"Everything I ever had to do—book reports, stuff like that—was about fishing.” His father taught him the sport during summers spent in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and as an 11-year-old, Monroe saw a televised competition where the winner took home $5,000. "Twenty years ago, that was a lot of money.”

But turning his love of fishing into a fulltime gig wasn't so easy. While working several part-time jobs (UPS, selling cars, a sporting goods store), Monroe competed in local fishing competitions. "All of a sudden I was doing really good. A few sponsors approached me and started giving me product, but all the while I was thinking, I gotta get a real job. Then I qualified for the tour, and I had a phenomenal month [selling cars], so I took that money and went out and [joined the tour].”