Ish Monroe fished his first bass tournament when he was 14 years old, and he still remembers finishing 11th. Today, 23 years later, the Yamaha Pro is still competing fulltime; in fact, he's fishing more multi-day national events than any other pro in professional bass fishing.
"I just love to fish," laughs Monroe, who's become known as "Tournament Tough" around pro fishing circles. This year he plans to compete in as many as 25 national tournaments on the Bassmaster® Elite, FLW,® and PAA circuits. He's also entered in several Bassmaster® Opens, and might enter some others if his schedule has any openings. Counting both official practice as well as the tournaments themselves, he will spend 150 or more days in competition.
"My season began the first week of March this year, and I fished five straight events back to back," says Monroe, "but after that fifth tournament I knew I was ready for a break. "At 1 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon I really hit the wall while I was on the water. I recovered enough mentally and physically to compete the next day, but then, after about four days of relaxing at a friend's home, I was ready to go fishing again."