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