9-pounder propels Rose to day-two lead
28.Mar.2014 by Curtis Niedermier
Weathermen lie, but Mother Nature never does.
Her power was on display on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour event on Sam Rayburn Reservoir presented by Chevy. Forecasts called for a gloomy, potentially stormy day. But other than a light mist at takeoff and a dense fog that hung around until mid-morning, the weatherman couldn’t have been more wrong.
By lunchtime, sunshine and slick conditions spread across Sam Rayburn. The bass responded quickly by repositioning deeper into shallow cover and, in some areas, heading for the bank to answer nature’s spawning call.
The pros atop the day-two standings experienced mixed results. For some, the bite was better and should continue to improve over the weekend with more warm weather expected. For others, it was a day of scrambling and grinding, trying to make the most of what their primary areas had left.
Topping the list at the halfway mark is Walmart pro Mark Rose. He followed up a first-day catch of 23 pounds, 14 ounces with 19 pounds, 2 ounces for a qualifying-round total of 43 pounds.
On day one, Rose had the exact conditions he wanted: windy and cloudy. Though he took over the lead, the Arkansas pro indicated that today was a struggle. Fishing in the sun, he caught only seven fish and cobbled together one of the stranger limits we’ve seen on Tour this season, at least from a tournament leader. It included a 12-inch spotted bass and a brutish 9-pound largemouth.
“I was really blessed to get that one big bite,” Rose said. “If I had wind and clouds, I could catch them. I just can’t get them to bite the same in the sun. I’m fishing the outside and inside edges of grass lines, and when it’s like this [sunny] they move into the grass. I’m not a grass fisherman.”
Rose indicated that he’s fishing away from the bank, targeting what most would consider mid-depth areas for this derby, and that his limit was mostly postspawn bass.
Yesterday, Rose relied on two primary lures, but he expanded a bit today and used a variety of soft plastics, a crankbait and a Strike King Red Eye Shad lipless crankbait.
Many reports from the water indicate that the bass are making a strong push to the banks to spawn. Some pros are looking at the weekend as an opportunity to make a move. For Rose, it could be a grind to get to the podium.
“I’ll look at my depth finder, but I won’t be looking at them on the bank,” Rose said when asked if he’d go sight-fishing if the bass hit the banks with force. “I’m pretty committed [to what I’m doing]. I might have to adapt a little better and get in the grass and learn how to catch them.”