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Ima Going to Catch Fish

by: Brad Wiegmann

FLW National Guard Pro Michael Murphy shows off a Ima Flit 120 that he help design with Ima Lures

  I seem to glide through the water with each twitch.  Flashing, darting, pausing then fliting back and forth; I do it all.  I resemble a shad, a quick meal for any fish.  Ima Jerkbait with an attitude.

  If lures could talk, I know that is what the Ima Flit 120 would be saying.  The Ima Flit 120 was the combined effort of Ima Lures (www.imalures.com) and Michael Murphy (www.michaelmurphyfishing.com) to create the perfect jerkbait.  Ima Lures are well known in the fishing world as manufactures of premier Japanese lures and excellent bait designers.  FLW National Guard Pro fishing team member Michael Murphy from Gilbert, South Carolina, is a Fisheries Biologist, lure designer, and professional angler knows how to design a lure that catches fish.  Together, they ended up designing the Ima Flit 120.  The Flit 120 is named for its erratic fleeing action and 120-millimeter length body.  Its body shape resembles a flat sided Herring or shad shape prey that is common in reservoirs all across the United States. 

  Jerkbaits are popular lures especially early in the year when the water temperature is 45 to 55-degrees, “That’s the time of year most of the bait is the same size as the Flit 120 and most of the crawfish are still buried; so, baitfish are the only source of food for bass,” Murphy explained, “It also catches bass in the spring, spawn, post spawn, fall, or anytime a bass can see it.”   

  Color also plays an important role when selecting a hard jerkbait.  Murphy recommended a foil finish like clown or silver flash for fishing off color water with 2 to 3-foot visibility or cloudy days.  In clear water, 3 to 4-foot or more visibility a mat finish or dull color pattern.  “Some day’s bluegill or oddball color patterns work best around docks or in the springtime,” Murphy said.

  Although, you could probably catch fish just reeling in a jerkbait, when fishing the Ima Flit 120 Murphy said, “Which cadence you use will be dictated by how active bass are that day, some days I use extremely long pauses in between jerks may catch bass, while other days, series of fast jerks and short pauses catch bass.”  “I like to start each jerk with slack in the line and end each jerk with slack in the line after single to multiple jerks,” Murphy continued, “I increase frequency between jerks and pauses as the fish’s activity level increases and water temperature increases.”  “Its best to work the lure with your rod tip close to the surface of the water to maximize depth, bring the rod tip up when you want to work it shallower or through or over shallow cover,” said Murphy.  Another technique that catches fish is by dead sticking it.  To do this technique, begin by reeling down the lure to 6 to 8-feet, then inch the lure forward by bringing up the slack and using the weight of the line to move the lure forward.  This technique can be deadly in extremely cold water temperatures.

  When fishing a Ima Flit 120, Murphy recommends a 6 to 7-foot Fenwick TAV medium/heavy action, depending on the angler’s height, combined with a Revo Premier 6:3 to 1 reel.  As for line, Murphy uses monofilament for shallow water and Berkley Trilene 100% fluorocarbon when wanting to fish a hard jerkbait deeper.

  Right now is prime time for anglers to be fishing jerkbaits.  It’s not unusual for anglers to catch big sacks of bass on Grand Lake, Lake Tenkiller, Beaver Lake, and Table Rock during the next 3 months.  I know, Ima going too! 

Brad Wiegmann is a professional fishing guide on Beaver Lake and outdoor writer. Contact him at (479) 756-5279 or by e-mail at bwiegmann@cox.net.