A Pro's Preparation
Editor's Note: Strike King Pro Team member, 30-year old Mark Rose from Marianna, Arkansas, has competed professionally in bass fishing since 1999. He has participated in more than 150-major professional tournaments and has taken numerous top-20 positions, three, top-10 positions and two, top-five positions. In the last 16 months, Rose has fished in B.A.S.S, FLW, Wal-Mart BFL, Everstart and Ranger Millennium pro-fishing tournaments.
Question: How did you come to work with Strike King as one of your sponsors?
Answer: Well, you want to try to ally yourself with a great company that makes multiple products. Strike King makes various baits and uses only quality components. Their pro staff is very influential in their bait designs. Whenever you have the best crew designing lures for you, you know you will have a good product. And, Strike King is a great company run by great people.
Question: What do sponsors expect from their tournament pros?
Answer: They expect their pros to fish and promote the company's products. You need to keep your nose clean and do everything in a professional manner. Try to use your public-relation skills as much as you can, and sell the products. I really feel like I'm an employee for Strike King. Every time I go fishing anywhere, I know Strike King's products will catch fish. So, all I have to do is use the Strike King products to catch the fish. That is the easy part. The next thing is selling it. I feel like selling as much bait as I can is part of my retirement every time I go out there for a tournament. I know Strike King has great products that make selling those products much easier.
Question: How do you prepare for a professional bass tournament? How do you learn ways to fish? Do you talk to locals? How do you decide where you are going to fish?
Answer: The time of the year, the weather conditions and the water temperature are all factors in where I fish and what I use to fish. If I'm fishing a spring tournament, I know I'm going to be fishing somewhere around the spawn. First, I go straight to the bank and start looking for bass. If the water is dirty or if the fish have already spawned, I'll pull out and find out where the fish are moving to after they spawn. I'm going to study the body of water before I ever get there. I look on the Internet, study my maps and apply my outdoor skills to the time of the year and the weather towards my tournament plan. Then I use my fish-catching skills to go out and catch the bass.
Question: How do you decide which lures to use?
Answer: The time of year determines which baits I fish. If the bass are shallow in the springtime, I can throw a lot of spinner baits and top-water baits. If the fish are deep in the summertime, I know I'll be throwing lots of Series 5 and Series 6 crankbaits, Carolina rigs and tubes. You try to choose your weapon for the time of the year and the weather conditions. If the fish are feeding on the shad in the summertime, then most anglers will throw lots of spinner baits and crankbaits. In early spring I'll throw crawdad baits -- crawdad Diamond Shads, crawdad-colored jigs and other crawdad-like baits. The weather and water conditions totally control what lure I fish.