The catch gave him the win by a solid 3-pound, 12-ounce margin over BP pro Jim Moynagh of Carver, Minn., who caught a total of 18 bass weighing 57-14 and earned $44,082.
“This has been a great week and an excellent tournament,” said Rose, who finally snagged his first pro victory and dominated the field throughout all four days of competition. “I was only stressed out on the first day. I knew I was going to make a long run and so many things go into making a long run work. I got there, caught fish, made it back and I calmed down after that. I never had seen anyone fishing my two best spots this week. In a 200 boat field that’s pretty uncommon.
“I haven’t made a cut all year. This is really special to me and my family finally getting one of these. I don’t have to be on the top or always in the limelight but I do really want to work hard for my family and my sponsors. I’m really content with where I am in my career. I never could do these things if it wasn’t for the good Lord. He his my backbone and he guides me through my career.
“Over the last two days I have really had to slow down, be patient and just creep my jig over every inch of these bars to catch my fish. Earlier in the week the fish were really aggressive but they really shut down the past couple of days. I really owe this victory to my Lowrance electronics and the homework I put in figuring out this lake. I hadn’t done well here in the past and I really wanted to make it to the East-West Fishoff. I knew if I could make a top-30 I would be there. The Lord shinned down on me and gave me a top-30 and better yet a win. I’m just going to soak this in and let my family and sponsors enjoy this.”
Rose opened the tournament in first place Wednesday with five bass weighing 18-15 that he caught on football head jig while fishing deep, rocky bars midway down Pickwick Lake. On Thursday he added another five bass weighing 15-15 using the same bait fished in the same spots to maintain his lead. He then caught five bass weighing 12-01 Friday to make the crucial top 10 cut in first place. On Saturday he sealed his victory using the same football head jig dragged around deep muscle bars on Pickwick Lake. Rose said he had about four spots and he cycled through them everyday of this event.
Rounding out the top five pros are Art Ferguson of St. Clair Shores, Mich. (20 bass, 56-09, $35,266); Chevy pro Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Ark. (20 bass, 53-15, $26,449) and Pedigree pro Greg Pugh of Cullman, Ala. (20 bass, 53-06, $17,632).
Brad Wilemon of Booneville, Miss., caught the biggest bass of the tournament in the Pro Division Thursday – a 6-pound, 12-ounce largemouth – that earned him the day’s Snickers Big Bass award of $440.
Overall there were 40 bass weighing 106 pounds, 11 ounces caught by 10 pros Saturday. The catch included seven five-bass limits.
After the conclusion of Saturdays weigh-in it was official that BP pro David Walker of Sevierville, Tenn., clinched the 2007 FLW Series BP Eastern Division Land O’Lakes Angler of the Year award with 688 points edging out the crankbait king, Chevy pro David Fritts of Lexington, N.C., by a mere two points. This is Walker's second time to be a points champion with FLW Outdoors. His other came on the FLW Tour in 1996. “Consistency is everything out here,” said Walker. “I’m just really glad to finally win something lately. It has been a while since i have done that. It’s just great to be able to do this against this caliber of anglers. I’m proud to be a part of Team BP and I couldn’t do this without the support of my wife, Misty and my daughter. They travel with me everywhere I go. It’s great to have them along.”
Berkley angler Stetson Blaylock of Benton, Ark., won the Co-angler Division and $25,000 Friday with a three-day total of 10 bass weighing 27 pounds, 9 ounces followed by Edward Gildernew Jr. of Zelienople, Pa., in second place with nine bass weighing 24-03 worth $9,131.
Blaylock opened the tournament in 111th place Wednesday with zero bass while fishing with Castrol pro David Dudley of Lynchburg, Va. On Thursday he jumped to 4th place on the strength of a five-bass catch weighing 13-08 while fishing with tournament winner Suave pro Mark Rose. He wrapped up the win Friday with another enormous five-bass catch weighing 14-01 while fishing with Berkley pro George Jeane Jr. of Evans, La.
“This has been a long time coming,” said Blaylock, who is only 20 years old and has been fishing fulltime for the last four years. “I have came close so many times. It’s just great to finally win one. I came into this event with the intent to win. I knew I was really going to have to catch them to do so. I knew there would be a lot of great pros here and I was lucky to get three great partners. I’ve caught a lot of fish this week and it has just been a blast. This has turned out to be a really great tournament for me.”
Blaylock was also dragging a football head jig around deep structure all week to catch his tournament winning sack of fish.
Rounding out the top five co-anglers are Randy Clark of Pascagoula, Miss. (six bass, 20-03, $8,217); Kevin Koone of Greenbrier, Ark. (eight bass, 19-14, $7,305) and Gilbert Herald of Pittsburg, Texas (eight bass, 19-04, $6,391).
Matt Greenblatt of Oldsmar, Fla., earned $275 for the Snickers Big Bass award in the Co-angler Division thanks to a 5-pound, 9-ounce bass he caught while fishing with pro Tim Farley of Lula, Ga.
Overall there were 143 bass weighing 358 pounds, 12 ounces caught by 85 co-anglers Friday. The catch included one five-bass limit.
FLW Outdoors historically maintains a 98 percent live release rate in all of its bass tournaments.
Coverage of the Pickwick Lake FLW Series tournament, which featured 400 anglers representing 28 states, 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.
After four qualifying events are complete in the BP Eastern Division, the top 30 pros and 30 co-anglers will advance to the BP East-National Guard West Fishoff Feb. 14-16, 2008, where they will face the top 30 pros and 30 co-anglers from the National Guard Western Division for a shot at advancing to the $2 million, 2008 Forrest Wood Cup. The winning pro at the Forrest Wood Cup will earn as much as $1 million – the sport’s biggest award.
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.