Ish slams door shut

Photo - Seigo Saito - OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — When Ish Monroe wins in the Bassmaster Elite Series, he goes big.

Monroe of Hughson, Calif., won the Power-Pole Slam Sunday on Lake Okeechobee with a four-day total of 108 pounds, 5 ounces. It was his second Elite win. His first, six years ago on Lake Amistad in the inaugural event of the newly formed series, was also by more than 100 pounds — 104-8 to be exact.

“Winning with over 100 pounds is awesome,” said Monroe, who took home $100,000 and an instant berth into the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. “I really wanted to break my own record today, and it feels really good.”

His Sunday check pushed his Bassmaster career earnings to over $1 million. Weighing more than 100 pounds of bass over four days gave him a second entry in what’s known as the Century Club, an exclusive group of Bassmaster Elite Series pros who have busted the mark. Read More


Lane Wipes Out All But 10 Ounces Of Monroe's Lead

There seems to be no stopping the Chris Lane Express.

The reigning Bassmaster Classic champion caught a career-best 31-03 sack today to pull within 10 ounces of 3-day leader Ish Monroe with 1 day to fish at the Okeechobee Elite Series in Florida. Tomorrow he'll gun for his third B.A.S.S. victory of 2012 – at three different levels, no less – and attempt to nail down his third qualification for the 2013 Classic. And March isn't even over yet.

The down-to-earth Lane encountered difficulty when trying to come up with the words to describe the roll he's on.

"It's crazy, crazy – I can't explain it," he said. "God is good."

Monroe, meanwhile, saw a big decrease in his bag weight for the second straight day and will certainly have to reverse that trend tomorrow in order to secure his second career Elite win and first since 2006. He started the day with an advantage of nearly 14 pounds, but on day 4 he'll essentially duke it out head-to-head with the hottest angler in the game – a Florida native whose Okeechobee résumé includes two Open victories and a ton of tournament experience. Read More


Monroe Busts Biggest Bag For Second Straight Day

Photo: B.A.S.S./Seigo Saito - What's the surest way to maintain a big day-1 lead? Catching the biggest bag in the field again on day 2 will do it.

Ish Monroe busted a 24-15 sack today at the Okeechobee Bassmaster Elite Series in Florida, giving him a 59-04 total at the midway point. He said a B.A.S.S. official informed him that his 13-11 advantage is the largest day-2 margin in the history of the Elite Series, which was launched in 2006.

Reigning Bassmaster Classic champion Chris Lane had another solid day (23-10) and climbed 2 places in the standings, but lost more than a pound worth of ground to Monroe and sits in a distant 2nd with 45-09. Everybody else is the equivalent of a quality bag behind the Californian. Read More


Ish Monroe's lead shrinks

Photo - James Overstreet - OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Nothing short of a heroic effort Saturday could have knocked Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., off his lead of 13 pounds, 11 ounces in the Bassmaster Elite Series Power-Pole Slam on Lake Okeechobee.

Meet Chris Lane, almost-hero. He brought 31 pounds, 3 ounces, to the scales Saturday and put it up against Monroe’s 18 pounds, 2 ounces. The result was Monroe, 77-6, Lane 76-12. Suddenly, after trailing Monroe from afar after two days, Lane was only 10 ounces behind.

That sets up Sunday’s finale to be the Ish vs. Chris showdown for $100,000 and an instant qualification for the 2013 Bassmaster Classic. Read More


Power Grip

OKEECHOBEE, Fla. — Smashing a six-year-old Bassmaster Elite Series record and threatening others, Ish Monroe increased his lead Friday to 13 pounds, 11 ounces, in the Power-Pole Slam over his nearest challenger, 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion Chris Lane.

Monroe of Hughson, Calif., weighed in 24-15 Friday to add to his gigantic first-day sack of 34-5 for a two-day total of 59-4 on Lake Okeechobee. Lane, who won Bassmaster events on Okeechobee in 2006 and 2010, had 45-9 for second place, moving up from fourth.

Monroe isn’t claiming anything, even with 13-plus pounds as a cushion.

“I want a 40-pound lead to be comfortable. Anything can happen tomorrow,” he said. Read More


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