Ish Monroe’s top baits for shallow water

Ish Monroe has over $1 million in B.A.S.S. earnings, with 10 Bassmaster Classics fished and five top-level wins. The veteran California pro is well-known for his shallow water angling skills that defined his career early on. He chose a selection of proven baits that are ideal for any shallow water scenario, regardless of where you live. 
“Specialized baits take balanced tackle that maximizes the action and performance of the baits, your lure presentation and of course, your ability to get the fish in the boat,” Monroe said. 
“These baits cover the entire water column, from top to midrange and the bottom. The baits cover all those bases when you want to make a shallow water box.”
Missile Baits D Stroyer, Watermelon Red
About the bait: What make the 6-inch creature bait stand out are the noticeable micro-ribs creating the ribbed body, the hooked tail and the contrasting straight appendages, all combining for a unique action that’s different from any in the category. 
Why he likes it: “The D Stroyer is a big, bulky creature bait, with the legs, tentacles and ribbed body adding action and displacing water for sound and vibration,” Monroe said. Watermelon Red is a universal color that produces strikes in clear, stained and muddy water. Monroe Texas rigs it on a stout 5/0 or 6/0 River2Sea New Jack Flipping Hook, with 3/8- or 1/2-ounce weights. 
Tackle: Daiwa Tatula Elite 7-foot, 6-inch Flippin rod, Daiwa Tatula Elite 7.1:1 reel, 25-pound Daiwa J-Fluoro Samurai fluorocarbon. 
River2Sea Ish Monroe Biggie Poppa Squarebill, I Know It
About the bait: A “bump and grind” squarebill ideally suited for making contact with all types of shallow cover. Specs: 9/16 ounce, 2 5/8 inches. 
Why he likes it: “A big rattle that adds even more strike appeal to a squarebill,” Monroe said. “It’s perfect for shad spawn scenarios, or dirty water when forage bait has white sides. It’s the perfect shallow-running shad imitator.” 
Tackle: Daiwa Tatula Elite 7-foot, 2-inch Brent Ehrler Small/Medium Crankin rod, Tatula Elite 6.3: 1 Tatula Elite reel, 12- to- 20-pound Daiwa J-Fluoro Samurai fluorocarbon, depending on desired running depth. “Use heavier line to make the bait shallower; lighter line to make it run deeper.”
River2Sea Whopper Plopper 130, Bone
About the bait: What makes it stand out is the soft, pliable tail that rotates on the harness to create the signature hollow plopping sound that is unique to this bait. 
Why he likes it: Monroe notes the bait is available in 110 and 190 sizes; his all-around preference is the 130. “It’s for producing big bites this bait is known for,” he said. Have no fear and cast it around any type of cover, around stumps, under overhanging trees and brush and over the tops of grass.
Tackle: Daiwa Tatula Elite 7-foot, 4-inch Brent Ehrler Bladed Jig rod (for longer casts), Tatula Elite 7.3:1 reel, 50- to 65-pound Daiwa J Braid. Use 50-pound for longer casts in open water; 65 is best for heavy cover. “You can use this bait from depth ranges from 6 inches to 20 feet,” Monroe said. “The tail and plopping action sounds off and attracts bass up from deeper water.”
Misslie Baits D Bomb, Super Bug
About the bait: The 4-inch D Bomb is a staple for flipping, with its water-displacing, ribbed body that creates a straight fall through the strike zone, while the flapping tails separate for even more action. A thinner body at the insertion point aids hooking ratios, while the thicker head keeps the bait in place. 
Why he likes it: “Fish it multiple ways, from punching through thickly matted vegetation, to flipping at isolated wood and grass,” Monroe said. “Super Bug combines green pumpkin and black/blue into the best of both worlds.” The color is universal for clear and dirty water. 
Tackle: Daiwa Tatula Elite 8-foot Ish Monroe Punchin/Flippin rod, Tatula Elite 7:1 Punch/Flip rod, 65 Daiwa J Braid x 8 (green), 5/0 or 6/0 River2Sea New Jack Flipping Hook, 1- to 1.5-ounce Angler’s King Tungsten Weight.
River2Sea Phat Mat Daddy Frog, Yellow Head
About the bait: Monroe designed the frog with a collapsible, soft plastic head for better hooking and landing ratios. Hook eye positioning on the top of the head makes it even more weedless. The weight allows the fish to feel the frog’s natural presence on top of heavily matted vegetation. 
Why he likes it: Monroe has won tournaments and hefty winnings on this frog nationwide, from California to Florida and points in between.  
Tackle: Daiwa Tatula Elite 7-foot, 4-inch Ish Monroe Frog Rod, Tatula SV 7.3:1 reel, 50-pound Daiwa J Braid in open water; 65-pound in heavy vegetation.