It's not easy to advance 42 places in the standings at a tournament in which the weights are tightly bunched and no bag heavier than 18 pounds comes to the scale. That's just what Ish Monroe did, however, at last week's Bull Shoals Bassmaster Elite Series.
The Californian was in 53rd place after day 1, when he weighed a very pedestrian 11-09 sack. He followed that up with a day-best 15-08 on day 2 to catapult all the way to 11th place.
"With the weather change (a strong storm caused a 24-hour postponement of day 1), I didn't make the adjustment to what the fish were doing," he said. "I was fishing way up the White River, 70 miles from the blast-off, and the day I caught them up there in practice we had warm weather before the rain. They were actually schooling, just like the ones (winner) Jason Christie caught on the last day.
"I was fishing all the little cuts in the backs of pockets where water was coming in, and after the rain, some of the places that had clean water got muddy and some that had muddy water got clean. The key was you had to have a mix – either dirty water coming into clean water, or vice versa."
He discovered that the fish in those scenarios were suckers for his River2Sea Bling spinnerbait. His big bag contained a 5-04 bruiser and a quartet of 2 1/2-pounders.
"On day 1 I went up past where I wanted to go, where it was really muddy, and I figured out that spinnerbait pattern in the last couple hours on the way back."
The Sunline Strong Performer, which focuses on the angler who makes the most significant single-day move in the standings at each tour-level event, is brought to you by the great people at Sunline.