This week, and the next, we’ll talk a little about how two of the better known anglers in the Elite Series have helped me lately. We’re lucky to be in a sport where that sort of thing happens. In my humble opinion I think everyone should know something about it. It’s positive. It shows off something other than just catching more pounds of fish than the other guys.
My first story starts at the Open this year on Cayuga Lake in New York. I had the right pattern. My fish (largemouth) were in really shallow water under docks and other forms of visible structure. I’d skip a Berkley PowerBait Heavyweight Thump Worm up under the structure, let it fall and wait for the bass to grab it.
It was working but it wasn’t a very efficient way to fish a tournament. It took too long for the bait to fall and too long for the fish to pick it up. Regardless, it was working for me so I kept at it. I didn’t think I had any other choice. The water was really clear. I was afraid to get up on top of the bass. They might spook.
As I was fishing a dock I looked up and saw Ish Monroe working his way along a string of docks. He was obviously on the same pattern except that he was covering two or three times the water I was covering. This isn’t brain surgery, folks. We all know what’s going to happen under this scenario. Ish is going to kill me at the weigh-in.
Anyway, he came up to the dock I was on just as I caught a small bass and put it in the livewell. Ish expressed surprise that I didn’t have a limit. I pointed out to him that some of us are mere mortals. Ish laughed.
He then told me to put my spinning rod down and use a flipping stick with a Texas rigged creature bait on it. He further noted that these fish weren’t real smart, that they wouldn’t run from a boat up against them. I did what he recommended. My results changed for the better almost immediately.
To be fair I’d done him a favor or two back in the day so our relationship can’t be called a one way street. Nevertheless, Ish threw me a bone when he had the chance. I’m grateful for that. But I’m more grateful to have a friend like him and to say that our sport has men like him in it. He understands what this business is all about. Ish knows that he isn’t really fishing against any man. It’s the fish that matter.
Another thing I admire about him is his work ethic and his attitude. Ish Monroe will fish anywhere, anytime, against anyone. He fears no man. And, he’ll go the extra mile for a sponsor. No drive is too long. No show is too small. He lives and breathes competitive bass fishing. We need more guys like him.