Category Archives: Product Reviews

Beaver Lake & St. John’s River Fantasy Winners

Just shipped some prizes today.  Congrats to Carl Spande of MN for winning the prize for Beaver Lake event.  Because Carl is a Facebook Fan of this blog, he brings down a pack of Optimum Double Diamond Swimmers.  I think Carl will find these great as a swimbait or large swim jig trailer!

Still waiting to hear from my Harris Chain winner, but Cody Salzmann (Facebook Fan) of IL almost won the whole thing, not quite, but he still wins an IMA Roumba wake bait.  I think Cody will find this a super product bait once the bait get shallow for him this spring!.

In other news, check out the great bass Cory Cook has been catching on his IMA Flit jerkbait that he won from an earlier tourney, also a Facebook fan.

Maybe Cory can get his mug in the next pic, ha!  Thanks for the pictures Cory!   You have set a standard for future winners!

Waiting for ice to melt

We are close to losing all this damn ice and then it will be game on soon enough. In the mean time, been listing some bass fishing goodies on my Bass Fishing eBay Store.  I am even starting to thinking about rigging my rods for practice of my first tourney in May already….

Congrats to Edwin Evers, nice come from behind victory at Citrus Slam (St Johns River) by Power Pole today.  Gotta feel good to punch his ticket to 2012 Bassmaster Classic, now he can fish stress free.  Double E is quickly becoming one of the sport’s elite, it would be cool to have Evers challenge KVD & Skeet for the AOY this year!

Photo: B.A.S.S./Gary Tramontina

Also, check out this quick video about the IMA Square Bill crankbait featuring Matt Paino from the recent Fred Hall show in Long Beach, CA!

My fellow MN anglers, stay strong, we are almost there!

IMA Newlestter – February 2011


Welcome to the IMA Emailer – February 2011 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA & worldwide.

Depending on where in the country you live, February may be the start
of something big, or it may be the cruelest month of the year. In
Florida and Texas, the spawn may be full swing, but in the wintry
northern climes there’s still time left to organize tackle and do your
long-avoided chores around the house. At least the people in Green Bay
and Pittsburgh have the Super Bowl to cheer them up for a while, but if
you live in Maine, Minnesota or Montana and you live for bass fishing,
there’s still time to kill.

But don’t give up hope! Good things come to those who wait. We’re
here to get you excited about the upcoming season regardless of whether
you’ve already flung a few 8-lbrs over the rail or whether your boat
is still winterized. IMA stands for imagination and we want you to
start imagining just how good the 2011 season is going to be for all of

Ima Pro Staffer Rich Lindgren proves that the ima Square Bill is a year round producer.
24 degree air temp with water temp in low 40’s. – Full Review
Nicholas Bodsford from tried his luck with the square bill & was pleased with his results as well.

February may be the shortest month on the calendar, but for Bill
Lowen it’s going to be jam-packed with excitement, most of it in the
latter half of the 28 days. He’s already picked up his new boat,
purchased new jerseys and hats and gotten his tackle orders in, but when
the fishing world turns its focus on New Orleans on February 18th,
there will be a double-beam super-bright spotlight on the young and
talented Ohio pro.

What’s New Orleans, you ask? Where have you been? It’s the Bassmaster
Classic, and it’s being held for the fourth time in the greatest party
city on earth. As they say down there, let the good times roll! Along
with a little ol’ fishing tournament, there will be a tackle expo that
rivals anything this side of ICAST. Of course IMA will be there and
we’ll be debuting the Square Bill, a shallow-diving crankbait that is
the joint brainchild of Lowen and IMA’s engineers in Japan.

The Square Bill combines the “hunting” action of the handmade baits
Bill fished growing up on the Ohio River with the durability of plastic.
It goes shallower than most of our competitors’ baits, the better to
fulfill Lowen’s ultra-shallow style.

Many pundits say that this Classic will be won flipping or with a
spinnerbait and Bill loves both techniques. Last year at Clear Lake
Lowen showed that he’s deadly with a vibrating jig, too, finishing
second overall after literally wearing out his arms (and several baits)
over the course of four days. That presentation could come into play in
New Orleans as well, but he said that anyone who discounts the role of
hard baits in New Orleans may be in for a rude awakening.

“Without a doubt they’re going to be in my gameplan,” he said. “It
just depends on where in the spawn we are. That’ll determine whether the
Square Bill plays a role. It could also involve a rattlebait like the
IMA Rock N Vibe over the grass flats or even the Roumba if they’re
further along.”

ima’ Line of baits will be found on the deck of Classic Qualifier Bill Lowen

The nice thing about the shallow-diving Square Bill is that it does
better in grassy environs than most of the competition. If it’s getting
down a little too deep, Bill will just upsize his line to 15 or even 20
pound test. The crankbait will maintain its hunting action, but it won’t
grind down as deep into the greenery.

Here’s hoping for a big performance from Bill in New Orleans. If
you’re there, cheer him on from the stands and be sure to stop by our
booth to check out the Square Bill. If you can’t make it to the Big
Easy, be sure to ask your favorite online or bricks and mortar retailer
when they will have the Square Bill in stock. Don’t delay – once they’re
in, the pegs will empty as quickly as they can fill them.

IMA Pro Fred Roumbanis can’t decide whether he wants to be a
professional bass fisherman or a long-haul truck driver – or both. A few
years back he moved from California to Oklahoma to build a family and
cut down on his driving time, but this year the odometer on his tow
vehicle is going to get a serious workout.

In addition to the eight regular season Bassmaster Elite Series
tournaments (plus the possibility of two post-season events, should he
qualify), Fred is fishing all four FLW Tour Opens, the three BASS
Northern Opens and the PAA Tournament Series. In the understatement of
the year, he said “it’s a pretty full schedule.”

We caught up with him as he drove to Florida’s Lake Okeechobee for
the first FLW Tour Open and he could barely contain his enthusiasm. “I
haven’t been this excited to go fishing in a long time,” he said. “It’s
been a long break and I’ve done a lot of fun fishing, but I’m ready to
get back and do what I love, and that’s compete in tournaments.”

He did have a chance to experiment with the Square Bill and the
results were auspicious right from the start. “The first day I got it, I
walked down to the pond in my backyard,” he recalled. “It’s a pretty
well-stocked pond, so take this for what it is, but I cast it out,
pulled it up to a little grass limb, let it hover at the edge and the
first time it floated up there was a huge swirl. She missed it, but I
cast right back and the second time she nailed it, a solid 4-pounder.”

“It’s really an awesome crankbait,” he continued. “It’s super-buoyant
and is surprisingly good in grass. That’s what I look for in a square
bill crankbait, the buoyancy factor, how well it deflects and how easily
it comes through cover like laydowns and stumps.”

(Fred spent his off season fine tuning his skills with the Flit 120 , suspending jerkbait)

Looking down the eight-event Elite Series schedule in particular,
Fred was excited to report that it “sets up for a shallow bite” almost
beginning to end. “Pickwick and Wheeler will be excellent for the Square
Bill. It’ll be deadly at Toledo Bend and it works year-round on the
Arkansas River.”

He’s also extremely excited to head back to Lake Murray in May. The
last time the Elites went there he shocked the fishing world by ignoring
the downlake blueback herring bite and fishing a frog way up the river.
The result was a $100,000 victory. No matter where they go, though, if
you look at his boat deck you’ll likely see an iRod 7′ Rip Rap Special
paired with an Ardent 5:1 XS1000 baitcasting reel. It’ll be spooled with
15 to 20 pound test P-Line copoplymer and at the end will be an IMA
Square Bill, ready for the dominant shallow water bite.

We also caught up with legendary Northern California guide and
fishing instructor Randy Pringle, who is prepared for a busy season on
Clear Lake and the Delta. He said the weather patterns the region has
experienced thus far in late 2010 and early 2011 set up perfectly for an
unbelievable early crankbait bite.

“These fish haven’t been able to eat,” he said. “They’re wanting to
eat, and when the water temperatures get right they’re all going to go
nuts and a shallow-running crankbait like the IMA Shaker or the Square
Bill. Once those temperatures get into the mid 50s, it’ll be dynamite.”

In between seminars and preparation to run a tournament circuit,
Pringle has had plenty of time to experiment with the new Square Bill.
He called it “the next evolution of the crankbait, with a perfect action
and high-end components. No matter where you fish it, it’s best any
time you need a deflection-style bait. That could mean weeds, trees or
stumps, but if you’re not bumping things or ticking things, you’re not
letting the bait do its job.”

Pringle added that it’s an ideal bait for his guide service. It’s not
quite as easy as “cast, wind, unhook,” but that’s not far from the
truth. “If you’ve done your homework and put the pieces together, it’s a
great bait for guide clients who are beginners,” he said. “Once you get
that down, you hand them the right rod, with the right line, tell them
how fast to retrieve and it’s quite easy.”

While the Square Bill comes in 9 dynamic color patterns, Pringle
encourages his guide clients to think simply about color. “What you
really need are something that imitates a crawdad, something that
imitates a shad and something that imitates a perch,” he explained.
“After that is when water clarity enters the equation. If the water is a
little bit dirtier, use something with chartreuse. If it’s clearer,
stick with red and something in a shad pattern.”

Come see us at the Classic, where you can pick up the Square Bills

In addition to using IMA products at the end of your line, you can
now wear the company logo proudly. After numerous requests from educated
anglers, we’re bringing IMA apparel to a tackle dealer near you. We`ve
just added the ima hoodies to the lineup so pick yours up online.

We 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’re only the finest quality and will make a splash at
your next bass tournament or out on the town.

As always, we’d love to hear about the bass 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.
(We know that December was cold and that there were a few Holidays
mixed in but we have a hard time believing that nobody caught a fish on

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. Send to



First Outing of 2011

January almost slipped away without a fishing trip, but I got out with one of my bass buddies a couple days ago to chase some winter time river smallmouth bass.  Part of my drive to get out and so some fishing, was the fact that I had this new Ima Lures Square Billed Crankbait .  You are probably saying, who cares, I got lots of crankbaits.

Well, this crankbait is brand new and not being released for a few more weeks at the Bassmaster Classic in New Orleans, but I managed to get my hands on one a few weeks back and have been wanting to get it in the water so bad to check it out.  Largely driven by curiosity and because I have done very well on the Ima Shaker crankbait as well.  Square bill cranks are versatile lures, but let’s face it, 25 degree air temps and near freezing water temps are not what most people would call ideal for these style baits.  This area that I fish, I catch almost all my fish slow dragging a 3″ Green Pumpkin tube on a 1/9oz head.  So my intentions of bringing this bait along was more along the lines of checking out the action, seeing how it deflected off rocks and cover, if I caught a fish, that would have been a bonus.

I rigged up the Chartreuse Shad (Sexy Shad) Square Bill on 15lb fluorocarbon, mainly because I was a little worried about losing it.  Fishing a crankbait from shore up hill in a snaggy & rocky environment is a recipe for getting hung up.  On my first cast, I noticed a nice strong vibration that felt good and then it got shallow enough, that I could feel it pounding the rocks and deflecting and searching around.  On my 2nd cast, I just started to feel those rocks and BAM, fish on!  Rewarded with a nice chunky smallmouth.  Pretty cool, was it a fluke?

I used the bait off & on the rest of the 4 hours we fished. The other productive baits for me, was a 1/8oz Tube Jig and 3″ tube and a Zappu Inchi Wacky Jig head with small green pumpkin worm.  Both of these finesse lures produced fish on a tough bite, but then again so did Bill Lowen’s signature crankbait.  I ended up smallmouth on the Square Bill out of the 21 total.  The average size of the crank fish were larger and the strikes were violent, which a nice change of pace to the wet leafy bite of a tube bite.  I think this is a testament to the strike triggering action of this new bait; I can only imagine what it will bring when spring is here and its actually typical square bill conditions.

Few other things that stand out, I only had 8 bites and hooked 7 of them solidly.  This tells me they were eating the bait and the hooks are sharp and well balanced with the bait.  I also snagged a double digit carp in the back, not really babying it, I quickly got the fish in and the hooks held up great, strong & sharp!  Lastly, never once did I get hung for even a second, even with constant bumping and grinding in shallow rocks and wood in a current situation, this is a 4 wheel drive crankbait.  I envy what Bill Lowen will be able to do with this bait at this year’s Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta.  So post Classic, keep an eye out, these should start showing up in your favorite online stores real soon!

ma Lures Square Billed Crankbait

Back to School Bass Fishing Style

Back to School for the kids and soon for the bass!



Back to School Discount on All Lures, Rigs,
& Tackle
(expires 8/31/2010)

Here’s an economic stimulus plan that actually works. Keep more money in your wallet while putting more fish in your livewell.

Children are not the only critters going to school these days.

Get ready for fall schooling action! Now is the time to build your Secret Weapon arsenal. And to help you be ready when the fish are, we’re knocking off 20% on all Secret Weapon spinnerbaits, buzzbaits, Recoil Rigs and component kits when you use this code on check-out from the SWL Online Armory: B10820. Consider it your fall fishing stimulus package

USA-made quality and service, greater selections, unparalleled value and performance… at a savings of 20% through August 31 only at Secret Weapon’s Onine Armory.

Hopefully y’all can use the coupon above to get some great deals on some great tackle!

Also, check out Twin City Limits latest podcast, we interview KVD and talk about all other kinds of great stuff!

Powered by

Also, been busy listing stuff on ebay, fishing rods, line, sunglasses, lures, MegaBass, Lucky Craft and all kinds of other good stuff!
So check out my Bass Fishing eBay Store!!!

IMA Newsletter – August 2010


Welcome to the IMA Emailer — August 2010 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA and worldwide.

It’s a month after the annual ICAST show in Las Vegas and we’re finally starting to see things settle down. Between the big trade show, the end of the Bassmaster Elite Series season, the Forrest Wood Cup and the US Open, it’s been an unbelievably hectic time for our sport. Add into that mix the big changes at both BASS and FLW and shakeups in the boating world and our sport is ready to expand.

Recession? If the mood at ICAST is any indicator, everyone is past that mode of depressed thinking and expecting big things in the coming months. Here at IMA we’ve been fortunate that rather than cutting back we’ve been able to expand our bait lineup and our pro-staff while other companies have either been treading water or in some cases they’ve even gone under. We’ve continued to innovate — constantly. You’ll see new baits from us in the coming months but the big news right now is that we’ve added new colors to our existing products, at the request of our pro staff as well as from you, the loyal customer.

The new color patterns are as follows:
Rattlin’ Roumba: Bone
Shaker : Chartreuse Shad, Double Cheeseburger, Hot Crawfish
Rock N Vibe : Ayu, Water Bug, Power Blue
Skimmer : Blue Back Herring, Bone

And all of the lures will be available in completely clear plastic.

No guts, no glory! Check out our clear baits lineup!

Elite Series pro Fred Roumbanis is exceptionally excited about the emergence of the completely clear lures. He’s used them on gin-clear, high-pressured waters in the past with great success, but he also sees another purpose for them.

“What’s nice is that you can keep a set in your boat,” he said. “Then if you go to a lake and see a baitfish and you might not have a bait that color, you can just take out a permanent marker and add some highlights that match the hatch. That’s so much better than just taking something out of your box that’s kind of similar.”

In the past, he had to spend valuable time scraping the paint off of lures to get this effect, a process that could upset their delicate balance, but now they’re good to go and ready for “customization” straight out of the package.

The other development that has him amped is the creation of a bone version of his signature lure, the Roumba.

“I’ve already caught a bunch of fish on them,” he said, noting that the different plastic used in this version makes a different noise than the standard Roumba. “It’s almost like a one-knocker. It’s louder because the plastic amplifies it a bit more so you can fish it in windier conditions.”

He especially likes bone and clear lures when fishing for spotted bass, which he believes then to “key on smaller profile baits.”

Tidewater expert Captain Karl Bunch was the driving force behind the original addition of our “Double Cheeseburger” hue to the Roumba lineup, and now we’ve added it to the Shaker as well. Like all good names, there’s a story behind this one:

“My old team partner and I used to fish lures in this color, a color that we could no longer get,” he recalled. “We knew a teenage kid with an airbrush. We’d strip down lures to get him to paint them and in exchange we taught him to fish. While he painted he ate McDonald’s double cheeseburgers, so that became our code name for the color around other people. We’d either cut them off or put on lure wraps before we came in so no one could see them.”

The bright green, orange and chartreuse that make up this pattern replicate a yellow perch, he believes, and “that’s a delicacy to bass on east coast tidal rivers and lakes.” While it may be gaudy, even around clear water grassbeds it’s deadly. “Perch don’t change colors and it’s not so bright that it’s unnatural in clear water.” It’s an absolute killer in muddy water, where the Shaker’s vibrations draw fish in and the color pattern finishes the job.”

Elite Series pro Mark Tyler hails from the west coast, fishes most of his tournaments in the east and lives in between in Oklahoma — so it’s imperative that he have colors that work from coast to coast, as well as regionally-specific favorites.

He’s a big fan of the Skimmer , which he believes to be a must-have for anyone who fishes for bass on lakes populated by blueback herring.

“That slim profile is a lot more natural that other lures in its class,” he said. “We fished Clarks Hill this year and (Lake) Murray is on next year’s Elite Series schedule. The fish on those lakes live and die for the blueback herring and now we have that actual color. It’s a perfect match and I’m really excited.”

He’ll carry other colors of Skimmers with him to adjust to water clarity and sky conditions. One of his favorites is another new addition to the lineup: bone. “When it’s overcast or heavily turbulent I go to a more solid hue to help fish get a bead on the bait. This really rounds at the arsenal.”

Tyler’s also stoked by the addition of the hot crawfish pattern to the Shaker lineup . It’s been a west coast staple on waters like the Delta and Clear Lake for years. In fact, one of his two BASS wins, at Clear Lake, came on a hot craw colored shallow crank, so he’s begged the company to produce it. Now his wish has been granted. And while red cranks are “a trigger in the pre-spawn” he said it’s a mistake to put it away at any time of year on any shallow natural lakes or river systems. “The water just has to be slightly turbid,” he explained.

On the strength of a 20th place finish in the ultra-competitive Elite Series Angler of the Year race, Ohio’s Bill Lowen will be heading to his third Bassmaster Classic in February when bass fishing’s bigest event travels to New Orleans for the first time since 2003.

“Missing the Classic last year was like a punch in the stomach,” he said. “Now we’re back on track and that means a lot to me and my sponsors.”

The Louisiana Delta is a shallow water fishery and that should play directly into Lowen’s hands. He’ll have some new products available that we’ll tell you about in coming months, but one of the items he’s most excited about (for New Orleans and numerous other events) is the addition of the chartreuse shad pattern to the Shaker team. Similar paint jobs have taken the pro tours by storm in recent years and with good reason, he said.

“So many colors are season-specific,” he said. “This one is so versatile, you can use it from the early spring all the way through the fall. Any place you have shad, bluebacks or crappies it’s going to excel. You can use it in all water clarities from clear to stained, even in dirty water. When the water is dirty, 90 percent of the fish are shallow so light penetration is still good.”

The comparatively small profile of the Rock N Vibe has taken lipless baits to new heights — you can cast it a country mile, burn it, slow roll it or yo-yo it, and it’ll always run true and relatively snag-free, even through thick grass. IMA initially brought the lure to market in a handful of proven colors, but now we’ve decided to expand the palette.

For help with that task, we enlisted Jun Shoji, one of Japan’s top bass pros. Shoji could compete well on any US bass tour, and has substantial experience on American waters, so we asked him to use his imagination and make his lipless dreams come true. We’ll have more insight and input from him in upcoming emailers, but for now we’ll focus on the result of the collaboration, which three new patterns. The first is Ayu, based on a prolfiic Japanese baitfish of the same name. It should fare well wherever a highly natural baitfish finish is appropriate — whether those prey be shiners, shad or herring

Rock N Vibe Ghost Ayu-JPN SP

Rock N Vibe Power Blue-JPN SP

Rock N Vibe Water Bug-JPN SP

The second and third options are a little more off-the-wall. There’s “Power Blue,” which as the name indicates transitions from a royal blue near the belly to a darker shade of blue on top. There’s also “Water Bug,” which is even darker, virtually black at first glance but when holding it up it’s a transparent dark purple with green flake. You may not currently have lipless cranks in these colors, but surely you have dozens of soft plastics and jigs that match these, so why not hard baits?

“I’m a big fan of solid brown or black as a base color for hard baits,” Bill Lowen said. “It’s a great dirty water color, especially in heavily pressured conditions.”

Mark Tyler agreed: “I throw a black lipless bait a lot. I was always intrigued that people would throw a black jig or chatterbait, but few people throw it in a crankbait, either billed or lipless. Sometimes the primary purpose of a color change is just to be different. There’s a reason that hot baits are hot, so always try to keep an open mind.”

Congratulations to IMA pro staffer Sean Stafford for his 10th place finish at the recent US Open on Lake Mead, an event often referred to as “the Iditarod of fishing.”

A key component in his three days of quality catches was the his use of the IMA Skimmer , which he credited for outfishing other walking baits by a substantial margin. It provided a slimmer profile but he was still able to cast it a mile on tackle capable of hauling in big fish.

(Photo courtesy of WON BASS)

As if to prove the point of this emailer, no single color got the job done. Sean used ghost minnow, chartreuse shad and a clear skimmer to react and respond to changing conditions and jaded fish.

Remember, in addition to lures we also sell apparel that allows you to show the world that you proudly use the finest hard baits on the market. We have short and long sleeve shirts available in both white and navy blue, boat towels and beanies, along with baseball hats . They’re high quality and will make a splash at your next bass tournament or out on the town.

As always, we’d love to hear about the bass 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.

This month’s winner is Darren Brooks (pictured) with the nice Striper he caught on the ima Big Stik in the Delaware River. By the looks of the photo it looks like he can use a shirt!

FIND ALL THESE GREAT IMA BAITS @ BassTackle Depot - Free Shipping            $50Orders - Great spot for hard to find Bass Fishing Gear!!

IMA Emailer – May 2010


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:

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!

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IMA Emailer — Spring 2010 Issue


Welcome to the IMA Emailer — Spring 2010 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA and worldwide.

Ima spent their winter promoting at various shows around the country!!

For most of us, it couldn’t end soon enough. Much of the country was blanketed by unreasonable amounts of snow and even where the white stuff didn’t fall waves of cold fronts and nasty weather persisted week after week after week.

But if you blinked the last time you put on your foul weather gear, you may have missed the start of the BASS Elite Series season, the traditional signal that spring is on the way. With the two-event California jaunt completed, the regular season is now one-fourth over.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows the bass scene that IMA’s Bill Lowen shot out of the gate smoking hot, with a 27th place finish at the California Delta followed by a runner-up finish at Clear Lake. Combined, those two results have him in 4th in the Angler of the Year race, in great position to make a run at the title.

“It’s pretty awesome to start off so high,” said the understated Lowen. “I’m going to keep my head down and fish my strengths.” The self-described “river rat” is looking forward to June’s shallow water slugfest on the Arkansas River in Muskogee, Oklahoma, but before then he’ll have five opportunities to maintain or improve his standing on some of the best bass waters in the country. He’s excited about the opportunities that will bring. At Smith Mountain Lake, which the Elites are hitting a bit earlier this year than they did in 2009, the fish should be pre-spawn, which calls out for an IMA Flit jerkbait. When the tour moves south and the spawn is done, he’s counting on the IMA Skimmer to entice the big sows to bite.

Before we get into the meat of the tour season, it’s necessary to talk about what went on during the long winter. It may have been dreary for some of you at home, but we here at IMA took great pride in the excitement that’s hovering around our company.

This winter was spent building the brands image and baits at various trade shows.

“Our goal for the show season was to expand brand awareness,” said IMA USA’s Matt Paino. In order to achieve that goal, he undertook a coast-to-coast and intercontinental tour of consumer shows to explain and demonstrate what these lures can do. The IMA pro staff came along, too.

“Going to the shows is the best way to get feedback about what anglers think of our baits,” Paino added.

Paino and Randy Pringle showed off the new Big Stik and the Flit 100 at the Northern California ISE shows to great acclaim. Then Paino took off on a tour of the country, including more West Coast ISE Shows, the Fred Hall Shows, the Claremont Shows, the Richmond, Virginia extravaganza, and of course the Bassmaster Classic. In between, IMA Japan was represented at annual trade shows in Osaka and Yokohama, where pro Jun Shoji, one of Japan’s most feared anglers, showed adoring fans how to use these baits in freshwater for the first time.

Fred Roumbanis, whose IMA-wrapped Triton is the company’s rolling billboard, was excited that the economy seems to have picked up.

“I feel like it’s starting to move,” Roumbanis said. “Now instead of guys buying one bait we’re seeing them buy multiples. But what’ll really break it open for IMA is when somebody wins a big tournament on one. Then guys won’t just want to buy them…they’ll have to buy them!”

Like Lowen , Roumbanis believes that the Flit jerkbaits and the IMA Shaker should be deadly as the water remains colder than it’s been in recent springs. But he, like Pringle, can’t wait until it gets to Big Stik season.

“It should happen at Clarks Hill,” he said. “The pencil popper is huge in the Carolinas and Georgia, but I don’t think the fish have seen or heard anything like this. I’ve always had good success there and now it should be even better.”

IMA is proud to announce that our Elite Series pro staff has been bolstered by the addition of Mark Tyler. Mark, you may remember, holds the record for the largest bass ever caught in BASS competition, a 14-pound plus brute from the California Delta, but he’s experienced success all over the country.

“I was introduced to IMA through my relationship with Optimum Baits,” he explained. “I’m a west coast guy. Gradually, Matt (Paino) introduced me to the IMA lineup. He’d give me one here and there and as I began to use them and develop confidence in them, it seemed like a natural fit.”

“The first bait he gave me was the IMA Skimmer,” Tyler continued. “I was going to Oneida to fish for those schooling smallmouths and I was looking for a topwater walking bait with a slimmer profile. That’s typical of several of the IMA baits, not just the Skimmer but the Flit, too. They’re slimmer and more natural, which makes them appealing in clear water situations, at places like Clarks Hill and other topwater venues. I was absolutely blown away by the Flit. It’s different than anything else on the market. It’s so easy to use.”

While he’s a native of the west, Tyler now calls Vian, Oklahoma home, and that means he, like Lowen, is chomping at the bit to get to the Oklahoma River, which sits only 10 minutes from his house. Accordingly, he’s putting in tons of river hours prior to the water going off limits.

“I’m diligently working to try to make the Arkansas River event an advantage,” he said. “There’s no doubt I’m excited about it. I love fishing rivers and it’ll be the first Elite Series event where I’ll be able to sleep in my own bed at night.”

Even three months prior to the tournament, one lure that Tyler is certain he’ll have on his deck at Muskogee is the IMA Shaker. “That river is a square-bill throwing machine,” he said. “I’m really impressed with the action of that lure and the way it deflects off cover. Also, it’s easy to cast. A lot of other flat-sided crankbaits are tough to throw but with the weight transfer system this one is easy.”

While Tyler is looking down the line a bit, he’s also focused on the next event, at Virginia’s Smith Mountain Lake. He’s had two of his best Elite Series finishes there, 13th in 2007 and 17th last year. In the meantime, he was coy about whether he and the IMA engineers are working on any signature series lures for the future, but stay tuned — you’ll hear about any developments here first.

In the meantime, if you’re having success with IMA products, tell a friend about them. Our dealer network is expanding rapidly, but if your local shop doesn’t carry them, ask for them by name. And be sure to look out for our stylish IMA apparel, also available wherever high-end tackle is sold.


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Bass Tackle Depot News Letter Delta Edition

John Crews Cranks and Flips to Win Elite Series Duel in the Delta

Bassmaster Elite Series John Crews from Salem, VA rode two areas of the South Delta to victory over what could be called one of the most stacked Elite 12 in Elite Series competition. The victory in the Duel in the Delta; Crews’ first in Elite Series competition, earned him $101,000, pushing his career earnings to nearly $550,000 in 93 career BASS entries.

Following a lackluster practice, Crews decided to stay in the only areas he had found he could generate bites. One of those areas on the south end of the California Delta, proved to be the winning area. While the field struggled to produce giant stringers overall due to less than seasonable weather, Crews managed to bag 18 Delta bass that tipped the scales at 72 pounds, 6 ounces; good enough to best California’s Skeet Reese by one ounce.

Crews used three baits throughout the Duel in the Delta, a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver, a Gambler BB Cricket as flip baits, and a SPRO Little John crankbait in Blood Craw. He used the Sweet Beaver early in the competition, but switched to the BB Cricket as the event wore on due to fishing pressure in the narrow, confined area. The Little John was used to cover water between matted grass mats, and was responsible for several key bites as well.

He paired his flip baits with Gamakatsu built Punch Hooks and tungsten punch sinkers with 65-pound test braided line by Vicious Fishing, while his Little John was thrown on 15-pound-test Vicious Fishing Ultimate co-polymer.

Bass Tackle Depot is a licensed dealer for all of these products, and wishes to congratulate Crews on a great victory in our backyard. All of the products mentioned here are available at; where the pros shop.

Thinking Outside The

Each and every year a new lure is brought to the forefront as a touring pro uses it on his way to victory in a major event. Whether it was the Sebile Magic Swimmer, BassTrix Paddle Tail Tube or even the Yamamoto Senko that went ignored for years. These lures all have one thing in common; they were relatively obscure prior to making headlines.

Success on these unknown baits can go hidden for years at local and regional levels until the cat is finally let out of the bag. The trick to real success is to be open minded, think outside the box and identify these lures on your own. Fish can get conditioned to seeing the same offering over and over. If you can present something they haven’t seen you may just find that edge, then others will have to wait until the cat is out of the bag. Here are just a few ideas for you to consider.

The 10 inch P-Stix or as we like to call it “The Big Stick” has DRAWING POWER like no bait you have ever thrown. In clear water you will see fish rushing from depths of 20ft “Big Fish” to inhale this bait and they don’t let go.

Most stick baits have a quiver on the fall but the 10 inch P-Stix “Wiggles and Wobbles” like no other. Although we haven’t used this bait on big bedding females yet we can’t wait to try.

We are excited about this bait and believe it will be winning events as soon as it hits tackle boxes. This bait is loaded with salt and anise and as we said fish hang on and do not let go. Rig this bait with 7/0 hook or larger if you are Texas rigging. For wacky rig applications use and O-ring with a 2/0 or larger hook. Pencil weights can be used to increase the fall rate and we recommend using them. You can make this bait do crazy things with pencil weights and with a body diameter of 1/2 of an inch they insert and work great.

This isn’t a small fish bait it weighs 1.4 ounces and is 10 inches in length. Be sure to watch the video

CBT Big Hair Jig; This isn’t your daddies’ hair jig. The Hair Jig has been around for years but CBT has created a new modern twist on the hair jig. This large profile hair jig works great for suspended fish and fish relating to offshore structure.

This premium hair jig sports a 4/0 Mustad black nickel hook in the 3/8oz and a 5/0 in the 5/8oz that has a good bite for both freshwater and saltwater fish. The head has been custom painted to match the colors in the jig which include deer hair, mylar, and feathers. After tying is complete, the tying threads are sealed and cleared for extreme durability.

The rate of fall for this jig is about 1 foot per second for the 3/8oz and 2 feet per second for the 5/8oz. Be sure to watch the video.

The V&M Hula Shad is the most versatile soft plastic bait on the market! The Hula Shad has combined the head and body of a soft plastic jerkbait with the skirt of a tube. Fish have never seen anything like it. The V&M Hula Shad can be used as a jerkbait, flipping bait, drop shot bait, Carolina or Texas rig. It darts like a soft plastic jerkbait, but EXPLODES when the bait stops!


IMA Emailer – January 20010


Welcome to the IMA Emailer — January 2010 Issue

The IMA EMAILER brings you news from IMA pro staff members across the USA and worldwide. Find all your Ima baits at

Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years are now firmly in the rearview mirror and the 2010 fishing season is rapidly beginning to occupy most of our thoughts. South Carolina pro Michael Murphy is a little different, however. When it comes to describing his latest pet project, the Ima Flit 100 jerkbait, he’s still got Turkey Day from two months ago on his mind.

“Sometimes big fish want a snack and not a meal,” he said. “Think about Thanksgiving. You’ve just eaten a big meal and you’re completely stuffed, but you go by the table and you see some desserts. Which are you going to grab, a cookie or a big piece of pumpkin pie?”

His point is that the overstuffed gluttons among us can’t resist, but on those occasions when there’s only a little room left to fill it’s the bite-sized morsel that’s going to get us every time. Big bass are the same way. They want to eat all the time, but sometimes it’s the little temptations that are deadliest. This is the primary reason why the engineers at Ima made the decision to add a 100-sized bait to the wildly successful Flit 120. Together, they’re a dynamite combination for your jerkbaiting needs — like a sharp left jab and a brutal right hook — ready to put fish in your livewell under almost any conditions.

While the 120 outperforms its competition and can be used it an exceptionally wide range of circumstances, Murphy said that its little brother adds to its versatility. He wouldn’t want to be without either one in the boat at any time.

“Here’s the lowdown,” he explained. “The 120 is a typical, popular three-hook design. It’s made for fishing on the highways the fish use, the migration routes and channel swings.”

But on lakes like Guntersville, where the grass flats top out four feet under the surface, at times the Flit 120 is too much. If you need a shallower diving model, or the forage is small, “this bait makes a lot of sense,” Murphy concluded.

So other than when you want a shallower diver, when is the Flit 100 your top choice? Murphy flips the question around on you — When don’t you want it on the deck? — he always has both models of Flit ready in the rod locker. With the smaller bait, the key factors are smaller prey size and less aggressive fish. The size and species of the dominant forage is a constantly changing variable throughout the year — you can be in the right place, but if you’re off by an inch or so in “matching the hatch” you can miss the boat. Too big and you’ll miss out, but the reverse is true, too — baits that are too small sometimes won’t get the attention of even the most ravenous fish. Thus the need for two different Flits, even though they’re similar in other ways.

“It’s designed to move the same as the 120, but on a smaller scale,” Murphy said about the Flit 100. “The walk is not as severe. It only has half the twitch and it doesn’t have as much sound because there aren’t as many BBs and they’re in two chambers instead of three. It’s a softer, less intrusive version of the same bait. It’s the same kind of ping, but at times when the fish are skittish, it’s possible to get too much sound.”

While many anglers think of jerkbaits as tools for cold weather leading into the spawn, Murphy says that given the right circumstances, they can be killers 12 months out of the year. After all, the thin minnow profile is undeniably tempting to bass from coast to coast and around the world.

“I just feel comfortable throwing it all year long,” he said. For example, while other anglers used “texposed” soft jerkbaits at an FLW Series tournament on Clarks Hill this past fall, Murphy avoided the frustrations caused by missed strikes by substituting the new Flit. “You can fish it in many more ways than other jerkbaits,” he added. “A lot of times with a jerkbait they’ll just slap the tail end of it. With this lure, if they even graze it, they’re hooked.”

The number one gripe of hard and soft jerkbait fishermen everywhere is bass that follow but don’t strike. One moment, you have a water-borne missile that’s making a charge for your lure, the next minute she’s sinking back into the depths. In designing the Flit, Murphy and the entire Ima team took this into consideration.

“You can make it do a 180 and persuade that strike to happen,” Murphy said.

Around docks on lakes like perennial FLW Tour stop Lake Norman, Murphy said the fish get so accustomed to following other lures like flukes and paddletail swimbaits, that it often takes something different to get them to strike. “They’re educated. After someone fishes the dock you have to leave them alone for an hour and come back. You have to trigger the strike, but if they swipe at it one time, you’ll get them hooked up. For that reason, it’s great for going behind people.”

While the 100 doesn’t dive more than about five feet deep, like its big brother it’s deadly over deep, clear water. On lakes like Champlain (on the Vermont/New York border) or Murray (near his South Carolina home), Murphy uses the flit to call up big largemouths and smallmouths out of extremely deep water. Let forage size and the depth at which the fish are suspended be your keys in determining which Flit to throw.

“On Murray I’ve caught them over 30 feet of water,” he said. “You’ll have a rockpile at the end of a long point so the bottom comes up to 25 feet with 10 or 12 foot clarity. They’ll suspend between the structure and the surface and you can catch more fish with the Flit than you can by fishing underneath the fish.”

It’s also deadly in the coldest part of the year. While others toil away in a deer stand or a duck blind, Murphy can often be found as the lone figure on the lake, mopping up bass as if they’ve never seen a lure. Right now is when you need to be out there, he said. “It’s winter and turnover is done but we haven’t had a big shad die-off. The bait is in the coves where the fish have them corralled. They’re about three-inches long, mainly the young of the year. On lakes like Old Hickory, they’re so thick you can almost walk across the water on the shad. Crankbaits, poppers and spooks don’t match the hatch. Not only does the Flit 100 match the hatch, but you can walk it back and forth six or seven times in a three foot pull.” It’s that type of torture that often pulls in the biggest fish of the year. The strikes are sometimes subtle — just a “tick” or a slow swimming away — but when you rear back the fight is on.

Look for an announcement from Murphy in the not-too-distant future of a signature jerkbait rod. We can’t give away the details yet, but it’s going to be a perfect tool for the Flit, part of a system he’s developed for maximizing the bait’s effectiveness. While we can’t tell you who is going to make it, we’ll give you the lowdown on the specs so you can use the right rod from your current arsenal.

“It’s 6’10” with a real limber tip,” he said. “I call it a medium-heavy, but it’s not a typical medium-heavy. It’s similar to a crankbait rod with a softer tip and a lot of backbone. It’s somewhere between a medium and a medium-heavy. The problem is that if you go into the store, no two medium-heavies (from different manufacturers) are the same. You want to make sure it’s on the lighter side, not the heavier side, so you can make extremely long casts.”

“I’ve played around with a lot of different lines,” he continued. “I prefer fluorocarbon, 8 lb. test with the Flit 100 and 10 lb. test with the 120. You can also use mono if you don’t want it do dive as deep.”

Just remember, this is hawg time, and the bite-sized morsel called the Flit 100 may look like a snack, but you should expect to get some big bites mixed in with the numbers. So don’t pull too hard on that light line. Keep the fish away from the cover, but baby them once they’re in open water. The sharp hooks will hold and you’ll really have something to be thankful for. And with New Years Resolutions in place, even a fish on a diet can occasionally afford to splurge on a snack-sized bait.

For more information about the Flit and the entire line of Ima lures, go to

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