Considering how bad Ish Monroe's two-tour campaign in 2014 turned out, it might've been logical for him to concentrate his efforts on one major circuit this year and find out whether a narrowed focus might produce better results.
Nothing doing. Despite schedules that packed the 14 combined regular-season tournaments into an even tighter timeframe, he never wavered in his determination to again compete on both the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour. The outcome has been the polar opposite of a year ago, as he's excelled on both trails.
He's already wrapped up a Forrest Wood Cup berth with a 7th-place finish on the FLW points list. At 19th in the Elite Series points with three regular-season derbies and the AOY Championship remaining, he's well inside the 2016 Bassmaster Classic cutoff, as well. Read Full Story
Photo BASS - Garrick Dixon > Day 4: 5, 13-05 (20, 72-09) Despite losing the fish he thinks would’ve probably won him the tournament, Monroe heads to Arizona happy with his effort and finish, his best since taking 4th at the Sabine River in 2013.
“I’m in the top 15 in FLW points and in the top 10 for the Elites,” he said. “I’ve cashed a check in every major event I’ve fished and I’ve mixed in several Top 20s which is something you always want to do. I’m feeling good about the next couple events.”
Late in the day today, he had about 8 1/2 pounds and was set to go fish for 2-pounders to get over the 10-pound mark, but he talked himself out of it.
“I thought, ‘I’m here to win,’” he said. “I went back through my big fish area and caught a 3 1/2 and another 3 and then I saw the big one. I flipped up to her and she ate it and just came off. It was around 7 or 8 pounds. I saw her good. She came up and shook her head and just came off.
“The two fish I lost the first day cost me the tournament,” he said. “Throw this on top and it hurts. I put myself in position to win and I can’t ask for anything more than that. If I’d executed flawlessly, I would’ve won. Instead, I did pretty good and got 4th.” Read more
> Day 2: 5, 23-02 (10, 45-04) Monroe said he put an extra rod in the truck this morning just in case he thought he might need it. Tomorrow, he might bring along a couple other baits that have a tendency to work well at the Delta. If he keeps going like he’s been fishing the first 2 days, though, he won’t need but a couple rods on his deck.
“Realistically, nothing else has worked for me, but my standard-issue stuff,” he said, referring to frogging and flipping patterns.
He changed nothing about his approach or strategy today and went through the same areas he fished Thursday.
“I fished the same way and I’m just fishing what’s in front of me,” he said. “The good thing was today I didn’t lose any.
“The area I’m in has the right kind of grass and the right kind of cheese mats and it’s an area they live in. It’s not that they come to this area. They live there all year long and you can catch fish there 12 months out of the year.”
He went through about 10 keepers today, but the only number that matters to him this week is 5.
“It’s the California Delta and if you fish for five big ones, you’re probably going to end up with an average limit of 13 to 14 pounds,” he said. “You will get that big bite just fishing around and if you put two in the boat, all the better. You might have a bad day fishing like that, but more times than not, when you fish for five big ones you have an opportunity to weigh in a big bag.”
Ish Monroe believes he's around the caliber of fish that could carry him to a win this week.He thinks the other Delta veterans ahead of him share the same mindset.
“These are all Delta guys and I guarantee you that Aaron’s fishing for big ones,” he added. “He might have a fairy wand in his hand or a dropshot, but he’s fishing for big ones.
"We’re not out there throwing a crank or spinnerbait or a ChatterBait trying to mix in limit fish. We’re fishing for 5 big ones.” Read More
>Photo BASS - Garrick Dixon Day 1: 5, 22-02 Ish Monroe, who’s coming off a 20th-place finish at the Beaver Lake FLW Tour last week, capitalized on some, but not all, of his opportunities today.
“I lost two that would’ve put me well over 30,” he said. “It’s not like I’m not getting the bites. It’s hooking them and then they came off.”
He had 8- to 10-pound class fish throw his frog and lost a 7-pounder as he tried to swing it over a dock. He said he ran more than 90 minutes to get to where he fished today and had to stop for gas to make the run back to the ramp.
“Where I’m fishing, there’s literally 40 pounds swimming around two times over,” he said. “They’re not on beds. They’re just swimming around so if I put them in the boat, it’s game over.”
With the weather expected to stay hot, he thinks it favors his frogging and flipping strategies, but he’s not getting too caught up in overanalyzing his decisions.
“I’m not really thinking too much about it,” he said. “I’m using the Andy Morgan philosophy – I just fish what’s in front of me. He doesn’t win a lot of tournaments, but he wins AOYs and is in the Top 10 consistently and is always catching good fish. I want to mix that with my killer instinct and I think I’ll be okay.” Read More
Everybody has his own ideas about the best baits and approaches for bedding bass, but I’ve had the best luck using the 7-inch Mizmo Ish Tube for fish that weigh more than 5 pounds. I know some guys like to finesse bedding fish or use smaller baits, but my theory is that the bigger the bait, the more irritating it is to the female and the more inclined she’ll be to hit it. It’s like when you’re a kid in a playground; you see other kids your size come and go, and you don’t pay much attention to them. But when an adult stranger comes in, you notice, and it sort of bothers you. Read More @ FLW Outdoors