Chalk Talk: Ish on fishing to win

Ish Monroe has four Bassmaster wins to his credit, two of which required that he surpass the 100-pound mark to earn the victory. He’s also won two FLW Series tournaments on the California Delta, one of the premier big-fish venues in the country.

If a tournament requires big weight to win, you can bet that Monroe will be in the running. It’s not luck.

He believes that the phrase “swinging for the fences,” is one of the greatest myths in bass fishing – more akin to swinging at any old pitch you get than taking a strategic approach to tournament success. Nevertheless, he’s certain that there’s a science to putting yourself in position to win.

Unless he’s on the Great Lakes, you can be pretty sure there won’t be a spinning rod on his deck, or perhaps even his rod locker. When he's in the hunt for a victory, he’s typically using heavy rods, heavy line and certain kinds of baits in the heaviest cover he can find.

One go-to strategy he employs is what he calls “dropping bombs.” That involves taking a 1- or 1 1/2-unce tungsten weight, a Missile Baits D Bomb, a snelled straight-shank flipping hook and often a punch skirt, too. When others are looking for 30 or 40 bites on a soft stickbait, he’s often content with six or seven of the right bites from the heart of the cover. He said that on most popular tournament venues people “are fishing every day of the week,” so the easy bites get picked off. He’s learned to punch through grass, bushes and trash mats to find the fish that others overlook. “If it’s that hard to make that cast, it’s worth it to make that cast,” he emphasized. Read more


The right way to fish Elites' spots


By Darren Jacobson - There’s something going on with our sport that we need to talk about. Mike Iaconelli wrote a column about it this year, but I’d like to give you my take on things. It’s close to what Mike had to say but, at the same time, a little different. When I’m done saying what I have to say about that I’m going to give you some unsolicited — but free and useful — advice.

I struggled at Mille Lacs. That’s on me. At the same time though I didn’t get any help from some of the fans. I’m not saying that anyone was targeting me as an individual. They weren’t. Other anglers complained about the same thing. Here’s how it all went down.

My plan was to flip and pitch reeds. The water was gin clear, and they were really shallow. Two feet was the deepest. Most of the time I was fishing shallower than that. The strips of reeds were between 50 and 150 yards long. These were one or two fish spots. I fished them two or three times a day.

Much of the time I’d start at one end and work my way towards the other end. But, within a few minutes a recreational angler would start fishing the other end and work towards me. Obviously, much of my spot was ruined. Just as bad, some anglers would bump the reeds. That not only ruined their chances of catching a quality bass, but it also ruined mine.

I know this was tournament specific. I stayed a couple of extra days. After we left there was never more than three trailers at any ramp. Full Article


Ish Monroe talks Bassmaster Classic

Ish Monroe headed into the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) Championship in good position to make it back to the Bassmaster Classic. Actually, since the ending of the first day of competition for the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series season, Monroe had been in the Classic as far as ranking in the Angler of the Year point's race. Heading into the AOY Championship, you needed to be in the Top 39 and Ish was.

When the AOY Championship ended, Monroe was one point out and in 40th. Out of the Bassmaster Classic. Yet, all was not lost. The upcoming Bassmaster Northern Open could have an impact on Ish if the angler who won didn't fish all of the Northern events. You see, the Opens have a win and you are in the Classic policy, as long as you fish all three events in a division. See Story