Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., continued to lead on the second day of competition at the Stren Series Championship on Pickwick Lake after weighing five fish for 15 pounds, 6 ounces. Rose has a two-day total of 10 fish weighing 37-11.
After a fog delay that held anglers from taking off until 7:42 a.m., Rose said he made a run of more than 80 miles to tiny Bay Springs Lake.
“I went all the way to the other end,” said Rose, who has won more than $887,000 in FLW Outdoors competition. “I told everybody I was going as far as you could go.”
On the first day of competition, Rose said he began the day fishing a school of fish close to the McFarland Park launch and caught his limit and then made a run to his next spot. On the second day of competition, Rose said he caught only one 12-inch fish in his first spot and decided to make the long run. Rose said on the last day of competition he is going to run directly to Bay Springs Lake.
“It’s out there now,” Rose said. “I had a convoy behind me today. There’s a tournament out of there tomorrow, so that’s really going to affect me.
“I’ve showed them how and where to catch them,” Rose added. “But that’s tournament bass fishing. When you’re dealing with big fields and good fisheries like this, that’s one of the things professional fishermen have to deal with. I have to deal with it the best I can and stay positive.”
Rose said Bay Springs Lake isn’t a good fishery year-round, but when cool weather arrives and the fish move up in the top of the water column, it is capable of giving up large fish.
“I like that place because of all the pressure Pickwick gets,” Rose said. “I wanted to do something to make a difference, so I went down there and figured something out.”
Team National Guard pro Jonathan Newton of Rogersville, Ala., finished the day in second place with a two-day total of 10 fish weighing 35-7.
“I lost two really big fish today,” said Newton, who tallied nine keepers throughout the course of the day. “They just pulled off.”
Newton said he fished bluffs by flipping a jig and had a hard time feeling bites in the current.
“I pulled on it two times today and thought I was hung and pulled a little harder and they were on there,” Newton said. “And they just came off.”
Newton said current is key to his bites and is hoping current will be running on the last day of competition.
“If they don’t (run current), they won’t bite,” Rogers said.
Rounding out the top five places are Keith Pace of Monticello, Ark. (10 bass, 32-3); Lloyd Pickett Jr. of Bartlett, Tenn. (10 bass, 31-13); and Team Land O’Lakes pro Ott Defoe of Knoxville, Tenn. (10 bass, 31-5).
Also making the top-10 cut and fishing on the final day of competition are Team Kellogg’s pro Dave Lefebre of Union City, Pa.; Scott Canterbury of Springville, Ala.; Robert Robinson of Mobile, Ala., Matthew Jones of Spokane, Mo; and Eric Ambort of Mablevale, Ark.
Michael Hall of Annandale, Va., earned the day’s $500 Folgers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to his 5-pound, 11-ounce bass.
Overall there were 681 bass weighing 1,352 pounds, 2 ounces caught by 153 pros Thursday.
Chuck Rounds of Benton, Ky., won the Co-angler Division and $35,000 with five bass weighing 11-14 for a two-day total of 10 bass weighing 21-13.
“I couldn’t have done this without fishing with the top fishermen who fish FLW,” said Rounds. “Just by paying attention the last few years and doing what I thought I needed to do to catch them … that’s exactly what I did and I stuck with it.”
Rounds said he caught his fish on a 1/2-ounce War Eagle spinnerbait with double chartreuse blades. He said he used 17-pound fluorocarbon line to anchor his spinnerbait.
Rounds said he targeted grass specifically on day one with the spinnerbait and continued to find success with it on the second day of competition, even though others in the field were tending toward smaller spinnerbaits.
“I just stuck with it like I knew I should,” Rounds said.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Phil Jarmon of Apex, N.C. (10 bass, 20-14, $12,000); Steven Semelsberger of Mt. Airy, Md. (10 bass, 19-14, $5,000); Jamie Bladow of Houston, Ala. (nine bass, 19-10, $4,000) and Robert Russell of Smyrna, Tenn. (10 bass, 19-7, $3,000).
Terry Olmstead of Lock Haven, Pa., earned the day’s $250 Folgers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound, 6-ounce bass.
Overall there were 444 bass weighing 735 pounds, 3 ounces caught by 142 co-anglers Thursday.
Anglers will take off from McFarland Park located at 200 James M. Spain Drive in Florence at 6:30 Saturday morning. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Walmart store located at 3100 Hough Rd. in Florence beginning at 3 p.m. Takeoffs and weigh-ins are free and open to the public.
After four qualifying events were completed in each Stren Series division – Central, Northern, Southeast, Texas and Western – the top 40 pros and 40 co-anglers based on the points standings from each division advanced to the championship. The top 10 pros and top 10 co-anglers from each division also qualify for the 2010 Walmart FLW Tour®, bass fishing’s top professional circuit. The highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each division at the Stren Series Championship also qualify for the 2010 Forrest Wood Cup.
FLW Outdoors, named after Forrest L. Wood, the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, is the largest fishing tournament organization in the world. FLW Outdoors also has taken fishing mainstream with FLW Fantasy Fishing, offering the largest awards possible in the history of fantasy sports. Sign up for Player’s Advantage to get your edge and win.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000. For more information about FLW Fantasy Fishing and Player’s Advantage, visit FantasyFishing.com.