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Interview with Mr. Ish Monroe.

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Over the past few weeks, I have been fortunate enough to slowly develop a working friendship with Mr. Ish Monroe, from California.

He gave me the great honor of conducting an online interview with him, so that he would be able to answer the questions as his own pace and in his own time.

After much anticipation, the interview is complete, and luckily for me, he has agreed to do it again, down the road.

So, I hope that you all enjoy this, and that you get an insight into Ish Monroe as a person, and as an angler.


1. What exactly do you contribute to the sudden rise that we have seen from you?  Can you contribute any part of it to the use of the Sweet Beaver from Reaction Innovations?

Well, first of all, our tour season has changed to the spring, and I seem to fair well at that time of year.  And yes, the Sweet Beaver is one of my keys to success.  It's one of my favorite baits.

2. It has been said that you are switching from Skeeter Boats, in sponsorship, to Ranger Boats.  First off, is this true?  Secondly, can you divulge the reasons for the switch?  And lastly, what can you say to the people that believe that it's a huge mistake, and that you should have stayed with Skeeter?

Yes, I have switched to Ranger boats.  My reason for the switch was strictly a business decision on my part.  Well, Ranger has and always will be #1 in the industry, and the opportunities that are available, i.e., Ranger Cup, FLW, Ranger M1 Owners Tournament $1,000,000 Corporate wraps, are astounding.  There is no mistake if you are trying to make a living at professional angling.  You have the opportunity to write your own check.  And tell me who would not want to fish for $1,000,000.  Skeeter could never offer that.

3. When it comes to the Sweet Beaver, how do you fish it?  I know that I read an article that described a particular rig that you setup to use for bedding bass, but is that the only way that you fish it?  Which colors produce better than the rest, and which sizes do you use most often?

I fish the Sweet Beaver many different ways.  I flip it, I pitch it, C-rig it you name it, any way you fish a plastic, you can fish a Sweet Beaver.  My most favorite color is Sprayed Grass.  I also use Penetration a lot as well.  The regular Sweet Beaver 4.20 is the size I use the most, but the smallie and doublewide I also use very often.

4. Can you please describe the trials and tribulations that you have encountered while trying to make your ways to the elite ranks of professional bass fishing?  Certainly, there were those that said that you were crazy, that trying to be a professional fisherman was not a way to make a living, etc.  Also, tell us about those that did stand by your side, and have always lent their support.

The biggest trial and tribulation would have to be to leave home for 6months, where you don't get to see your friends and family.  My father supported me and stood by me, but at the same time he let me learn life and how things are.  I do have a lot more support from family members and friends that did not support me in the past.

5.  In the 2005 Classic, we saw that you did not do too well.  As an openly admitting fan of yours, it's hard to believe that the Classic was won with less than 12 lbs. of weight, and that so many anglers zeroed out.  Can you pinpoint the reasons why the fishing was so difficult?  Also, are you now able to look back on the tournament, and see how you might have done things differently, so that you could catch fish?  And with the BASS Master's Classic now being moved to the first tournament of the season, and it being on Lake Toho, can you tell use how the two Classic will be different?  Are you willing to make a claim of where you think that you will finish?

The water quality in Pittsburgh has been so poor for many years that the fish are now just starting to make a come back.  They will have a good fishery in 4 or 5 years if they continue to clean the rivers.  There is nothing that I would have done differently.  I went for the win and I was unfortunate to have a local angler sitting on my spot each day of the competition catching fish before I got there.  The difference between the 2 Classics is that the Toho classic will have 5 fish stringers bigger that the total weight of the Pittsburgh Classic.  And it will be a great venue with Mickey Mouse right around the corner.  Well, I think I am going to fair well in the event considering most of my finishes there have been in the Top 20, but I am shooting for the win!

6. As a professional fisherman, especially being one that seems to be openly talkative with anglers from all walks of life, and differing backgrounds, what is the most common thread of questioning that you receive?  Does it revolve around how to be a better tournament angler, how to become a professional, or how to gain sponsorships?

How to gain sponsors would have to be the most commonly asked question.  And the answer is to tell the sponsor what you are going to do for the and not ask what can they do for you.

7. What can we expect from Ishama Monroe in the future?  Admittingly, you obviously want to win the Classic, and probably the Angler of the Year title.  With each year bringing tougher competition, do you see yourself being able to step up and bring the titles home?

I am not sure.  I believe that I am capable of bring both those titles home, but I want more than just one of each.

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I will have an interview with Mr. Wade Middleton, from San Antonio, Texas, coming here in a few days.  He has a tournament that he is directing with ***, I believe.

Just waiting for him to get back to me with the answers to the questions.

As I said, Ish has kindly agreed to do another interview.  I am thinking that I might ask him to do a 3 or 4 part interview.  

If you all would be interested, post some of the questions that you would like to ask him, and I will put some of them in the next interviews to come.


John P.

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