Ish Monroe was unable to crack the 10-pound barrier on either of his two long runs to Pool 3.

"Greg Hackney was in the spot I wanted to fish, but since I didn't go there yesterday, I had to leave it to him," he said. "I fished around there, but just didn't catch them." Read More

River2Sea released two new baits this week -- the Ish Monroe Signature Series. Designed by Bassmaster Elite Series and FLW Tour pro Ish Monroe, the new baits are the River2Sea Biggie square-bill crankbait and the Bling spinnerbait.

“I’m a shallow water angler,” said Monroe.  “These new baits are built exactly as I wanted them so that I could tie them on and compete on tour each day.  Every detail has been painstakingly developed, and they have become my go-to shallow crankbait in a short amount of time.” Complete Story

Moore, OK - Following each Bassmaster Elite Series, Bassmaster Open, and FLW Tour Open tournament during the 2012 season, The BASS ZONE will interview two anglers who finished in the bottom half of the field to find out “what went wrong?”

It’s easy to get the winning details from an angler who just lifted a trophy – It’s tougher to go one-on-one with an angler who just missed the cut by 20-pounds, failed to catch a limit the entire tournament, and dropped 10 places in the Angler Of the Year standings. Complete Story

1/9/2012 - Anyone who follows the pro bass tours knows that Ish Monroe is a shallow water junkie. The shallower he can catch them, the more at home he feels. Whenever there is clumped grass; you’ll find Ish there, wherever you find matted weeds, Ish will be there; find tangled wood, reeds or trash, you’ll find Ish there.

His penchant for skinny water has birthed his signature Snag Proof Phat Frog, and a public recognition of his with heavy tungsten weights, braided line, stout rods and thick gauge hooks is inevitable. So committed is he to shallow, nasty water, that he keeps two rods rigged at all times; Flipping and Punching rod and his Frog rod.

While those two rods are notorious for producing big bites in grime infested skinny water; Monroe has found them to be effective at other times as well. He said that experimenting with his friend; former Bassmaster Tour pro and Western FLW Pro Zack Thompson, has showed him that they are effective elsewhere.

“I was with Zack in Frank’s Tract – in the middle of the Delta – one day when he told me to watch him,” said Monroe. “He grabbed the Flippin’ Stick he had been Punching matted hyacinth with and made a cast to the middle of the bay.” Monroe said that at first he thought it Thompson was being funny, but when it produced a solid keeper, Monroe took notice.

Since that day, the Hughson, Calif. pro has experimented with the technique all over the country and has found it to be very effective. So much so that he has given the technique a name – “Droppin’ Bombs,” he said. “I use it to shake them up and make them bite when they’re sluggish; and it really works.”

Heavy for the Extremes

Going to the extremes of weight in a lure is an option at certain times of the year. There are times that a weightless lure will make a bass bite in hot or cold water, and there are times that the opposite happens. Stories of switching to a heavy jig or a big worm weight in super hot or super cold water are frequently told.

There are times that waters across the country reach as much as 100 degrees, and when that happens, bass don’t always like to feed – until they have to. When that happens, anglers often try putting a 3/4 to 1-ounce jig on their line, or using a heavy tungsten Flipping weight on a Texas Rig to make fish react.

The high rate of speed of a heavy lure falling past their noses in cover or around structure can make a bass strike out of impulse when a slow moving lure won’t even make them move. Monroe believes that this response can be triggered at any time, and any depth range. So, he uses the same rig that he Flips with to trigger those strikes.

Bomb Gear

Monroe said he uses the same setup for casting a Bomb Rig than he does for Flipping it because the length and power of the rod helps him control the bait better on the cast. “If I try and lighten up on the rod for more tip, then it takes more effort to cast the rig,” he said. “I also need the length to seep the lure up off the bottom to mimic stroking a jig, so a longer rod helps with that too.”

His rod choice is an 8’ Daiwa Steez SVF Compile X Flipping rod matched with a Type R Zillion 7.3:1 reel and 70-pound-test Samurai Braid. He starts with a one-ounce River2Sea Tungsten Trash Bomb sinker then ties a Paycheck Baits Punch Hook on his line with a modified Snell Knot. He said he likes the Trash Bomb because it has a Natural Matte finish on the sinker, which is durable, but doesn’t send of unnatural flash to the bass.

In the past he has used every manner of creature bait on the market, but when he recently signed with the brand new Missile Baits Company founded by his friend and Elite Series roommate John Crews; the new D Bomb creature bait became his new favorite. “The D Bomb is a little bulkier, so it appeals to larger fish, and I can put a larger hook in it; even a 6/0 Punch Hook,” said Monroe. “It has a meaty, solid head before the rings start on the body, so it holds the hook well when I’m ripping it off the bottom. But, the ringed body makes the fish hold on because it feels so soft in their mouth – it’s the best of both worlds, durability and softness.”

Cast and Hop

Monroe said that he makes a long cast past a piece of offshore structure and lets the lure fall vertically past the fish. Once it hits bottom, the lure creates a puff from slamming into the bottom and stirring up silt; strikes usually occur then. If he doesn’t get a strike on the initial fall, he lift the lure up off the bottom, allows it to fall on semi-slack line again, repeating the motion until he is past the structure.

He uses a similar approach around vertical cover such as docks or standing timber. “The speed of the fall can trigger strikes from fish relating to dock pilings or standing timber,” he said. “I pitch this out near the cover and let it fall straight down with the reel in free spool. If a bass strikes, I turn the reel handle and set the hook. If it hits a limb and stops, I shake it off and let it fall some more; it’s an awesome way to trigger reaction strikes.”


While he first started using the technique in extremely hot or extremely cold water, Monroe said it works all the time. “I pretty much have it tied on all the time except for the actual spawn,” he said. “I’ve caught them on it around docks during postspawn, on offshore ledges during summer and again in the fall. The only other time I don’t throw it is on heavy rockpiles because the heavy sinker can get wedged pretty easily, but it is effective in a lot of areas and different times of the year.”


Serious Soft Plastic Baits designed by Pro Anglers for Serious Anglers


SALEM, Va. (Jan. 5, 2012) – With more than 10 years as a professional angler on the nation’s top circuits, John Crews brings his design and tournament experience into the market with the launch of MISSILE BAITS.

MISSILE BAITS provides serious anglers with new baits designed by a professional angler who has tested them on some of the nation’s best waters. Having already proven his mettle as a designer of top crankbaits with SPRO, Crews enters the world of soft plastics with MISSILE BAITS.

“This is a project I have been planning for quite a while,” said Crews, who has fished at the top tournament levels for 11 years. “The designs are all custom, unique, and exactly what we need on the pro tour. If MISSILE BAITS are good enough for me to compete with on tour, we know we will be providing anglers of all skill levels with soft plastics that they can have success with and immediate confidence in.”

MISSILE BAITS offers five custom shapes:

--- the D Bomb, a 4.5-inch beaver-style with a ribbed body and flappers designed for extra action

--- the Tomahawk, an 8.75-inch double ribbon tail that gives extra action in a proven-sized worm.

--- the Twin Turbo, a 3.3-inch twin tail grub that can be Texas-rigged, fished as a jig trailer and more

--- the Drop Craw, a slender, 3-inch crawfish shaped bait designed for fishing on a drop shot

--- the Missile Craw, a 4-inch crawfish-shaped bait with a uniquely designed hook slot for tremendous hookups. The Missile Craw can be used as a punch bait, pitch bait or even on a shaky head.

MISSILE BAITS will be offered at a suggested retail of $3.99, providing anglers with a value-minded lineup of baits produced by anglers with championship experience.

Three-time Bassmaster champion Ish Monroe of California will join Crews in promoting MISSILE BAITS. Monroe will be fishing with MISSILE BAITS during the 2012 tournament season.

Monroe said he knows the new MISSILE BAITS lures will be effective for him on tour.

“Over my career, I have gotten very particular about what is on my line when money and championships are at stake,” he said. “The designs we have with MISSILE BAITS are dialed in perfectly. I can’t wait to use these new soft plastic baits across the country! I am going to flip, pitch, and cast my way to victory with MISSILE BAITS.”

Pro-engineered MISSILE BAITS is ready to launch into the marketplace, aimed to deliver results to anglers on the water and for retailers on their shelves. MISSILE BAITS is constructed to provide ample opportunity for the tackle retailer and a value-minded approach for the consumer. MISSILE BAITS is open for dealer inquiries.

MISSILE BAITS is a small company dedicated to creating serious soft plastic baits to help anglers catch more fish. The designs are straight off the top-level professional bass tour. Based in Salem, Va., MISSILE BAITS works relentlessly to make the best baits, show their customers how to use them and stay on the cutting edge of bass fishing. New products and videos will continue to blast off into 2012 and beyond. Visit for videos, tips, forums, and more.