Over the last few years Lake Guntersville’s fishing trends have included a lot of bridges and the burgeoning crop of eelgrass that has taken root throughout the lake. Bass behavior in the lake determines these trends, but sometimes the old tried-and-true patterns are hard to beat.
Just ask Mark Rose, who has been the only pro in the field to compile two 20-pound-plus limits through two days of the FLW Tour event presented by Lowrance at Lake Guntersville. Rose took the lead on Friday with a total of 42 pounds, 8 ounces.
Day-one leader Jay Kendrick lit off some fireworks with a big bridge catch of more than 25 pounds on Thursday, but he caught just one bass today, leaving the lead spot wide open. Kendrick’s bridges fell flat as he noticed that the bait was not stacked up as much as he would have liked to see it. He finished 26th.
Rose is well aware of the bridge phenomenon on Guntersville. He has several top-10 finishes in previous FLW competition at Guntersville where he got beat on bridges. Also, the Tennessee River is near and dear to Rose’s heart, so he knows about the new influx of eelgrass, which is what Buddy Gross fished when he won the 2016 Tour event just downstream at Pickwick.
But this week, Rose has focused his efforts on a tried-and-true classic hydrilla pattern to take the lead at halftime.
“I knew bridges would play big here for a day or two,” Rose says. “And yesterday I did catch a couple off of rock [riprap along bridge causeways]. But for the most part I’ve put bridges out of my mind. What I’m fishing are just good old-fashioned staging areas in grass. It’s that real pretty hydrilla in 4 to 6 feet of water with a few guts and features running through it. There are spawning areas nearby. It’s just a classic staging area.”
Rose’s lures, too, are Guntersville staples.
“I’m flipping a jig some and winding some. Just typical Guntersville lures – nothing fancy,” he adds. “It’s just a way of fishing that I’m real comfortable with, and that’s what I’m going to keep doing.”
Rose’s signature specialty on Tennessee River lakes is summertime ledge fishing. After two days on a frigid Guntersville he is enjoying fishing up shallower in cold water as a reminder that he knows how to catch fish in seasons other than the postspawn.
“I’m still relying on my electronics a bunch to see the grass and the depressions and stuff, but it’s a much shallower game,” he says. “And I’m liking it. It’s fun to reconnect with some of the traditional prespawn patterns that hold true year after year no matter what else happens on a lake.”
Top 10 pros
1. Mark Rose – West Memphis, Ark. – 42-8 (10)
2. Bryan Thrift – Shelby, N.C. – 39-8 (10)
3. Barry Wilson – Birmingham, Ala. – 36-6 (10)
4. Justin Atkins – Florence, Ala. – 36-4 (10)
5. Shinichi Fukae – Palestine, Texas – 34-10 (10)
6. Randy Blaukat – Joplin, Mo. – 34-7 (10)
7. Alex Davis – Albertville, Ala. – 34-4 (10)
8. Jason Reyes – Huffman, Texas – 34-2 (10)
9. Andy Morgan – Dayton, Tenn. – 34-1 (10)
10. Scott Suggs – Alexander, Ark. – 33-13 (10)