Bassdozer talks to ima prostaff about where we are now and
where we are headed with ima in 2009
'N Vibe cont'd: Michael Murphy: The Rock 'N Vibe lipless crankbait shines best
when water is around 45-55 degrees. That ten degree spectrum is going to be in
spring and fall, and it's when you have a lot of baitfish movement. That's the
water temperature range when fish may be transitioning off a jerkbait bite (in
spring) and when they are coming off a jerkbait bite, that's a pretty good time
to show them the Rock 'N Vibe. This is the time when fish are going to get
active in newly-growing grass, also starting to move up onto warming flats, and
the Rock 'N Vibe takes center stage at that time.
Off deeper ledges or channel breaks in the summer,
the Rock 'N Vibe may also be used like a hard plastic jigging spoon - one that
rattles - in the summer. But where it's really going to shine is in spring and
fall, when it's just a little too warm for a good jerkbait bite, that's Rock 'N
Where we are now - ima Flit 120
Where we're headed - ima Baby
Flit. Autumn 2009 Release
ima Flit 120 and Baby Flit 100
Michael Murphy: The Flit 120 is a
bait that you can fish almost year round. Of course, when you get way up north,
smallmouth country, there is not going to be any bad time to throw a Flit. If
smallmouth are around, they will always eat a Flit.
When you get into more southern areas, the Flit's most effective in cooler
spring, winter and fall months. But even in the summer, when the water's warm,
I've had some killer days when the wind comes up.
In summer, a lot of main lake fish usually stay either very deep or very
shallow, and since the Flit 120's working depth is about 6-8 feet deep, it's not
good for very shallow or very deep fish. It is going to hang up in shallow grass
and scum - or it isn't going to reach them when they sulk on the bottom in
deeper water on windless summer days. But you can have some killer days with
main lake fish on windy days. All the fish will all start schooling off
wind-blown points and on top of any other underwater rises. These fish will tend
to suspend up high in the water column. They'll suspend no more than 10-12 foot
deep off points, humps and any other bottom uprisings that are facing into the
wind, with wind-generated current moving past. When the wind dies down, these
fish will move back up too shallow or descend too deep for the Flit 120 to be
effective. But while the wind blows, the fishing can be phenomenal with the Flit
120 for suspended fish on wind blown structure in summer.
My most consistent and productive time of year, however, for the Flit 120 seems
like its when the water is always at its cleanest and clearest in the early
spring, before the spring rains come. At times when there are no algae blooms,
not so much rain, that's when the jerkbait bite can be best.
Ima pro Michael Murphy is designer
of the Flit jerkbait
Switching the conversation to the new Baby Flit
100 which will be released in 2009, I've found that when it is super cold water,
fish don't want a bigger profile jerkbait at that time. So the Baby Flit can be
more effective in super cold water.
And in those shallow, backwater areas, where the regular Flit 120 goes a little
too deep and hangs up, I've found that the Baby Flit will stay just above the
grass line, even on a very grassy lake like Guntersville, Alabama.
The Baby Flit doesn't go near as deep. Whereas the Flit 120 goes 6 to 8 feet
deep, the Baby Flit goes 4 to 6. So it can stay right above that depth of grass;
you won't be hanging up as much, and it is a friendlier, smaller size of
jerkbait that's more acceptable at times when fish won't commit to a bigger
The Baby Flit has one less hook, but they're the same size hooks as on the Flit
120. Also, there isn't a major weight difference, castability difference or any
difference in the tackle you would use with either the Flit 120 or the Baby
Flit. You can throw both of them on the exact same rod, same line and same
set-up. You won't have any problems to switch from the bigger Flit to the
smaller one. As small as the Baby Flit is, it casts like a bullet. and since it
has the same size and strength hooks as the Flit 120, you don't need to treat it
any differently, except it fishes a shallower depth and has a smaller baitfish
profile. The only downside is, it seems so long to wait until autumn 2009 to get
your hands on it!
Where we are now - ima Shaker
Flat-sided Crankbait in Captain Karl's favorite color, Plemmons
ima Shaker and Shad
Bassdozer: You can consider the ima
Shad to be pudgy but not fat. The top and bottom is rounded but it does have
somewhat flattened sides. So it isn't completely round. The biggest difference
is the Shad's going to be more of (but not entirely) a rounded body crankbait
whereas the Shaker is a flat-sided crankbait. The Shad's not going to run any
deeper. Both are shallow-runners, although the Shad's a slightly smaller bait
than the Shaker.
Captain Karl Bunch: I use the Shaker a lot. Earlier I had
mentioned using the Roumba as a shallow-running crankbait which gets about a
foot deep. Some days you will find that's not deep enough to get bites. So when
there's a need to go deeper, the Shaker is the bait I tie on.
The Shaker runs 4-6 feet deep, depending on retrieve speed and line diameter (I
like to use 10 lb test with it). It has lots of wobble, and surprisingly, it
comes through the edges of grass lines a little bit better than many other
cranks. The Shaker has such a wide wobble that it helps keep itself clean of
grass and sheds debris. It also comes through wood pretty good, and it floats.
So if you feel it hitting a limb, you can stop it, and it will float up so you
can snake it over the limb and it won't hang up.
In terms of water clarity, I have fished the Shaker from clear to stained to
muddy water, no problem. As the water gets muddier, I just throw on a brighter
color. One of my favorite 'go to' colors is Plemmons. The Plemmons color seems
to work in just about any water clarity.
Michael Murphy: Earlier, I talked of using the Flit jerkbait in
colder water, and I mentioned my preference for using the Rock 'N Vibe when the
water ranges between 45 to 55 degrees. That's also close to the water
temperature range when I prefer throwing the flat-sided ima Shaker. More
precisely, the 50-60 degree range, both in spring and fall when the water's in
the fifties, is when I do best with the flat-sided Shaker. I typically use it
when shad or any type of baitfish abound.
Both the Shaker and the prototype ima Shad have computer-board lips. This is a
lightweight, ultra thin lip material that creates a lot livelier action than
other baits with a thicker, heavy plastic bill on them. In river systems, where
there's a lot of water current, the Shaker and Shad work especially well, since
the light, thin lips let them produce superior lure action. Whenever there's any
water current, they mimic baitfish swimming in the current. Even little streams
and creeks that you can't get a boat into, where you wade, the shallow-running
Shaker and ima Shad do well because the moving water just activates them. In
these moving water situations, you don't have to do a whole lot to do well with
these two baits.
Where we're headed - a prototype
of the ima Shad. Release Date Not Yet Decided
The difference I'd say when it comes to the ima Shad prototype versus the
Shaker, the Shad's more of a rounder version, and that makes it even more of a
summer type bait. So when the water is even warmer, say when the water
temperature's 55 to 65 or even up to 75, that rounder shape and the little
different action makes the prototype ima Shad even more of a summer bait -
especially in rivers or any water current situations.
With less than two years in the North American
bass market, ima's still in its infancy. It will take a little longer for ima to
grow, that's only normal, to get to the size that ima will eventually be. But
there's no doubt that ima's off to a good start, and they're here to stay. So
check them out. They're great baits. It is true, you may spend a little bit
extra on ima, but you're going to get what you pay for from ima. A good lure is
the most vital piece of equipment that stands in between you and the fish you
desire and you can buy any ima bait and you can be sure that you can rely on
them with confidence. That's ima's commitment to you for now, and for the new
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