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Monroe came into the event at 50th in the AOY race (points). Those who finish the season 28th or better in the points receive a Bassmaster Classic berth, although that number will drop to at least 30th, and perhaps well beyond, due to double-qualifications.

So Monroe's primary goal this week was a Top 25, which would put him into the Classic range, and perhaps provide a chance at a Top 12. He's well on his way to both of those, courtesy of his Snag Proof Ish's Phat Frog and a flip-bait.

He lost a big one at boatside, and could never shake a 13-inch spotted bass.

"It was a fun day, except for that one I lost," Monroe told BassFan. "I'm very happy with it. I'll take 12 pounds tomorrow and be completely happy. If you look at the weights, 50th place is 6 1/2 pounds. That tells you how tough it is. There are a lot of great fishermen who are struggling. Complete Story