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