Ish can fish. Ish Monroe that is. Yep, he's had wins on both the Bassmaster Elite Series and the FLW Tour. He's having a solid year and is in the Top 35 in Bassmaster Angler of the Year points after four events. If the season ended today, he'd be fishing the Bassmaster Classic in 2018.
Well, how does Ish fish? To win. What is one of his favorite methods to fish when he can? Surface frogs. Unlike many anglers who try them for a bit during a tournament then move on to try another tactic, Monroe will stick with them once he knows big fish are in the area.
Ish Monroe (Joel Shangle/BassFIRST)
Surface frogs are a big fish bait.
"When you throw a frog, you have to have confidence in it," said Monroe. "Enough confidence to not put it down and keep fishing with it. Sure, I'll have a flipping rod rigged up to fish that thick cover where I like to throw frogs. If I know the big fish will take a frog, I stick with it all day.
"I'm not fishing for high numbers of bass when I use them. I'm fishing for 6 or 7 bites, big fish. I'm fishing to win."
Ish has a new frog.
"I've been working with River2Sea developing a new frog," said Monroe. "Hopefully it will be ready to debut in Orlando, Florida at ICAST (International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades) in July 2017. It's gonna be called the Ish's Phat Mat Frog.
"It is the best frog I've ever used. Casts great, hooks fish great. I love working with them because we are always making tweaks and improving the bait until it is just right." Ish's basics for frogging.
"Too many anglers think the frog is just for thick vegetation," said Monroe. "It is effective there, but it is also an excellent open water surface lure, around wood, shallow cover other than dense weeds. Bass are sight feeders. That frog lands close to them, and they'll start attacking it.
"I use 50-pound Maxima braid when I am fishing more open water and 65-pound braid when I am fishing matted cover.
"I let the bass dictate how I fish it, but I usually walk-the-frog in open water to start and use a variety of retrieves in the thick cover.
"As far as the hookset, I don't hesitate. As soon as I see the explosion, I set the hook hard. Once you see the explosion, the fish has the frog. Don't wait and play around. Yard that fish in. You can play with it in the boat."