Seeing the Tours through Rose-Colored Glasses

Photo courtesy of flwfishing.com

Photo courtesy of flwfishing.com

When Mark Rose qualified for the 2017 Elite Series tour, I assumed he’d make the leap from FLW. After all, while I can think of plenty of anglers (e.g., Tharp, Powroznik, Ehrler, Lucas, Combs, Wheeler) who’ve gone in that direction to further their careers, when anglers have gone in the other direction it usually has been by necessity rather than choice. My assumption was that if you want to enhance your pro fishing career, it’s a no-brainer to move to B.A.S.S. under any and all circumstances. I also figured that an angler with Rose’s skills, track record and longevity would have no trouble competing on any circuit.
 
Obviously, Rose did not see it that way. He elected to stay at FLW. As he stated on social media in October, “It was never my intent to fish the Elites….The FLW Tour, BASS Opens and MLF works for me and I enjoy them all.”
 
At the time, I thought that was foolish, that he’d have more opportunities to make more money on the Elite side of things. Clearly I was wrong, at least in the short term, as he’s quickly made $250,000 via two FLW Tour wins to start the year, plus whatever sort of bonuses might follow.  While I can’t say for certain that he wouldn’t have won the Elite tournaments on Cherokee and Okeechobee had he jumped tours, it seems highly unlikely. That’s not necessarily because competition is tougher at B.A.S.S. than it is at FLW, or because those lakes don’t fit his skill set. It’s simply because so many things have to go right, and virtually nothing can go wrong, if you’re going to win at the tour level. If you were to start from scratch at Guntersville and Travis again, he might not win one FLW event, let alone two. His fortune could change, but for now two trophies from either tour would smell as sweet.