Welcome to the IMA Emailer — May 2010 Issue
The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA & worldwide.
Depending on where in the country you live, in May the bass can be in any one of a number of transitional phases. In the deep south, they’re probably already moving out to the ledges and their full fledged summertime patterns. In the north, where ice-out is in recent memory, they may not even be bedding yet. In the in-between ranges that most of us call home, they could be getting ready to bed, spawning, or finishing up the job — or all three. But no matter what they’re doing in your neck of the woods, IMA has a hard bait that’ll get the job done.
In addition to being one of the top young sticks on the FLW Tour, IMA pro Michael Murphy also has a Bachelors of Science in Fisheries and Aquatic Science from Purdue University. Not only can he figure out what the fish are doing on any given day, but he can also explain why things are happening. He’s developed a pretty neat system that explains how to link water temperature directly to your choice of IMA hard baits.
He calls it “The Rule of Five.”
In short, any water temperature that ends in the number 5 dictates the need for a particular lure category, while temperatures that end in zero indicate that the fish are likely in transition between two categories.
“At 45 degrees, they’re suspended off the ends of bluffs and sides of points,” he explained. “And they’ll be eating a jerkbait, like the IMA Flit . At 50, they begin their move to secondary points and into pockets. That’s when I’ll start to transition to the Rock N Vibe and the IMA Shaker . At 55, you’re looking at 12 hour days, and the crawfish are usually starting to move. That’s when the shallow crankbait bite really starts to pick up. At 60, they’re getting ready to spawn and at 65 they’re in the full-blown spawn. That’s when they start to transition to the post-spawn topwater bite with the Skimmer and the Roumba . At 75, they’re in their summer patterns, transitioning back out toward the ends of the points. There’s also usually a shad spawn in there somewhere.”
The trend “mirrors itself” in the Fall, he added.
“They’re doing the same thing at the same temperatures, but for slightly different reasons. At 65 they’re back up shallow and they’ll eat the topwater. At 55, the Rock N Vibe and the Shaker come back into play. And at 45, they suspend again and I fish the Flit .”
One corollary to this rule is that mini-fronts and heat waves also determine bait choice, so if Murphy experiences a cold front in the summer, he’ll bring the Shaker & the Flit back out. If it’s just shy of 60 and there’s a warming trend, the Roumba can be deadly. “Sometimes you need to kick back a gear or kick forward a gear,” he said.
The Post Spawn bite has already started in many parts of the country, Skimmer Time!
Northern California guide and fishing instructor Randy Pringle has been living on the Delta and Clear Lake this spring, just waiting for his favorite topwater bite to become the dominant paradigm. While he’s had some weather that would seemingly be conducive to throwing the surface bait he loves, the Big Stik , he said that it’s not so much water temperature as temperature stability that determines when to bring the big bait out.
“They’ll hit it at 50 degrees as long as it’s stable,” he said. “But when it moves up and down a lot, that’s not as good. Slowly but surely we’re building up to it and it has started working.”
He’s been using the Roumba a lot, slowly winding and crawling it around shoreline cover and submerged aquatic vegetation.
“You use a wakebait when you want the bait to stay in the zone longer,” he said. “And you can use it in a chop. The bass will pick it up better than they will with a traditional popper, which they tend to miss.”
With both the Roumba and the Big Stik, Pringle dotes on chartreuse and bluegill patterns in May and June. “The bluegill is the arch enemy of the bass this time of year so they’re really tuned in to anything that has some chartreuse.”
“The spawn stretches out over 3 months here,” he continued. “They go to spawn and then a front comes through and pushes them back 3 weeks. The weather fronts really elongate the season. We have 3 major spawns and then a dusting at the end, so depending on how the weather plays out it can start in February and run all the way through June.”
As the big stripers moved up the river the big stik’s action was too much to lay off!
There has been a consistent stream of IMA pros in the Top 12 cuts on the Bassmaster Elite Series. Bill Lowen finished 2nd at Clear Lake and 10th at Pickwick and Fred Roumbanis finished 10th last week at Guntersville. Look for coverage of their big catches during airings of The Bassmasters on ESPN2.
Lowen’s 4 checks in 5 events have him inside the coveted top twelve cut with three regular season events to go. Should he maintain or improve that standing, he’ll go to the two-event post-season in Alabama before competing in his third Bassmaster Classic. If the water remains high at Kentucky Lake, he expects the IMA Shaker to play a big role in his tournament there. It’ll also be on the deck of his Skeeter without fail at the Arkansas River in Muskogee, OK, where he’ll also be using an IMA prototype that he expects to put him in another cut. Stay tuned for news about that bait later this year — it’s a dandy.
With his first top twelve of the year, and third consecutive check, Roumbanis says he’s “climbing to where I need to be,” within casting distance of his third Classic berth.
Next up for Lowen, Roumbanis and fellow IMA pro Mark Tyler is Clarks Hill Reservoir on the Georgia/South Carolina border, a lake known for its prolific blueback herring and sizeable bass with a penchant for big baits.
“The Pencil Popper has always been huge at Clarks Hill and I expect the IMA Big Stik to be even better there,” Roumbanis said.
“I’m going to try my darndest to make it work there,” said Lowen. “That’s the way to win that tournament.” If cold fronts or other external factors make the fish a bit skittish, though, he’ll employ the IMA Skimmer to make them bite. It’s a one-two punch for post-spawn bass keyed in on the herring.
Coming soon, in addition to using IMA products at the end of your line, you’ll be able to wear the company logo proudly. After numerous requests from educated anglers, we’re bringing IMA apparel to a tackle dealer near you.
We’ll have short and long sleeve shirts available in both white and navy blue, boat towels and beanies, along with baseball hats. As with IMA hard baits, they’ll be only the finest quality and will make a splash at your next bass tournament or out on the town.
Show Us Your Catches!
As always, we’d love to hear about the fish that IMA lures produce for you, whether on your home body of water or on the trip of a lifetime. Please send pictures of your fish, preferably with an IMA bait in its mouth, and a short description of what made the catch memorable.
Each month we’ll pick one winner who will get to choose the apparel item of his or her choice as a thank you for supporting and using IMA products. So drop us a line at: email@example.com
Mixed amongst the spring smallies Darren was catching with the Flit 120 and Flit 100, this 33lb musky liked the Flit 120 in Matte Bluegill pattern!