Rose leads Wal-Mart FLW Series event on Pickwick Lake
FLORENCE, Ala. (Oct. 11, 2007) – Suave pro Mark Rose of Marion, Ark., caught a five-bass limit weighing 15 pounds, 15 ounces Thursday to retain his lead in the $1 million Wal-Mart FLW Series BP Eastern Division tournament on Pickwick Lake with a two-day catch of 10 bass weighing 34-14.
“I can’t even believe I am fishing on Pickwick,” said Rose, who has 12 top-10 finishes but is still looking for his first win with FLW Outdoors. “I hope that we take great care of this fishery and keep this going. It is absolutely phenomenal right now.
“Things went a little better today. My bag yesterday consisted of two big ones and today it seems that I averaged a little bigger fish but with no kicker. I didn’t think I could catch this kind of weight coming into this tournament. I had a decent practice and really spent some time trying to figure Pickwick out. Things have just worked out so far.
“I don’t know what to expect for tomorrow. I’m just going to go back out and keep my jig wet, throwing it at every point and bar I can find. I have about six to eight different spots I’m keying in on. I’m just going to fish hard and hope for the best.”
Rose is throwing a Strike King football head jig around points and bars in 14 to 17 feet of water on Pickwick Lake.
Rose now holds a 6-pound, 2-ounce lead over second place pro Terry Bolton of Paducah, Ky., who managed to haul in a total of 10 bass weighing 28-12 during the first two days of competition.
Bolton was throwing a football head jig around deep, rocky structure on the lower end of Pickwick Lake.
“Things went pretty good today,” said Bolton, who has amassed over $400,000 in career earnings with FLW Outdoors. “I caught my limit pretty early this morning but I just didn’t get the big bites I wanted. I don’t think they were pulling as much current and that affected my fishing.”
Rounding out the top five pros are Tommy Martin of Hemphill, Texas, (10 bass, 28-00); Pedigree pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (10 bass, 27-15) and Tom Mann Jr. of Buford, Ga. (10 bass, 27-03).
Brad Wilemon of Booneville, Miss., earned the day’s $440 Snickers Big Bass award in the Pro Division thanks to a 6-pound, 12-ounce bass.
Overall there were 418 bass weighing 1,032 pounds, 13 ounces caught by 164 pros Thursday. The catch included 26 five-bass limits.
Pros are competing this week for a top award of $125,000 plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the BP East-National Guard West Fishoff and a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup, where the winning pro will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award. The top 30 pros from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff, which will be held Feb. 14-16, 2008. The location for the fishoff has not yet been announced. Thirty winners from the fishoff will advance to the 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Edward Gildernew Jr. of Zelienople, Pa., leads the Co-angler Division with a two-day total of eight bass weighing 21-07 followed by Gilbert Herald of Pittsburg, Texas, in second place with six bass weighing 15-06.
“This is actually my first time on this lake,” said Gildernew, who has his sights set on his first ever win with FLW Outdoors. “I’m a jig fisherman at home and I really feel comfortable with this style of fishing. I make this jig myself and I know it well. It would be really awesome to win. I told my son I would get him an ATV if I won.”
Gildernew caught four bass weighing 11-09 while fishing with Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark., Wednesday and four bass weighing 9-14 while fishing with pro Michael Lindley of Hamilton, Ala, Thursday.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are James Richardson Sr. of Harrison, Ohio (six bass, 13-12); Berkley angler Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark. (five bass, 13-08) and Chris Cox of Bethel Springs , Tenn. (four bass, 13-02).
Jim Smith of Georgetown, Ky., earned $275 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 6-pound, 15-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Jason Meninger of Gainesville, Ga.
Overall there were 171 bass weighing 418 pounds, 7 ounces caught by 136 co-anglers Thursday. The catch included one five-bass limits.
Co-anglers are competing this week for a top award of $25,000. Like the pros, the top 30 co-anglers from both FLW Series divisions after four qualifying events are complete will advance to the East-West Fishoff for a shot at the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup.
Anglers will take off at 7 each morning from McFarland Park located on James M. Spain Dr. in Florence, Ala. Friday’s weigh-in will be held at the marina beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday’s weigh-in will be held at the Wal-Mart store located at 3100 Hough Road in Florence, Ala., beginning at 4 p.m. Children will also be treated to a Family Fun Zone prior to Saturday’s weigh-in from noon to 4 p.m. at Wal-Mart. Activities in the Family Fun Zone include the Fujifilm trout pond, a Ranger boat simulator and assorted fishing-themed games. All activities are free and open to the public.
In FLW Series competition, the entire field competes for the first three days, and co-angler competition concludes on day three with the winner determined by the heaviest accumulated three-day weight. The top 10 professionals continue competition on day four, and the winner is determined by the heaviest accumulated weight from all four days.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Coverage of the Pickwick Lake FLW Series tournament will be broadcast to 81 million FSN (Fox Sports Net) subscribers in the United States as part of the “FLW Outdoors” television program airing Dec. 16. “FLW Outdoors” airs Sunday mornings at 11 Eastern time. “FLW Outdoors” is also broadcast internationally to approximately 350 million households in Europe, Africa and Asia, making it the most widely distributed weekly fishing program in the world. Additionally, FLW Outdoors is proud to provide tournament coverage to more than 800,000 servicemembers stationed around the world in 177 countries and aboard Navy ships through broadcasts on the American Forces Network.
Named after the legendary founder of Ranger Boats, Forrest L. Wood, FLW Outdoors administers the Wal-Mart FLW Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Series, Stren Series, Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League, Wal-Mart Texas Tournament Trail presented by Abu Garcia, Ranger Owners Tournament Championship Series, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Walleye League, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Tour, Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series, Wal-Mart FLW Redfish Series and Wal-Mart FLW Striper Series. These circuits offer combined purses of nearly $43 million through 241 events in 2007.
Wal-Mart and many of America’s largest and most-respected companies support FLW Outdoors and its tournament trails. Wal-Mart signed on as an FLW Outdoors sponsor in 1997 and today is the world’s leading supporter of tournament fishing. For more information about Wal-Mart, visit Walmart.com.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournaments, visit FLWOutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.