When Louis Monetti lost several big bass very early on Semi-Final Saturday of the Bassmaster College Bracket at Lake Glenwood presented by Lew’s, he took a little boat ride across the lake to clear his head and give himself a fresh start to the day.
The new scenery paid off in a big way, as the UNC Charlotte product landed a 6-pound largemouth on a Whopper Plopper within the first couple casts in his new area, starting a rally that resulted in a 16 pound, 14 ounce bag that lifted him over his head-to-head opponent Jackson Swisher and into Championship Monday.
“I was a little shaky after losing those fish. I kept fishing down the bank (for a few minutes) and I said, ‘I think it is time for a quick change in scenery,’” Monetti said. “I ran across the lake from where I was to get a fresh mindset. It is something I have done for years now. When things are going bad, make a little run and try to clear the head.”
Monetti and Florida Gateway’s Seth Slanker face off today in the final round of the March Madness style event and the winner will punch their ticket to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic at Knoxville scheduled for March 24-26.
The boat ride in the middle of a tough stretch of fishing is one of a couple of things Monetti has learned and adopted since beginning his college career as a solo angler at UNC Charlotte before teaming up with Michael Fugaro this year and winning the 2022 Team of the Year title.
Monetti’s original purpose in fishing solo as a College Series angler was to prepare himself for moments like this tournament, where he would be at the front of the boat with no one to bounce ideas off.
“It has been a huge difference maker this week,” Monetti said. “That was the design from the beginning of fishing solo because I knew once I got to the top level, you would be alone. I figured in my younger college years that if I could compete by myself against teams, that come time to fish alone I would be ready for it. That is starting to pan out.”
Monetti held his own as a solo angler, including solid finishes last year at Lake Hartwell and the National Championship at the St. Lawrence River. He also became very comfortable with who he is as an angler.
But Monetti not only struggled with consistency, but kept a good mindset when things didn’t go his way. That is where Fugaro’s friendship comes into play this year. With the exception of one day on Norfork, the duo rolled with the punches and left the lake smiling no matter what and Monetti will continue to adopt that moving forward.
“This year fishing with Michael and putting together the mindset that we have, and one that I’ve had both of these days, has really been (a part of) me putting it all together,” he explained. “That has been my biggest problem coming into this year was keeping a positive mindset and keeping the vibes good in the boat. With practice with Michael, along with being comfortable in general fishing alone, that has helped this week.”
You can follow all the action from the final day of the College Classic Bracket presented by Lew’s on Bassmaster.com. Official weights will be posted on Basstrakk and Live coverage will also be available all day.
Discover Greenwood, S.C. is hosting the tournament.