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Former Roswell native lives fisherman’s dream

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Mark Pack, right, stands with David Rosenquist, lifelong friend and business partner of M-Pack Lures. (Submitted Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Zac Alfers
Special to RDR Sports

Mark Pack, a Roswell native and former Fishing League Worldwide Tour pro, passed away last month at the age of 59 following a lengthy battle with COVID-19.

Pack spent 10 years on the professional circuit from 2000-2009, making two FLW Cup appearances and collecting upwards of $500,000 in prize earnings.

As a child, Pack grew up on a farm in Roswell before moving to the Dallas-Fort Worth area as an adult with ambitions to become a master plumber. When Lake Fork was impounded in 1986, Pack decided to put his fishing expertise to good use and became a guide.

Over the course of the next 35 years, Pack established himself as one of the most successful guides in the country and became an iconic figure in the local Lake Fork bass fishing scene. More than just a great fisherman, Pack was a renowned and innovative bait-maker, with multiple patents to his name.

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In the early 2000s, Pack was instrumental in bringing tungsten weights to the market, a piece of equipment that all anglers today have in their tackle box. The idea came to him during a guide trip Pack had with a customer who worked in the metal business. After hearing about the metal’s density, Pack came up with the idea to replace the traditional lead fishing weights with weights made of tungsten. The denser metal allowed for the weights to be smaller, allowing fishermen to fish with less bulk as well as reducing the pollution effects caused by lead.

Pack later helped create M-Pack Lures where he developed the Structure Guard, a new weed guard that was attached onto the hook of a jig that allowed the user to fish heavy structures without getting caught up.

“The great thing about Mark is that he was very humble,” said David Rosenquist, Pack’s lifelong friend and M-Pack business partner. “You heard some stories from him, but you heard a lot more from the people who knew him. He always made a friend at every corner and he was a delight to work with as a business partner.”

With a wealth of fishing knowledge and a contagious personality, Pack was revered by his fellow fisherman on the tour and was always willing to offer a helping hand. Many professional Major League Fishing anglers today owe a large portion of their careers to Pack, who constantly took the young guys under his wing and pushed them to be better.

One current pro in particular who had a special relationship with Pack is 2015 FLW Tour Angler of the Year Scott Martin. Martin and Pack were roommates for many years, allowing the younger Martin to pick the brain of the seasoned veteran. The pair bonded over all things fishing as well as their mutual love of sushi and Martin remembers their conversations were always full of laughter and jokes.

“Mark is so good at bass fishing he doesn’t even have to practice to win $200,000 tournaments,” said Martin.

The tournament Martin is referencing is the 2008 Walmart Open on Beaver Lake. Pack and the other anglers were given three days to prepare for the competition; however, Pack needed all but five minutes on the water to gather his bearings.

During the week before the tournament, the lake became dangerously flooded to the point where the tournament was nearly canceled. The water levels were so high that parking lots, boat ramps and picnic pavilions became completely submerged under water.

Being the creative fisherman he was, Pack decided to fish these underwater structures during the first day of practice. On one of his very first casts, Pack threw his line over to a sunken picnic table and instantly hooked a big bass. Pack then began to cast over to a flooded barbecue pit and landed another bass. Next, the crafty angler sent his line to the underwater guard rail of the boat ramp and hooked yet another bass.

With three fish in the boat and a slight growl in his stomach, Pack decided to break for lunch. For the remainder of the day and the following two days of practice, Pack proceeded to treat his tournament preparation time as a personal vacation. Pack would stroll into town, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with snacks in between and just relax.

When tournament day came around, Pack went straight to his secret fishing hole and lead the contest wire-to-wire, netting himself a $200,000 payday by fishing underwater picnic tables.

“My friendship with Mark meant so much because he gave me confidence and taught me how to be a better fisherman, better friend, better husband and better father,” said Martin. “He didn’t only teach people fishing, he taught people life.”

Pack is survived by his wife Donna and their two sons Jason and Josh as well as a beloved fishing community.

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