California Native Ish Monroe Comes From Behind to Win Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite

Ish Monroe beats out Jacob Powroznik to win the Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite

California Native Ish Monroe Comes From Behind to Win Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite
California Native Ish Monroe Comes From Behind to Win Mississippi River Bassmaster Elite

Notching his fifth Bassmaster victory, Ish Monroe of Hughson, Calif., produced a solid limit of largemouth bass that weighed 16 pounds, 2 ounces to win his first victory in six years at the 2018 Bassmaster Elite at Mississippi River presented by Go RVing.

Monroe’s four-day total was 65-7, edging out Jacob Powroznik of North Prince George, Va., who produced a four-day limit of 64-12. Powroznik finished in second place.

Across the four official competition days, there were four different leaders, which kept the event very exciting until the final weigh-in.

Monroe started out in 20th place on Thursday’s opening round, moved up to sixth on Friday, third following Saturday’s semi-final round of competition and then into the top spot on Championship Sunday.


The impressive victory earned the 44-year-old pro valuable Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points and a $100,000 payday.


“Everybody knew that the rising river levels would affect the fish and how they positioned on the structure,” Monroe said. “I had a plan, but early on Day 1, I got stuck on a sandbar, and that was as stuck as I’ve ever been in a bass boat. I freed my boat, and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”

Monroe said that after he got stuck, he was hesitant to run the Mississippi River backwaters too quickly, so he decided to fish his way into the area he had originally intended to start the tournament.

“I noticed some very similar grass and duckweed not too far from where I got stuck, so I decided to start there,” he said. “I ended up catching a solid limit of bass before I ever got to my original destination. That taught me a lot about where the fish were located and how they were set up.”

As the tournament went on, and the river levels continued to rise, the fish moved further back into the shallow backwaters that were covered in grass, lily pads, duckweed and other types of aquatic vegetation.


“Today, the larger bass were as far back into the slop as they could be, but once I found them this afternoon, I caught plenty of very nice bass. It was important to understand where the bass moved as the water rose, and that was the key component to my victory this week,” he said.

“Every fish I brought to the scales this week came on my Ish Monroe Phat Mat Daddy frog by River2Sea,” he said. “It’s a heavier frog with a larger profile, which was critical to bust through the dense duckweed that covered most of the water where my fish came from.”

Monroe used his signature series 7-foot, 4-inch Daiwa Tatula Elite Series frog rod paired with a Daiwa Zillion SV baitcaster that was spooled with 65-pound Maxima braided line.


The combo was critical to hooking fish and pulling them from the dense cover that covers much of the Upper Mississippi River.

The last time Monroe won was in 2012 on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee, which made this win all the sweeter.

“Every time I win, it means more than the last,” he said. “The competition on the Elite Series is getting tougher and tougher, especially with all the young anglers on the scene doing so well. Winning on such a fantastic fishery means the world to me.”

Rounding out the Top 5 are Randall Tharp with 64-5, Gerald Spohrer with 64-0 and Jacob Wheeler with 62-3.

Monroe also won the Toyota Bonus Bucks Award of $3,000 for being the highest-placing eligible entrant in the program, and the Power-Pole Captain’s Cash Award of $1,000 for being the highest-placing angler who is registered and eligible and uses a client-approved product on his boat.

The second-highest-placing eligible entrant in the Toyota Bonus Bucks program, Powroznik, received $2,000.

Brent Chapman was awarded $1,000 for the leading the Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year points race at the end of the event.

Click here for complete event results.

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

13 Fishing Inception SZ

13 Fishing Inception SZ

Florida angling pro Jessie Mizell knows that the saltwater found in Sunshine State coastal fisheries can wreak havoc on even the best fishing gear. But with 13 Fishing's new feature laden Inception SZ saltwater baitcasting reel, tackling inshore and light tackle saltwater game fish just got a whole lot easier!

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

Costa and Captains for Clean Water

With the company's heavy involvement in initiatives like Kick the Plastic and Captains for Clean Water campaigns, Costa's Amanda Sabin tells OSG's Lynn Burkhead all about the sunglass maker's unwavering commitment to help the freshwater and saltwater environment.

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

13 Fishing Pathfinder Weedless Walking Bait

Fresh off catching the biggest bass in ICAST Cup history, 13 Fishing pro Jessie Mizell shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Big Squirm soft plastic worm and the company's unique Pathfinder topwater walking bait that is totally weedless in design.

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

MLF Pro Tips: Go-To Baits for the Spawn

Major League Fishing pros talk about the first lure they choose when targeting spawning bass.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews of smelly ingredients often used to catch catfish. Catfish

How To Make Your Own Catfish Dough Bait

Keith Sutton - August 04, 2015

When it comes to fishing baits, you won't find a more unusual variety than the strange brews...

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish time after time. Catfish

10 Secret Catfish Baits You Didn't Know About

Anietra Hamper

We found 10 secret (and proven) catfish baits that have the staying power to attract catfish...

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing. Bass

4 Tips When Jig Fishing For Bass

Chris Schneider - August 25, 2015

The best jig fisherman are those that are always aware of what their jig is doing.

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some strategies. Catfish

Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...

See More Trending Articles

More News

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized. News

Possible World Record Breaks Angler's Own Mark

Game & Fish Digital Staff - April 30, 2020

Missouri angler beats his own spotted sucker record; bow fisherman also recognized.

Campaign delivers content to inspire anglers during COVID-19 crisis. News

Pure Fishing Brands Promote 'Fish Through It'

Game & Fish Digital Staff - April 02, 2020

Campaign delivers content to inspire anglers during COVID-19 crisis.

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6. News

Your Vote Counts for 'America's Best Aquarium 2020'

Game & Fish Staff

Wonders of Wildlife, created by Johnny Morris, has been nominated; deadline to vote is July 6.

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical workers across the U.S. News

BPS's Morris Donates 1 Million Masks: COVID-19

Lynn Burkhead - April 21, 2020

Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris is personally donating protective masks to medical...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Game & Fish subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now