Among the benefits of having sponsors are the unique opportunities that they provide to you. For instance, during this offseason I got to travel to China for the first time in my life to work with one of my main sponsors, River2Sea, designing and perfecting the Ish Monroe Series. I stopped in Hong Kong on my way there and back. It’s so high-tech and advanced; it’s amazing.
It was reassuring and refreshing for me to see that China was not the something I had painted in my head. It was not all sweatshops and pitiful child labor. These were happy people who wanted to work. Don’t get me wrong, they work hard, but they’re happy doing it, and they genuinely appreciate any opportunity. Read Full Story
Ish Monroe is a grinder. He rolls to the beat of his own drummer and has an uncanny ability to find the right pattern that gets the biggest bass on just about every lake. He is a very versatile angler and adapts to changing conditions well. He is also known as a world class angler with a frog and has designed two for Snag Proof, Ish’s Phat Frog and the Ish’s Poppin’ Phattie. We had a chance to sit down with him and do a quick Q&A on how to put more fish in the boat with less misses, the proper equipment for the frog, his froggin’ preferences.
W2F- One of the toughest choices for those first picking up a frog for the first time is which one is best. There are so many good ones and each has little things that make them different. What would you tell a beginner and why Snag Proof?
ISH- It seems to me that the original is always best, and in most cases, they have a lot of firsts. After 60 years of building frogs, Snag Proof has a lot of firsts and they were the original. They were the first to build a floating hollow body frog that didn’t fill up with water, they were the first to use Gamakatsu frog hooks, and they were one of the first to utilize their pro staff to actually design what they wanted in a frog. That means a bunch to someone who fishes a frog a lot. It should also give folks that buy them a peace of mind that their frogs will catch fish as we count on them for our livelihood. Read More
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
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