Category Archives: Sponsors

Don’t sleep on the Shaker

Been doing a bit of fishing lately.  One thing has become apparent in this low to mid 50 degree water; the IMA Shaker with it’s flat sides and more subtle action is out producing the new highly touted IMA Square Bill designed by Bill Lowen.

Pictured above is the nicest bass I caught the other day, but put a bunch in the boat on an IMA Shaker thrown on 12lb Fluoro on my brand new Dobyns 684 CB Crankbait Rod, pretty sweet rod for jerkbaits and light wooden baits like the Shaker, Shad Raps and several other baits.

Both great baits, but this time of year, its hard to beat the profile and action of the Shaker, so my advice, while the traditional Square Bills are getting all the headlines right now, if you live up north, stick with the Shaker for a few more weeks.  Then when water hits 60 degrees and up, pick that Square Bill up and do work!

As you can see, they were eating the SHAKER! 

Still time to save on bass fishing gear you need

Hey all, got a late tax refund burning a hole in your pocket or at least didn’t owe as much as last year? is having a sweet little sale thru April 25th, Save 15% off almost everything in their awesome store!
Sale runs thru 4-25
Online Orders Only
Discounts will display in your cart
Restrictions May Apply, example: Jackall, Koppers, Reaction
Innovations, Shimano, TroKar, Gift Cards, & Wright & McGill

In Stock At BassTackleDepot!!

Picasso Tungsten Flippin

Xcite Raptor Tail Jr.

Luck E Strike Rick Clunn

Bomber Balsa Model B

Sebile Spin Shad

MattLures Ultimate U2

Gambler EZ Swimmer

akins Jigs

Jackall G90

Anybody need some free fishing gear?

Been a crazy week, lots of travel and other stuff going on, been neglecting the blog.  Congrats to Arizona Pros Dean Rojas & Cliff Pirch for both notching tour level wins earlier today.

Not too long ago, I got a nice shipment of new Akinetix gear in, they make some very affordable and functional polarized fishing sunglasses, including youth & woman’s models, definitely worth checking out.  They even have floating shades for those of us that our clumsy.

They also have some nice moisture wicking gear and other gear.  So to celebrate spring, I am running a little contest, on my Facebook Page, so just follow this link to enter.  You have until Sunday April 24th to get entered.  So head over and enter to win some free gear and check out the Akinetix website as well.

The Akinetix Shield sunglasses pictured are what i have been wearing on the water!

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!

February Fantasy Fishing Winners

The February prizes are in the mail, and final results from Beaver Lake should be ready soon as well.

In both leagues, our winners also won league prizes, so the Bassin’ Blog prize slid down to next finishers.  Congrats to Jeremy White as he was the best picker in all the lands for the Bassmaster Classic, he will enjoy a $1000 gift card to

from BASS.  So he didn’t feel to bad seeing his prize go to the next in line, so our Classic prize winner was Kenneth Grover of Decatur, AL.  Kenneth did not seem to be a fan of the Bassin’ Blog on Facebook so he will get some left over finesse worms from last year.

Glynn Brown was the best from our group for Lake Okeechobee on the FLW side, but he did so well, he got a nice Walmart gift card, so once again, to spread the wealth, the prize slides down.  Cory Cook of Carrolton, KY won an IMA Flit Jerkbait because he was a fan on facebook.  Thanks to IMA Lures for helping out with this week’s prizes!

So hopefully lesson learned, it pays to become a Fan on Facebook to get the bigger prizes!

Still time to join my leagues and compete for prizes at each event!

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

Last Minute Shopper 20% Off Bass Fishing Sale

Offer good thru 12/15/09 12am PST.
Prices shown are in U.S. funds and are subject to change.
In stock items only while supplies last. No back orders.
Offers good while supplies last.
20% off does not include Jackall, Shimano, Reaction Innovations, Powell Rods and other restrictions may apply,
Sale prices will be displayed in your cart.

IMA November Newsletter


Welcome to the IMA Emailer – November 2010 Issue

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

To paraphrase 1980s crooner Huey Lewis, once again it’s “hip to be square.”

IMA pro Bill Lowen has a longstanding love affair with square-billed
crankbaits but even though there are “hundreds of them on the market” no
production model to date had fully encompassed the legendary hunting
action of the small-manufacturer balsa baits. And the balsa baits – when
you can get them – aren’t consistent. One might hunt and dive to a
certain depth, while another runs straight at a different depth or needs
constant tuning. Lowen has waited his entire professional angling
career for one bait that consistently gets the job done, and now he has
it – Introducing the IMA Square Bill.

This lure is truly Lowen’s baby, a tool he’s dreamed about for
decades finally come to life. After countless back and forth
conversations with IMA’s engineers in Japan and mulitple refinements and
prototypes, he’s convinced that no other square bill can match his
Square Bill. It has a stubby, rounded body that produces an
earth-shaking wobble, bold eyes, a lexan lip and two sticky-sharp #4
Owner hooks that’ll nab even the short strikers, although most bass
absolutely choke this bait down.

“It acts like the best handmade balsa baits,” Lowen said. “It’s kind
of hard to explain. Every crankbait has a wobble, but the good balsa
crankbaits hunt. They’ll jump off to the left, run a bit, jump off to
the right, and always work their way back to the center. That action
triggers bites.”

The top balsa producers also are very buoyant. This allows an angler
to do what Lowen described as “twitching” a crankbait. You bang it into
cover at breakneck speed, let it float back up and then impart a little
bit of action with quick pulls of the rod tip. “It’s like walking the
dog under the water,” he explained. “Deflect, pause, twitch. You can
snug them up to the cover, let up a little bit and they’ll head toward
the surface like a bobber.”

The problem with the balsa baits, other than their inconsistency, is
their durability – or rather their lack of durability. Just when you
think you have one running right, you hang it on a stump and it never
performs correctly again. That’s not a problem with this Square Bill. It
also features a circuit board lip which fellow IMA pro Bill Smith says
is a lot more durable than its lexan counterpart. “With lexan if you
beat it on the rocks it’ll chip,” he explained. Lowen likes the lip made
this way for another reason: “It helps it to deflect off cover a little
bit harder. You can feel the difference in your rod.”

Note – Be sure to check out all of the other short video clips about
the Square Bill and other ima baits @ 

Lowen begged the IMA design team to engineer this bait to fit his
“river rat,” ultra-shallow fishing style. It runs a bit shallower than
some other crankbaits of this genre, diving perhaps three feet on 12 lb.
line and two feet on 15 lb. test. If you want to burn it over grass or
in the shallowest water possible, upsize to 20 and it’ll still maintain
its hunting action.

“It’s the best possible bait for going back in the creeks, into the real skinny places that take forever to get to,” Smith said.

“Lowen said there’s a reason he wanted it to go shallower than its
counterparts. “That way it doesn’t dig up the bottom,” he said.
“Generally the bottom in those areas is mucky and muddy with leaves
everywhere. If it picks up all that trash you can’t fish it right. But
it still dives enough to crash off cover.”

In addition to being a professional tournament angler, Smith owns a
leading tackle retailer, Backwaters Online, so
he comes at this lure from two angles. He knows what he’s doing with a
crankbait stick, but he knows that not all of his customers have the
same experience level. “They can still go after the handmade niche,” he
said. “This lure does the work for those who don’t know how to fish it.”
He says it’ll excel anywhere fish are shallow and is dying to fish it
on lakes like Dale Hollow and Cherokee, near his home (“Bill (Lowen) can
have the Ohio River,” he joked.) “The best thing about this bait is the
ability to go shallow and crash cover as hard as you can.” Whether you
fish the Ohio River, the Calfornia Delta, the Potomac’s grassbeds, Lake
Champlain or anyplace in between, this is a tool with universal
application any time the bass are resting in the shallows, waiting for
an easy meal.

“You can burn it and it won’t roll over or blow out,” Lowen added.

That’s the beauty of the Square Bill. It’s really three or four baits
in one. While some other square bills are good burned, others are at
their best when they’re waked or twitched. Some do well deflecting off
cover while others are best in open water. The Square Bill can match
each of the competitors’ attributes and talents, with no weakness. In
fact, Lowen frequently mixes it up on a single retrieve, going “from
twitching to waking, to reeling it down to three feet to burning it.”
It’s not just a jack of all trades – it’s a master of each one, too.

Lowen said that while crashing cover is his primary purpose when
chucking the Square Bill, he also uses it in wide open water for
schooling fish. “People say that suspended fish are the hardest to
catch,” he said. “A lot of times you’ll find them suspended in three
feet of water over 10 or 12 feet. Fish it just like you do in cover – a
straight retrieve, pause, twitch – almost like fishing a jerkbait.”

One place he’ll be sure to have it tied on is at the upcoming
Bassmaster Classic on the Louisiana Delta. While New Orleans is thought
of as spinnerbait and flipping stick country due to the miles of
hyacinths and reeds, he noted that it is also “full of cypress trees
with lots of knuckles to drag a crankbait into.”

The Square Bill will be available in 9 colors. Both anglers say that
consumers coast-to-coast can build a starter pack out of a craw pattern,
a shad pattern and something in chartreuse to imitate a bluegill or
fish in dirtier water. You can add other regional favorites to the top
shelf of your tackle box as you see fit, but those three basics comprise
a good starting point.

Lowen, being an inveterate tackle tinkerer, has experimented for
years with “foiling” his cranks. “Foil finishes are the most realistic
as far as flash goes, even better than just about any baitfish-colored
paint job,” he said. Silver sides with gray, black or green backs are
all on his bait menu, although he noted that “it’s hard to do and
expensive.” He does the foiling himself after years of practice but then
gets a friend to finish off the paint job. It’s a skill that can be
learned if you have the patience.

Both pros fish the Square Bill on a typical cranking stick – 6’9” in
Smith’s case, a 7’ All Pro for Lowen – and with a 6.3:1 or 6.4:1 gear
ratio reel. That allows them to slow it down and maintain power when
dealing with a big fish, but they can still burn the bait when a faster
retrieve is required. This is one of the few techniques where mono can
be employed. In fact Lowen prefers it when he’s trying to keep the lure
shallow, although he’ll sometimes switch up to fluorocarbon if he wants
to grab a few extra inches of diving depth.

When fished properly, the results of the ima Square Bill will be All Smiles & if you’re lucky a really bruised bass thumb!!

The IMA Square Bill won’t be available to the public until late
February of 2011, just in time for the spring cranking bite. It’s not
quite a 12 month out of the year presentation, but it’s pretty darn
close. “It’s not really season-specific,” Lowen said.

Both Lowen and Smith employ it from the prespawn, when fish start to
move up onto cover by the flats in anticipation of spawning, through the
heat of the summer and into the fall, when the fish start to school up
and chase bait.

In the meantime, why not ask your loved ones to put a few IMA baits
in your stocking? Better yet, show them that you really love them by
giving the people you treasure the best hard baits on the market.

In addition to using IMA products at the end of your line, you can
also wear the company logo proudly. After numerous requests from
educated anglers, we’ve brought IMA apparel to a tackle dealer near you.

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 of the highest possible 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 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 .

This month’s winner goes to Rick of Sacramento, CA who used the Big Stik on this nice Largemouth Bass.