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Monroe: Docks, Backup Plans and Bananas

2013 General Tire Summit Cup, Chautauqua Lake, Aug. 27 - Sept. 1, 2012

By: Lynn Burkhead, MajorLeagueFishing.com

Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com

In the Elimination and Sudden Death Rounds, for Jack Link’s Major League Fishing pro Ish Monroe, it's been all about getting in the bass boat, idling out from the launch dock, getting to the zone of competition, putting the trolling motor down and just going fishing.

Something that could be easier said than done at the final day of competition at the Jack Link's Major League Fishing 2013 General Tire Summit Cup on western New York's 13,000-acre Chautauqua Lake

"It's all about going fishing and catching what you possibly can," said Monroe. "This is probably the worst hole on the course but there's still a bunch of fish there."

Monroe should be very much in the thick of things during this round, especially in light of his smashing performance in the previous round pulling bass from the lake's submerged beds of vegetation.

But in addition to just going fishing around the docks and grass beds, Monroe admits that it never hurts to have a little something extra up your sleeve.

"You know, I'm going to start off on docks like everybody else," said Monroe. "I've got a couple of little back-up deals (though)."

Such as?

For one thing, there's knowing how the fish will react to the conditions, which will include a subtle difference in weather, not to mention increased boating and dock traffic.

Monroe thinks he's got a handle on where Chautauqua's bass will be in the championship zone thanks to those factors.

"I've got a little back-up plan that I think will pay off, especially with the cloud cover," said the popular California pro. "I think it could really get good."

And then there's being a master at the head-game that the Major League Fishing pros often play with one another during the heat of competition.

Like the threat of bananas, often believed to be an ultra-bad luck charm when they are found aboard the boat of a professional Major League Fishing bass angler.

"Oh yeah, there's always a head-game going on," laughed Monroe, known to many as "Yo Ish!."

"Like I told (Jeff) Kriet, I told him there is a banana in his boat, which there really is ... he hasn't looked for it yet.”

So is Monroe really trying to get into the head of Kriet, known affectionately as "Squirrel" to his fellow Major League Fishing competitors?

You bet - this ain't your granddaddy's genteel pastime of fishing. Nope, this is the major leagues of professional bass fishing where competitors are always looking for an edge over one another, even if that edge happens to be a yellow-skinned tropical fruit.

"It will be in his head that there is one (in his boat)," said Monroe. "Once he finds that one, he'll think that there's another one in there (somewhere). So the whole time, it will be messing with his mental (outlook) and he'll be thrown off a little bit.

"So yeah, there's always some head games going on (between us) and there's nothing you can do about it."

Except block it out of the mind and simply go fish.

Just be careful not to slip on that banana peel in the bottom of the boat.

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