Wildfires in the area caused smoky skies all day while the temperature was also blazing around the California Delta for this week's Toyota Series Western Division event.
Ish Monroe may be hotter than both. He's on a hot streak this week as the only angler to crack 20 pounds on both days one and two. As a result, he’s now the tournament leader.
Fishing his preferred way, Monroe frogged and flipped his way to the big bag on his home waters. He's relying on his years of tidal water experience to fish the right areas at the correct times.
"I started the day on a brand-new spot and it was the right call," he says. "I caught a few decent ones there and then went back to where I started yesterday and caught another nice one."
Yesterday, he didn't even hit what he considered his best area due to the tides and his success elsewhere, but he made it there today.
"I went to what I think is my best area and missed a giant on a frog, but 30 feet later, I caught my biggest fish of the day," adds Monroe, who had both a 6- and 7-pound-class fish in his bag today.
Both of these fish came from that area while fishing a frog.
Overall, the pro affectionately known as just “Ish” is confident he can bring another solid bag to the scales tomorrow to contend for the win.
"Day two is so important in a three-day event, and you have to catch everything you possibly can, every day, if you want to have a chance at winning," he says.
Monroe claimed a 2009 Toyota Series victory and a 2008 FLW Pro Circuit victory on the California Delta.
3. Ish Monroe – Oakdale, Calif. – 21-4 (5)
Major League Fishing pro Ish Monroe was the first boat out this morning and the first to weigh in. He started the week off right with a solid bag of 21 pounds, 4 ounces.
He played the tides and didn’t go to his best area right away, and that decision ended up working in his favor.
“There was about a thirty-minute window with a ‘dead tide’ where I planned to fish, so I ran to a different area to start the morning,” Monroe says. “I caught a keeper right away, then another. So, I decided to go down the whole stretch and it worked out.”
Monroe loves flipping and frogging and that’s all he did today.
“I just did what I do best,” says Monroe.
This time of year there are explosions early in the morning or late in the evening around Oklahoma waters. These explosions are not pyrotechnics or 4th of July M-80s, they are bass blowing up food sources at the water surface.
“Anglers who put away topwaters after spring may be missing an opportunity to turn summer’s ‘dog days’ into ‘hawg days,’” said legendary bass angler and TV fishing show star, Hank Parker. “You’ll rarely see me this time of year without at least one topwater within reach.”
Nothing says summertime bass fishing than working a top-water strike. Every angler, regardless of age or experience, has a rush of adrenaline when a big old large-mouth rolls up on a top water artificial lure.
Really little has changed in the last 20 years when it comes to coaxing a bass to attack a bait fished on top of the water, so let’s look at what’s out there and you probably have some of these in your tackle box now.
I recently watched an entire episode of the Bassmasters with Ish Monroe, the 9-time BASS tournament winner, who has won more than $2.2 million on the tour. The California angler was demonstrating one of his favorite fishing techniques – top-water.