Mark located a group of fish using his Lowrance electronics on a creek channel break in Second Creek on the lower end of Wheeler Lake. It was an area that he had found and been successful on in the past, although never this late in the year. The fish he found were largemouth and were located in the 23 to 25 foot range. After pulling out his favorite Tennessee River weapon, a Strike King 6XD crankbait, he spent some time figuring out how to get them to bite, which called for the use of various crankbaits. He headed into competition with high hopes that his offshore bite would sustain him amidst what was shaping up to be a shallow-water event across the board.
When he pulled into his spot on the first morning of the event and only saw one other boat, his confidence soared. “When you find a spot offshore that’s holding a group of fish and you get them pretty much all to yourself, that’s special. You know that you should have a shot to do well” said Rose. And do well he did by hauling in a tournament best sack weighing 21-06 which solidified his confidence in his spot, but he knew that he had 3 more days to fish during which he must perform every day.
Days 2 and 3 were very consistent for Rose as well posting limits weighing 17-08 and 15-10. “Although I wasn’t getting a lot of bites, I was getting the kind of bites that I needed to win,” Mark added. Although his weights were slowly tapering off, he had amassed a 7 pound lead heading into the final day and he had refined what he had to do to get his fish to bite.
On day 4 Mark had all of the spots that he had located during practice to himself and had a gut feeling that he could put away another win on the Tennessee River.
“After catching a few fish early, the bite really slowed down. That’s when I picked up my Strike King Tour Grade Football Jig and Rage Craw trailer and caught a couple of keepers. " "Those bites were pivotal as they helped me to relax and fish confidently the rest of the day. When I got those jig bites, I knew that I had it in the bag” adds Rose.
As the final day came to a close, Rose put the bookend on a tournament that he led from the sound of the starting gun. He brought in 5 bass on day 4 that weighed 16-14 and boosted his 4 day total to 71-06. His nearest competitor, Luke Clausen, concluded the event with 58-12.
Mark employed a crankbait and jig to catch all of his fish en route to his $125,000 payday. He also used a Strike King Sexy Spoon in an unusual fashion as a triggering mechanism for when the fish would bunch up and become inactive. “I know that when I see fish on my electronics that are all wadded up, they will be hard to catch. I used the Sexy Spoon to get them busted up and then I could go back through them and get them to bite."
Everyone else knows that when Mark Rose sees fish on his electronics anywhere on the Tennessee River that they’re probably fishing for second place.