He finished 20th in the Bassmaster Elite Series qualifying for his sixth Classic earlier this year and now Ish Monroe comes back to California, headling the Fishing Instructional Night School (FINS) at Anglers Marine in Santee, Aug. 3.

A flipping expert who has contributed heavily to the growth in frog fishing throughout the West, Monroe is not just another me-too professional angler. Although he calls the Delta and Clear Lake his “home waters,” the fact is he has matched casts with the best in the business all across the nation on all types of waterways. (more…)

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OPENING DAY once upon a time...

UPDATED–Harder than I thought, but we have winners.

UPDATED, 6:08 p.m., July 31. I would really like to give these trading cards away as prizes, but we’re just a little fuzzy on a few details. So, one more clue, and a midnight PDT deadline. And since I lost all the other responses, it’s a free for all.

The clues: The last name of the Pisces Bass Club member with the first 40-pound limit is not “Dickerson.” That is the name associated with the foul-hooked bass (Dottie) from Dixon Lake and has no place in this discussion. (Or is that two clues). And from before, the lure is not a Lucky 13.

UPDATED, 10:40 a.m., July 30. Some confusion over details in the responses to date. I will take the three best answers received by Sunday evening to determine winners of (1.) the unopened 1991 Pro League bass card set, (2.) four autographed singles, (3.) assorted singles from 1990 and 1991. (more…)

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Got a special contest prize later this week: an unopened set of 1991 Pro League Bass [trading] Cards. Not only that, I also have three separate, autographed  cards from Shaw Grigsby, Mike Folkestad and Tommy Martin, as well as a handful of “singles” from the original “Big League” Bass trading cards set–even one of the creator of the set, Michael Jones.

All these were donated by Caroline Fenton, daughter of late San Diego area outdoor writer Rolla Williams, who passed in 2004. (more…)

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CAN'T STICK 'EM...Everybody has their way of doing it. You want a rig that simulates the real thing you’ll be using during the game, but something that won’t hurt your chances of catching ’em when it counts.

That’s why I was glad to get a glimpse of Gary Klein in practice at the U.S. Open. On our day on the water, he pretty much stuck with what he had been doing for several days at Lake Mead, fishing a plastic worm in the back third of the way into the cuts–especially those with some heavier green stuff in the backs.

Obviously, once he got a look at the size of the fish (more…)

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BRENT EHRLER had a big month of July.

As noted, the touch-and-go situation with Brent Ehrler, the impending birth of his first child, his shot at the FLW Tour Angler of the Year title and a new business deal all shook out in July.

Most recently, Kelly Ehrler gave birth to the couple’s first, a son (reportedly named Ollie) on Saturday evening, but that event was also part of the mix as Brent competed in the final qualifying event in FLW, namely the contest at Pickwick Lake in Tennessee.

Although a few points behind leader David Dudley, Brent announced in advance that if he got the call that the birth was eminent, he would leave for home, rather than stay and compete. (more…)

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RICK CLUNN will seek more productivity from his co-anglers

Apparently being out of the West for most of the year has not affected Aaron Martens’ skill level. In three days, he put on a clinic, pulling even with Mike Folkestad as the only pros to win three such U.S. Open titles.

Of course, Martens’ methods will be unveiled soon enough. But even though the standings were unofficial at the moment, the fact is, there are a lot more lessons and stories to tell from those who finished behind the Leeds, Ala. savant. (more…)

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Back in the 1980’s, when splitshotting was as popular as drop-shotting is today, we had some pretty good choices to pin on a hook. We also had a bass population boom that made tiny baits the focus.

But as those fish grew up some, and still in big numbers, there came a need for a slightly bigger bait that did all the right things. (more…)

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ONE MORE SUNRISE left for U.S. Open contenders...

No words for it. Though there is some separation in the upper ranks, the “new” Lake Mead has created the closest U.S. Open chase in recent memory. When the official standings are posted later this evening, you will be able to pick just about any of the top 20 and not be surprised if they earn the title.

I checked in with a few of the contestants, who were dueling in the roughly 110 degree heat. While stifling if you’re parked in a cove, it’s not anything close to the killer 120’s of a year ago. (more…)

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KLEIN CHILLS OUT after practice...

(UPDATED, 6:51 p.m.) In keeping with a U.S. Open on Lake Mead fishing like it never has before, I heard stories today that would straighten your hair.

And the hairiest of them all came from Escondido’s Tom Leedom. While fishing outside Vegas Wash, his promising bite that began with a 3-pounder on the first cast, suddenly was blown away–literally.

According to Tom, alarms suddenly sounded from a huge barge that was anchored in the vicinity, followed by an explosion that sent white water in every direction for more than a quarter mile!

“I can’t describe the noise coming through the hull of the boat,” he related. (more…)

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It has a name, a logo, a television agreement and industry support and it looks to change the face of professional bass fishing. But it’s not your grandfather’s “jumpsuit” or your father’s “soundbite” fishing scene; it plans on making professional fishing truly professional–or is that truly lucrative?

For that very reason, don’t worry about writing a check for a membership. (more…)

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