Original Caption: HOOKED ON FISHING: Ishama Monroe knew he wanted to be a pro fisherman when he was 10. July 4, 2003, The Los Angeles Times. Photo credit: ESPN Outdoors

Today’s historical photo isn’t terribly old, about 20 years or so, but it is one of the earliest I’ve come across for Ish Monroe. It came from a Los Angeles Times story from 2003 that had some quotes worth sharing.

“By making the field of 61, he becomes the first African American fisherman to qualify for the Classic through the pro ranks and only the second ever to qualify. Alfred Williams of Mississippi qualified as an amateur in 1983.”

“I just want kids to believe they can do anything they want as long as they set their minds to it. But nothing is given to you. You have to earn it.”

“I went to boat shows and sportsmen’s shows and started talking to sponsors, and they told me the kind of person they were looking for was someone who could speak well and communicate with the public.”

With this information, Monroe buckled down in high school, then went to business school, then went college, “where I took public speaking and marketing.”

“It’s not even close to being fun anymore,” he said matter-of-factly. “I spend 200 days on the road, staying at hotels, going to meetings with corporations, and driving and driving. Sometimes I think all we are, are glorified truck drivers.”