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Ish Monroe has four Bassmaster wins to his credit, two of which required that he surpass the 100-pound mark to earn the victory. He’s also won two FLW Series tournaments on the California Delta, one of the premier big-fish venues in the country.

If a tournament requires big weight to win, you can bet that Monroe will be in the running. It’s not luck.

He believes that the phrase “swinging for the fences,” is one of the greatest myths in bass fishing – more akin to swinging at any old pitch you get than taking a strategic approach to tournament success. Nevertheless, he’s certain that there’s a science to putting yourself in position to win.

Unless he’s on the Great Lakes, you can be pretty sure there won’t be a spinning rod on his deck, or perhaps even his rod locker. When he's in the hunt for a victory, he’s typically using heavy rods, heavy line and certain kinds of baits in the heaviest cover he can find.

One go-to strategy he employs is what he calls “dropping bombs.” That involves taking a 1- or 1 1/2-unce tungsten weight, a Missile Baits D Bomb, a snelled straight-shank flipping hook and often a punch skirt, too. When others are looking for 30 or 40 bites on a soft stickbait, he’s often content with six or seven of the right bites from the heart of the cover. He said that on most popular tournament venues people “are fishing every day of the week,” so the easy bites get picked off. He’s learned to punch through grass, bushes and trash mats to find the fish that others overlook. “If it’s that hard to make that cast, it’s worth it to make that cast,” he emphasized. Read more

Ish Monroe headed into the Bassmaster Angler of the Year (AOY) Championship in good position to make it back to the Bassmaster Classic. Actually, since the ending of the first day of competition for the 2016 Bassmaster Elite Series season, Monroe had been in the Classic as far as ranking in the Angler of the Year point's race. Heading into the AOY Championship, you needed to be in the Top 39 and Ish was.

When the AOY Championship ended, Monroe was one point out and in 40th. Out of the Bassmaster Classic. Yet, all was not lost. The upcoming Bassmaster Northern Open could have an impact on Ish if the angler who won didn't fish all of the Northern events. You see, the Opens have a win and you are in the Classic policy, as long as you fish all three events in a division. See Story

Admitting they throw gasoline on the fire, Mark Zona and Tommy Sanders reignited the war of words on who is the best frog fisherman in the world.

Zona mentioned he and Sanders both made statements on a Bassmasters show a few years back that Dean Rojas was the top angler with a frog. Not long after, Ish found Zona at an event.

"Ish pulled me aside. 'I need to talk to you. Just FYI, I am,' " Zona said. "And he was not joking."

Well, Rojas was just on LIVE with Dave Mercer, and was asked to respond to that. "He can say whatever he wants," Rojas said, "but I thinkn everybody knows who's No. 1." Rojas was asked, then, who falls behind him.

"I'll give Ish the benefit of the doubt and give him second," he said. "Crochet, probably third." He said there's some other secret frog hammers out there. With that, the LIVE feed went right to Monroe and asked him about who's tops with a frog.

"They ask every single time and they know my answer," Ish said, "so I'm not going to answer."

> Day 2: 5, 24-10 (10, 43-09) Monroe made a couple of late culls to boost his bag to day-best status.

"I got lucky at the end," he said. "I was right at 20 pounds when I left my area to go pre-fish and I ended up catching a 4 and a 5 just practicing."

He went through about 15 keepers, the biggest of which was a 7-pounder. He didn't lose any that would've aided his cause.

Like Cherry, he was all alone in his primary locale. He's throwing a River2Sea jig and a Missible Baits creature bait.

"I saw one guy today who was in the same creek I was, but he was nowhere near me, and I saw Matt Herren for a brief moment on day 1 in one of my backup spots. Other than that, there's nobody around."

He thinks he'll need two bags that at least approach the one he caught today in order to have a shot at the win.

"Catching 20 pounds 2 days in a row is possible, but more than that is hard – everything has to go right. If I have 20 tomorrow, I'm going to put the hammer down and try to catch a giant bag.

"I left my area at 11:30 today. If I'd stayed 3 more hours and caught one more big one, who knows ..." Full Story