Chattanooga (FLW) – Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 11 pounds, 8 ounces Saturday to win $44,778 in the season-ending FLW Series Eastern Division tournament on Lake Chickamauga with a four-day catch of 20 bass weighing 56-15. Rose also received $6,000 for being the Ranger Cup program winner.
The catch gave him the win by a 2-pound, 9-ounce margin over Goodwill pro Wesley Strader of Spring City, Tenn., who caught a total of 20 bass weighing 54-6 and earned $17,911.
"I'm no ledge legend by any stretch of the imagination," said Rose, who picked up his third career FLW Outdoors win. "I'm just an old river rat who grew up on the delta of the banks of the Mississippi River.
"This will be my 11th full-time year and I got my brains beat out for the first four or five years out there on the ledges," Rose added. "I just fished shallow. I just started learning and reading and I've got great friends that are ledge fishermen and I've got a great relationship with Lowrance. They make the best units in the world."
Rose said he split the screens on his electronics to show map, sonar, down imaging and side imaging to target fish.
"Now I'm seeing all my fish," Rose said. "Even a lot of them when I'm catching them. When I'm reeling my crankbait in I can see my crankbait underneath me because (the electronics) have such a wide scan.
"A couple of weeks ago at Champlain I saw my bait and I watched the fish come up and eat it," Rose added.
Rose credited the Strike King Sexy Spoon, 20-pound-test Seaguar fluorocarbon line and a custom Kistler spoon-fishing rod for his success on Lake Chickamauga. Rose said he caught 14 of his 20 weigh fish on the spoon during the tournament. However, on the final day of competition Rose had to rely on a crankbait for his fish.
Earlier in the tournament Rose said his primary area was a "square hump" with a corner that featured stumps, a side composed of a shell bed and a "gut". Rose said normally he likes to get fish "fired up" with a spoon or crankbait to trigger the bite, but he had to throw a ¾-ounce green pumpkin Strike King football-head jig with a Strike King Rage Craw trailer to get the fish to bite and get them excited. He then targeted the fish with a rootbeer-colored Strike King 6 XD crankbait or the spoon.
Rose opened the tournament in second place Wednesday with five bass weighing 16-7. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 16-1 to capture the lead. He then caught five bass weighing 12-15 Friday to make the crucial top-5 cut in first place.