Bass Fishing in June with Mark Rose
Part 1: In the Heat of the Battle
Editor’s Note: Strike King caught up with Mark Rose of Marion, Arkansas, a member of the Strike King and War Eagle Boats’ Pro Fishing Teams, last week when he was fishing an FLW tournament on the Tombigbee River, which forms the boundary between the states of Alabama and Mississippi.
Question: Mark, what tournament circuits are you fishing?
Rose: I’m fishing the FLW Series and the Stren Series. I’m 5th in the points on the Stren Series. Right now I’m in second place in this Stren Series tournament on the Tenn-Tom Waterway. I’m also in 18th place on points on the FLW Tour, but I’m not sure what place I’m in on the FLW Series.
Question: How much have you won so far this year in tournament fishing?
Rose: About $50,000.
Question: The states of Alabama and Mississippi have recently gone through some drought conditions and experienced some very-hot weather. How are you finding and catching your bass now?
Rose: You’re right. The air temperatures and the water temperatures are hot this June. I’m fishing the Tenn-Tom Waterway right now, and the water is really stained. Therefore there’s not much offshore fishing. I’m trying to fish as much shade and vegetation as I possibly can, which is what the bass have to have if they’re holding in shallow water under these extreme conditions. If we had clear water to fish, I’d find the bass out on the edges. But because this water I’m fishing right now is dirty, the bass have to have some kind of shallow-water cover to hide in to attack bait.
Question: How are you fishing for bass, Mark?
Rose: I’m flipping a 4-inch black neon tube and catching a few fish with a shallow-running crankbait.
Question: Why did you choose to fish the tube and the crankbait for this tournament?
Rose: Normally I’ll fish a Strike King jig under these kinds of conditions, however, we have 200 boats in this tournament, which means the bass are getting a lot of pressure. We’re fishing from a small body of water, and the lake is getting a lot of local fishing pressure also. I prefer to fish a Strike King jig, but when I fish a lake with this much fishing pressure, I try to downsize my bait and make a more-subtle presentation. And that’s the reason I went to the tube instead of the jig. The tube has a somewhat-smaller profile than the bulky jig, and I’m getting more strikes on the tube than I have been on the jig. As I go down the bank, if I find a tree lying in the water, I’ll fish the shady side of the tree with a small crankbait. I really like the Strike King 4S Series for this type of situation.
Question: What color seems to be the best for this stained-water river fishing in June?
Rose: I like the chartreuse/black back in the stained water like I’m fishing now. Chartreuse/black back is just a good color for stained water. At the end of May and in June, the bass are feeding on bluegills a lot and seem to prefer the bluegills over the shad in dirty hot water. That chartreuse body Strike King 4S with the black back imitates the bluegills that the bass are feeding on best, I believe.
Question: Where are you finding bass holding?
Rose: As I’ve said earlier, the bass are holding in the shade of shallow cover and in the grass. I’m also fishing a frog on top of the grass. Conditions are tough, and these are the tactics that are paying off for me in this tournament.