Monroe Says Struggles Were Mostly Mental

Ish Monroe hopes some encouraging words he received last week in Maine from a fellow Major League Fishing competitor and Bass Fishing Hall of Famer are a portent of better things to come.

"I got a chance to talk with Denny Brauer, who I consider one of my mentors because of his flipping skills and also because he was one of the first guys who talked to me when I came out (on tour)," he said. "He told me some of the best years he had came right after having one of his worst years."

Monroe's 2014 campaign, during which he competed on both the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour, was dismal all around. He finished in the bottom third of the field on both circuits, thus coming nowhere close to qualifying for either championship event. His best showing on either side was a 33rd when the Elites visited the Delaware River last month.

He's now spending some significant time at his Northern California home, which he didn't see at all between late January and early July, and trying to recuperate from the long, disappointing grind that's just concluded.

"I'm not doing a ton of fishing stuff," he said. "I'm doing a lot of home stuff like cleaning out the garage and taking care of the lawn and a lot of the little things that you don't get to do when you're on the road for so long.

"At the same time, I've already booked hotel rooms for Toho (site of next year's FLW Tour opener) and I'm starting to work on Eufaula and Smith Lake. I spend a half-hour or an hour on things like that every day just to keep on top of things." Read more


Weekly Pro-Tips from FLW Outdoors

One misconception that a lot of fishermen have about frog fishing is that it’s an early morning deal for really shallow water. Actually, it will work in water as deep as 10 feet, and it will work all day if the conditions are right. In fact, you’ll catch your biggest fish on a frog between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

The only rule I have about frog color selection pertains to the amount of sunlight and the color of the water. If it’s a bright sunny day, I’ll use white. If it’s dark or cloudy, I’ll go with black. If it’s somewhere in between, I’ll probably use a bluegill pattern.

Otherwise, there’s no real trick to it. You just fish a frog back to the boat with a series of short twitches – call it walking the frog. For that, I use a 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Steez frog rod with a Daiwa TD Zillion Type R reel in 7.3:1 gear ratio and 65-pound-test Maxima braid.

I’ll tie the frog, say, a Snag Proof Ish’s Phat Frog, to the line directly with a double Palomar, and that’s it. As far as setting the hook, if I can’t seen any color to the frog when the fish grabs it, I set the hook right then with an upward popping motion. If I see a bit of the frog, I’ll wait a second before setting the hook to give the fish time to get it down its mouth more. If you miss the fish, throw the frog right back. Usually that’s all it takes, and I seldom use a backup lure. - ISH


Ranger Aluminum Tournament Series w/ Ish Monroe


Monroe to Run Lowrance Wrap on FLW Tour

Ish Monroe, another two tour angler, works hard at his craft and for his sponsors. This season will be full with appearances and lots of professional fishing tournaments. As such, he’ll again run two boats, and his FLW Tour wrap will feature Lowrance as his title sponsor.

“I wouldn’t have been as effective as an angler without Lowrance Electronics on my boats all these years,” said Monroe. “Being able to see the smallest changes in bottom depth or composition has been very improtant to me as a shallow water specialist, and my Lowrance HDS and HDS Touch fishing systems have always given me that ability. Read More


Ish Monroe, Part 2: The Busiest Man In The World

It seems that everywhere you look in the world of pro fishing, Ish Monroe has a presence. Last week, we pretty much decided it had little to do with the fact that he’s black, and more to do with the fact that he’s a human highlight reel.

Not long ago, it was Ish mashing the monsters at Amistad with his West Coast tricks. Fast-forward to Okeechobee and it’s 7-pound shootout events just a few years ago. And who could forget Ish just about calling his shot in Major League Fishing?

Numerous pros have more wins, some have won a lot more money. But when Ish is near the top, everyone knows it.

The previously mentioned MLF seems tailor-made for someone of Monroe’s caliber: A guy who plays to win, but loves doing so in front of the camera.

Monroe currently competes on the Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour as well, and is quick to point out that all three circuits have their own appeal.

“FLW does a great job promoting for its sponsors,” he says. “And B.A.S.S. has built a brand that people follow. But MLF allows the fishermen to do the same thing for themselves and their sponsors regardless of who they are."

By this, Monroe insinuates that MLF is allowing its featured fishermen to build themselves as the promoted brand, as well as the supporters and sponsors of those fishermen, a la reality TV. Ever heard of Troy Landry, Uncle Si Robertson or a work-dodging kid named Chumlee? Wonder why they’re so drastically more popular than bass fishing stars?

Monroe continues: “MLF brings out the reality of tournament fishing without using the same old mold." Ish’s marketing side then kicks in “The fans of Bassmaster and FLW are the real hardcore fishermen. But the fans of MLF are the real hardcore fishermen and the occasional anglers. And it’s those occasional anglers that you want buying your product. For them, it’s almost like an infomercial." Complete Story


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