The Three F's
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 has your family adjusted to your traveling?
Answer: I've been married for five years to my wife Christi. My daughter Natalie Brook Rose turned four this year. We've set out as a family to pursue my goal as a professional tournament fisherman. We plan to give ourselves three years to meet our goal. Hopefully, by then I can take my wife and my daughter with me to the tournaments. My wife has made a great commitment to my career choice and holds down a steady job as a schoolteacher. We can fall back on her income when the tournament trail doesn't go great.
Right now, I travel so much that I get to spend little time with my family. But, I look forward to the future. One day, my wife won't have to work, and we can all be together and travel across the country. My daughter will receive a great education through her travels. We plan to homeschool Natalie until she reaches fourth or fifth grade. Then, we'll get her back into school with other kids. With my family's support, I'll reach these goals.
Question: What are your five-year goals?
Answer: Five years from now I hope to continue to be fishing on the Bassmaster Trail and the F.L.W. trail. My main goal is to qualify for the Classic, and to continue to qualify for the tour and the F.L.W. events. All I've ever asked the Good Lord is to enable me to make a good living fishing; that is all I really try to do. I call it the three F's: faith, family, and fishing. That's the order. There are guys out here who are so driven to be the best bass fishermen in the world. I am too, but there are a lot more important things to me. If you let it, this sport can really humble and discourage you. That brings everything else in life down. I try to just make a living at fishing. I hope five years from now I'm able to do that.
Question: Do many people give up early in their pursuit of becoming professional-bass fishermen?
Answer: Many anglers give up on their dreams of tournament fishing when they don't win or place in the beginning. I also see many people who don't give up when they should. Tournament fishermen generally find that balancing a family and a life can be difficult with traveling and fishing. Overall the tournament competitors are great fishermen and great family men. These guys work hard to reach their goals and dreams.
During the past year, I've acquired more sponsors and I've moved closer to reaching my goals. Now, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I remember a time when I couldn't see that light. This year, I've fished just good enough to keep me out there competing.