed. When I reached the bed, I was thinking "how on earth can I hide this fish?"

I looked around and saw no one, so I anchored the sailboat on top of the bed. Since I knew the fish was there, I was able to come back and throw underneath the boat and catch the fish. I don't usually recommend moving sailboats over beds, but I think that tactic was very helpful in this tournament situation. So, if you locate a bed, find a way to hide it. Place something over the bed that doesn't affect the fish and its spawning.

Question: Will a bass move away if you place something on top of its bed?

Rose: No, it doesn't affect its mood or its spawn. This tactic is merely a way that you can set yourself apart from the others.

Question: How do you find these bedded bass, and what tactics do you use to catch them ?

Rose: Some anglers are using their relatives to help them in sight-fishing tournaments. Relatives or someone who hasn't fished on the tournament lake are the only people that can pre-fish with the professional angler. I know lots of tournament fishermen who get their fathers or family members to drive their boats while they look for bedding fish.

I have also seen several guys whose dads idle them around while they stand up on the front seat. People are taking sight fishing to extremes by elevating their platforms so they can see into the water better. The law says that you can't go above the top level of the boat with any kind of elevation, but you can stand in your seat. Sight fishing is really getting competitive, and the fishermen are going to extremes to catch the best bass.

Question: What do you look for when trying to pick the perfect spot to fish?

Rose: When searching for the perfect place to fish, look for the clearest water on the lake and for hard bottoms. Ultimately you want to go toward a dam and find the clearest water. If a certain spot doesn't look as clear as the others, go to the clearest areas. You want to try to plan your pre-fishing around the brightest weather. If you're probably not going to have bright skies during the tournament, don't waste your time looking for beds while you pre-fish. Probably the information you learn won't be applicable.

There are so many ways that you can utilize sight fishing, but most of the time you are looking for the time of the year when the water temperatures gets up to around 50 degrees. So look for the clear water, find the most-perfect fishing spot on a bright, sunny day, and try to read the fish as well as you can.