Fishing & Boating News

Rose Leads Walmart FLW Tour Open On Wheeler Lake

Presented By Ranger Boats Alabama's Martin Leads Co-Anglers

by: Joe Opager, Director of Public Relations,

National Guard pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark leads after Day 1 with 21 lbs 6 oz.
Photo by courtesy FLW Outdoors
(Sep. 20, 2012 - DECATUR, AL.)

Junk fishing was the name of the game Thursday as the world's best bass-fishing pros began competing at the Walmart FLW Tour Open on Wheeler Lake presented by Ranger Boats. Multiple styles, patterns and presentations were used as pros from all across the United States began the four-day tournament fishing for a top cash award of up to $125,000.

By the end of the weigh-in, one angler had separated himself quite a bit from the pack. National Guard pro Mark Rose of West Memphis, Ark., brought a five-bass limit to the scales Thursday weighing 21 pounds, 6 ounces to lead day one of the event. Rose now holds nearly a 3 1/2-pound lead over Blake Nick of Adger, Ala., who caught five bass weighing 17-15.

"Normally I can say it was this bait, or this pattern," said Rose, who has career winnings of more than $1.5 million. "Today, I was just blessed and it just happened for me. It was pretty tough, though. I didn't catch that many fish - I only had seven keepers. Wheeler is definitely a tough lake, but it's still got them."

Rose said he fished around a dozen different areas - both shallow and deep - and that he caught fish in both. The bite was better at no certain point in the day, as he caught fish around 60 minutes apart throughout the entire day.

"I caught a big one on a topwater bait," Rose said. "I got another big one on a crankbait. I caught some on a worm. I'm really mixing it up both shallow and deep and just going fishing. From my weight I know it sounds like I'm really on them, but I'm not. I may go out tomorrow and only catch 5 pounds."

When asked about his ideal fishing conditions for tomorrow, Rose said that he hopes for cloud cover and a little wind to help the shallow bite. However, meteorologists are predicting more of today's weather for tomorrow - sunny bluebird skies with temperatures in the mid-80s and a zero-percent chance of rain. Rose said he's not changing anything.

"I'm going out tomorrow and doing the same thing," he said. "Just going fishing."

The top 10 pros after day one on Wheeler Lake are:

1st: National Guard pro Mark Rose West Memphis, Ark. five bass 21-6
2nd: Blake Nick, Adger Ala. five bass 17-15
3rd: Chevy pro Luke Clausen Spokane, Wash. five bass 15-15
4th: Russell Lane Prattville, Ala. five bass 15-14
5th: Greg Hackney Gonzales, La. five bass 14-13
6th: Marty Stone Fayetteville, N.C. five bass 14-4
7th: Goodwill pro Chad Grigsby Maple Grove, Minn. five bass 13-11
8th: National Guard pro Justin Lucas Guntersville, Ala. five bass 13-10
8th: Folgers pro Scott Suggs , Bryant, Ark. five bass 13-10
10th: Art Ferguson III Saint Clair Shores, Mich. five bass 13-8
10th: National Guard pro Brett Hite Phoenix, Ariz. five bass 13-8

Clent Davis of Montevallo, Ala., caught Thursday's big bass weighing 5-14 on the pro side to win $500.

Overall there were 377 bass weighing 776 pounds, 10 ounces caught by pros Thursday. The catch included 57 five-bass limits.

Pros are competing for a top award of up to $125,000 this week plus valuable points in the hope of qualifying for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart, the world championship of bass fishing. The top five anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

Casey Martin of New Market, Ala., leads the Co-angler Division with five bass weighing 12-11 followed by Jonathan Henry of Grant, Ala., in second place with five bass weighing 12-5.

The top 10 co-anglers are:

1st: Casey Martin New Market, Ala. five bass 12-11
2nd: Jonathan Henry Grant, Ala. five bass 12-5
3rd: Ben Todd, Pierson Fla. five bass 10-14
4th: Jim Krider North Vernon, Ind. five bass 8-9
5th: George Yund Albany, N.Y. five bass 8-1
6th: Mark Horton Nicholasville, Ky. five bass 8-0
7th: Kenny Beale Jr. Blairs, Va. five bass 7-10
7th: Patrick Bone Cleveland, Ga. five bass 7-10
7th: Richard Peek Centre, Ala. five bass 7-10
10th: Todd McBride Huntsville, Ala. five bass 7-9
10th: Richard Rhodes Calvert City, Ky. five bass 7-9

Martin also caught Thursday's big bass weighing 4-10 in the co-angler division to win $250.

Overall there were 184 bass weighing 293 pounds, 8 ounces caught by co-anglers Thursday. The catch included 14 five-bass limits.

Co-anglers are fishing for a top award of $25,000 this week plus valuable points that could help them qualify for the 2013 Forrest Wood Cup presented by Walmart. The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the four Walmart FLW Tour Open tournaments will qualify.

Anglers will take off from Ingalls Harbor located at 802 Wilson St. in Decatur at 6:30 a.m. each day. Friday's weigh-in will also be held at Ingalls Harbor beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday's final weigh-ins will be held at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. S.W. in Decatur beginning at 4 p.m.

Fans will be treated to the FLW Outdoors Expo at the Walmart located at 2800 Spring Ave. S.W. in Decatur on Saturday and Sunday from noon - 4 p.m. prior to the final weigh-ins. The Expo includes Ranger boat simulators, the opportunity to interact with professional anglers, enjoy interactive games, activities and giveaways provided by sponsors, and fans can learn more about the sport of fishing and other outdoor activities. All activities are free and open to the public.

Coverage of the Wheeler Lake tournament will be broadcast in high-definition (HD) on NBC Sports Network when "FLW" airs October 28 from 1 - 2 p.m. ET. "FLW" is hosted by Jason Harper and is broadcast to more than 559 million households worldwide, making it the most widely distributed weekly outdoors-sports television show in the world.

For complete details and updated information visit the FLWOutdoors website. For regular updates, photos, tournament news and more, follow us on Facebook at Facebook/FLWFishing and on Twitter at Twitter/FLWFishing.

ABOUT FLW
FLW is the industry's premier tournament-fishing organization, providing unparalleled fishing resources and entertainment to our sponsors, fans and host communities. FLW is offering anglers of all skill levels the opportunity to compete for millions in prize money nationwide in 2012 over the course of 191 tournaments across five tournament circuits, each providing an avenue to the sport's richest payday and most coveted championship trophy - the Forrest Wood Cup. FLW is committed to providing a lifestyle experience that is the "Best in Fishing, On and Off the Water," through a variety of platforms including tournaments, outdoor expos and the world's richest fantasy sports game - FLW Fantasy Fishing. For more information about FLW and FLW Fantasy Fishing, visit the FLWOutdoors or FantasyFishing websites and look for FLW on Twitter and Facebook.