Ish Monroe has several pro fishing wins under his belt. He's known for pursuing big bass and going for the win every time he's competing. So, during the summer, what is Ish's go-to lure to start his day bassin'? A frog. Yep, simple and straight forward.
Weedy Versus Non-Weedy
"People often think of frog fishing as something that is just for thickly matted vegetation,"' said Monroe. "The frog will work on lakes that lack grass as well. For example, Kentucky Lake is known as a wood and deeper water fishery in the summer. I would pick up the frog first thing in the morning and fish any shallow cover like overhanging willows, docks, etc. Any shallow cover. It's my first offering. In a tournament, it is usually good for at least one big bass early.
"In the weedy lakes, I will often fish it all day long. It's a bait to stick with because it will produce larger average fish. You can use it on lakes like Cayuga in New York or any of the shallow weed lakes, anywhere largemouth bass live."
As with any technique, Monroe suggests searching out ambush spots whether you are fishing the dense vegetation or wood and docks. Look for shady areas, points, pockets, or two different weed types together. Any area that can serve as an ambush point for bass.
Color is Important
"Color selection is as simple and basic as it gets," said Monroe. "I use the Ish's Phat Frog or Poppin' Phattie in black early in the day, when it's cloudy or in darker water. I'll use white when the sun is up high, on bright days and in clear water.
"I've also used a blue color in stained water with some success. Shows up well in tannic water.Regardless of color, look for the super thick cover and get that frog to them. Big fish love it."
Ish's gear of choice for frogging is a 7'4" Daiwa Steez rod and a 7.3:1 Daiwa Zillion reel.
When fishing the dense vegetation, Ish uses 65-pound Maxima braid. When fishing the wood, docks and generally more open water, he uses 50-pound braid because it allows you to work the bait with a more subtle retrieve, if necessary.
Here is a fun video of Ish fishing his frogs: