Ranger Pro, Mark Rose, has won Fishing League Worldwide’s (FLW) Tour event on Lake Travis in Jonestown, Texas. Rose has become the first-ever angler to win back-to-back FLW Tour events in the organization’s 20-year history.
Rose won the US $100,000 first-place prize and added US $25,000 in Ranger Cup money. Rose also won the season opener for the FLW Tour two weeks prior on Lake Guntersville in Alabama.
By participating in the Ranger Cup program, Rose has brought home an additional US $50,000 during the last two FLW Tour events. “The Ranger Cup bonus is nice,” says Rose. “You get to run a really great boat and win money too if you have a good tournament. I have benefited from both of those and all I had to do was run a great boat.”
In each of the last two victories, Rose has either been chasing, or been chased by fellow Ranger pro Bryan Thrift. Rose charged from behind to catch Thrift by 12 ounces on Lake Travis. On Guntersville, Rose held off a final-day rush from Thrift to win the season-opening event.
“I’m just really overwhelmed with thanksgiving,” says Rose. “It’s a true blessing to come out on top on who I consider to be the best fisherman twice. I’m kind of in awe right now.”
During pre-fishing, Rose did find fish on his go-to offshore ledges but could not hook up with any large fish. Rose spent day one up the Colorado River and brought in 11 pounds, nine ounces, placing him in 40th place. “I did find three spots that held fish but I was catching a lot of little ones,” he explains. “I really thought my bigger fish were up the river. I was using the deeper fish as my back up plan.”
Rose opted to fish the deeper waters of the lake on day two and reaped the benefits by finding quality fish late in the day.
“I found out that my deeper fish were getting bigger and I started fishing them differently,” recalls Rose. “I basically started fishing deeper. It seemed the bigger fish were out deeper than during practice.”
The angler divided his remaining days between deep, offshore locations in the mornings and shallow docks in the afternoons. Rose’s main baits were a Strike King football-head jig with a Strike King Rage Crawler in green-pumpkin, Strike King Rage Bug and a six-inch shad-coloured swimbait.
Rose rebounded with 17 pounds, three ounces on day two and weighed 15 pounds, 13 ounces on day three, bringing him within a pound of final-day leader Bryan Thrift.
“I knew that I had one area where the boat ramp was on the lower end of the lake that if I could ever get three or four of those fish to fire, they were the right ones,” says Rose. “One the final day, I got two of them and caught a third one in a nearby shallow area, which gave me three good ones. I knew if I could get two keepers to go with them, I would have a shot.”
Rose’s final-day weight of 14 pounds, nine ounces was enough to overtake Thrift’s final-day 12 pounds, 13 ounces. Rose’s victory paid him US $125,000, which included US $25,000 in Ranger Cup money, and became the first back-to-back FLW Tour winner in the process.
The next stop for Rose is the Harris Chain in Florida, March 9 to 12. A full schedule of upcoming tour events can be found here.