Ron Howe talks about great Gift ideas for Bass Fishermen ,IMA baits are available at www.Monsterfishingtackle.com
Ima Lures Skimmer Grande
The Ima Lures Skimmer Grande is a topwater walking bait that subtly glides across the surface replicating the action of small shad that are often found roaming the surface. The Grande size Ima Skimmer retains the design of the original, but increases the size from 4.5″ to 5″ in order to mimic lager species of forage that predatory fish feed upon. The Ima Skimmer Grande possesses a slim profile that has proven to be one of the most appealing bass lure shapes ever. As a result of this subtle shape, the lure will glide across the surface softly much like the wake of a lone shad as it seeks refuge from the predators below. There’s a whole lot to be said simply for this slender profile and silhouette, and the Ima Skimmer Grande is really the only topwater hardbait that has perfected it.
WILD BOILING ACTION…
A large part of the Skimmer Grande’s action is caused on the ending movement of each zig or zag as the tail-weighted back end of the Ima Skimmer Grande stirs the water slightly causing a natural boil. So every time that the Skimmer zigs or zags left or right, the final movement of the weighted tail interrupts the consistency of the slick surface and the lure slips out barely ahead of the boil, just like a desperate baitfish narrowly escaping a bass’s lunge.The Skimmer Grande’s action then becomes a non-stop series of ever-widening boils emanating behind it. It’s like having a school of surface-feeding bass on the scene, all boiling the surface behind the Ima Skimmer’s tail. If there’s ever anything that gets a non-committal bass to bite, it is other bass feeding in front of it – and that’s the competitive feeding cue that the Skimmer’s tail-stirring movement sends out to all bass within range of sensing the surface-feeding boils trailing out behind the Skimmer.
The IMA Skimmer Grande measures 5″ in length and weighs 5/8oz.
IMA Skimmer Grande Specs
- Length: 125mm, 5in
- Weight: 17g, 5/8oz
- Classification: Top Water
- Hooks: Owner ST-36 #4
-3 Hooks: Made with three hooks. This design helps increase catch ratio when fish are in a reactive mood and not willing to aggressively feed. Most commonly an asset in colder water early and late in the year and in post frontal situations.
-High Pitch (small bb’s): Most Commonly resembling to baitfish in the Herring family (flat sided, as opposed to a round sided smelt), which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, to imitate sound in colder water conditions and in post frontal situations.
-Triangular Internal Chamber system: This unique system maximizes sound by ricocheting bb’s at constant angles. With this design it allows for a controlled sound among all jerkbaits that come out of production, allows the jerkbait to be consistent in sound, and keeps the bb’s from getting stuck in crevices. This design emits a controlled sound and maximizes consistency, maximizing it’s realistic and unique sound.
-6 to 8ft dive depth: Most common depth, within visible sight, of suspending baitfish and predatory fish aimed to catch in colder months and post frontal situations.
-Flat sided, wider back: A common shape of baitfish resembling in the Herring family. If taken a cross section of, both will appear triangular in shape, as oppose to oval in shape, more resembling of a smelt or minnow, which is less commonly fed on by Bass.
-Forward pointed, skinnier bill: This lure has its action built into it’s design. Many competitors make a lure and adjust the bill width and size to give the lure its action. This will only create more resistance wearing the user out much quicker. The bill angle, length and width is designed for strictly the depth, where the body is designed for the action by resembling the shape of Herring, which includes Gizzard and Threadfin Shad, and giving a similar cadence, resulting in a much user friendly, less tiring lure.
-Flash: With how the sides of the jerkbait are designed, they reflect light slightly downward, naturally the direction from which a strike will most likely come from, as oppose to outward and in any which direction like most competitors.
-Jerk Pause: Starting each jerk with a slack and ending with a slack after single to multiple jerks. Increase frequency between jerks and pauses as fish activity level increases and as water temperature increases. Work the lure with your rod top close to the water to maximize depth, bringing the rod tip up as you would like to work it shallower or through or over shallow cover.
-Deadsticking: Working the lure with very little contact with the lure itself and inching the lure forward by bringing up the slack and using the weight of the line to move the lure forward. Start out with a couple cranks and with the Jerk Pause technique to get the lure to depth before working the deadsticking technique.
-6’0″ to 7’0″ depending on height: You want the rod as long as possible, but just short enough to where your rod tip is not dragging in the water on the Jerk Pause technique when your rod is pointed downward.
-8lb-14lb line: The lighter the line the better, when you can get away with it. This will maximize the natural action of the lure. As there is more cover and debris to wear line easier, increase the weight of the line.
-Reel: Most reels can be used, but suggest using a 6.3:1 ratio or greater for easy use.
Flit 120 – Available in 18 colors
Flit 120 – 114 Table Rock Shad
Flit 120 – 171 Boned Shad
199 – Clear *NEW*
100 – Silver Flash
101 – Gold Flash
102 – Clown
104 – Chartruese Shad
105 – American Shad
107 – Olive Herring
108 – Misty Shad
109 – Ghost Minnow
113 – Brown Flash
115 – Blue Shad
116 – Tennessee Shad
125 – Matte Bluegill
150 – Ghost Tennessee Shad NEW COLOR
151 – Pro Blue NEW COLOR
152 – Phantom Craw NEW COLOR
Tournament Bass Fishing Tips by “Ron Howe”
I am by no means any super Pro Bass Angler, but Ive had a lot of Tournament success in recent years and I want to share what has made me better and hope it can help you be a better Tournament Bass Angler.
We all start out as Beginners or Rookies or Future pro’s. We develop a love for fishing and a love to compete. Throw a high horse powered bass boat in the mix with a cool looking gel coat and were hooked! Blasting off against 60,70-230 boats is a serious endorphin rush! You against the world the weather the water and oh ya the fish! Once a Angler fishes a few events they get addicted to Tournament Bass fishing. I did!
Very few Anglers ever make it to the top level of Bass fishing and fish as a “Pro” for a living. Many of us can live the dream regionally near home and are happy to do so. With kids a full time job and few sponsor dollars available for a weekend warrior we are limited in our opportunities.
I have been tournament fishing for over 20 years now. I love it! I love meeting new people and love to compete. Along this journey I started at a club level. We caught fish, but rarely got in the money or won a Trophy or some Wood! The same guys always did well. We new we were good anglers, but couldn’t get to the top of the club event level. Then you meet new people and learn about events with a higher winning potential. So you say sign me up im in! And much like the club level you fish well, but never end up in the top level of the circuit. The same guys always do well??
When we fish at the club level or regional semi-pro level it is the last time we will ever get info on how these Anglers did better than us. You must stay to the end of every event you fish to learn and get better. In time you will find out what won the events or what the top 5 teams did to out fish the rest. If you leave the event early because you didn’t place well you are loosing the chance to get better! Stay, ask questions, hang out with those willing to talk, many Anglers love to brag! Heck I do! That’s how you learn!
Take what you learn and go practice it, get better at it. When you tackle your weakness find another tournament tactic and get better at it. The more versatile you are the better you will become at Tournament Bass fishing at any level! Don’t get mad when a team does well, try to find out what they are doing that you are not! Now go get good at it. Many years ago I forced myself to practice Punching or heavy flipping. Its not that I couldn’t do it, I love to flip just not in the junk. If I can open water fish I would rather do so. By forcing myself to practice this and get better at it I Punched 25lbs in 15 minutes. That’s all I needed to do 1 time to get me to get over what I want to do and what I need to do at the right times. Drop shotting was an other one, Its not hard, I just didn’t like to do it. I would rather drag a jig or a 10” worm, but quickly I forced myself to improve at this tactic and believe me it has paid off! Get better at what you don’t like to do, it will make you a better Tournament Bass Angler.
One big bit of advice I can give you is to take control of as many things as you can. This is one of the most important steps to becoming a better Tournament Angler. Make sure your line is new or in great condition. Always tie new knots. Always use new hooks. Make sure your boat is fully ready before you leave your house. Know the weather, the tide, the water level, the seasonal pattern you will fish and know the primary food source at that time of year where you are fishing! And as I have asked my partners on a few very sad occasions when the big fish gets off, did you have a trailer hook on? Being pre-paired is the best thing you can do that will improve your Tournament results as a weekend warrior.
This one is tough, but invest in good quality products. Make sure you buy products that are proven tournament products. Have the right rod and reel for what you’re doing! A red crank bait just aint a red crank bait if it doesn’t work correctly. If a spinner bait doesn’t work properly it just wont catch as many fish. Bite the bullet and buy good stuff. Make sure you bring enough product that you do well with, do not run out! I have multiples of my favorite baits; I don’t want to run out.
Time management. This is critical to your success in tournaments. This does not mean fish too fast. This means fish every second of the day effectively. Each time you start and stop do it quickly. This will add 1-25 more casts per day in every event. If you made 25 more casts in 5 events that is 125 more chances to catch a big one! It is a percentage game and you are improving your chances. If you are the non boater, are you getting ready to go quickly? When the boater puts his pole down and grabs the trolling motor rope that’s a big clue you need to be on the move. Timing is everything!! Think how many times in practice you pull up and first or second cast BANG you get a big one! If you manage your time in tournaments you will increase these odds in your favor. I do a lot of Salmon fishing and I get asked a lot “how come you hook so many fish?” I always answer because im a tournament Bass Angler! And then respond by saying I make more casts than the average angler. Make the most of your time and you will become a better Tournament Bass Angler and a better fisherman.
I hope you can use some of these valuable tips to improve your time on the water and your success in your next Tournament.
Spring bass fishing tips.
A few Winter Bass Fishing tips and presentations by Ron Howe
Once fall passes and winter comes on in full force it is down right cold outside. I know that the 100mph Goretex suit is coming off the hanger and going in the truck with me. My beanie will be on when I leave home and my whool gloves will be in my truck warming up for when I arrive at the lake. A warm cup of coffee and Im good to go!
The fish are much like we are in winter slow! So when you are approaching winter time bass fishing you must think the same way. SLOW! Slow down your fishing presentation. You can still catch many fish on reaction type baits just slow down!
One of my winter time favorites that I recommend is to use rip baits or minnow type baits. If fishing in shallow water say 8-10 feet deep I use a rip bait that dives 4-5feet deep Like the IMA Flit 120. 8-10lb Berkley Trilene flourocarbon fishing line is recomended and will help to get the bait down a little deeper since flourocarbon line has a better sink rate. Cast the bait out reel it down to the desired depth and stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait once! And stop! Let the bait sit for 15,20,30 seconds then twitch the bait twice really slow twitches and repeat. Be patient you are trying to get a slow lazy cold Bass to rise up and grab the bait! If fishing in water that’s a little deeper try using a Rip Bait that dives say 8-10 feet deep once again light Flourocarbon line will help the bait get a little deeper. I add suspend dots to the IMA Flit 120 to get it down deeper and help make longer casts. Use the same application as above slow twitches with long pauses. You will catch some good size bass doing this in winter.This is effective on all species of Bass. In clear water use shad or white colors. If the water is slightly stained use a little bit brighter color like chartuese.
Another great winter time bait is a jig. There are many to choose from and they all work. A jig imitates a crawfish and a bass cant resist! If fishing in a lake I recommend a football head type jig or casting jig around rocks and mud or clay banks. If fishing around heavy cover I will use a arky head jig or a flipping style jig since they come thru the snags and cover much better. For colors in winter I will stick to brown and purple jigs or black and blue. For jigs I attach a little trailer to make the bait better resemble a crawfish such as a jig chunk trailer,a small beaver or a pork trailer. I use a color that matches the jig best in browns,black,or blue. Largemouth Bass will be from 20-40 ft most of winter 3/8 to 1/2 oz jigs will work fine here. Spotted Bass will be from 2ft to 70ft deep they just dont play by the rules 1/4oz for shallow fish to 3/4 oz jigs for the deep fish will be what you need.
When fishing deeper in lakes I will use 8-12lb fluorocarbon fishing line. I do this to detect light bites in winter. Fish points,ledges and guts or deep v creek arms. I will drag the jig on the bottom as slow as I can. Do this in real short drags. Crawfish dont move very fast in cold water! Look for clay banks with small rocks these are prime areas to fish jigs!
A good example of many points and a deep V gut thats empty here at Lake Oroville CA.
When fishing shallow I recomend using the flipping type jig around heavy cover. Do this on 15-20 lb test line. Fish this bait really slow and get ready to set the hook hard as the bass will hit the bait on the fall many times. If they are not willing to take the bait on the fall let the jig sit still for long periods of time and wait for the bass to come find it!
Below is a good example of heavy cover in the California Delta.
Persuader Baits Casting jig “Lakes jig”
Our hand crafted casting jig baits are made with the finest components.Powder painted custom head design to minimize chipping, with recessed line tie Mustad Ultra Point Hooks. Custom “Bio-Flex” thin cut skirts .Cork screw plastic holder for attaching plastic trailers.Eight super colors to chose from.
- Features an electronic ‘E-Chip’ mounted on the shank of the hook that emits an electrical discharge identical to what bait fish give off when being chased by larger fish.
- Mustad Ultra Point Hooks.
- Powder printed heads to minimize chipping.
Stay tuned for more winter tips from RB Bassfishing!
Dan Wells Professional Bass Angler explains the ins and out of frog fishing, listen close and learn how to improve your frog fishing tactics and catch more bass. Dan will cover the right Dobyns rod, Spider wire line,and ABU Garcia reel to use as well as how to pre pare a frog for catching more and bigger bass, In this case the Snag Proof open is coming up in august and Dan will show you how to prep your Snag Proof frog and help you increase your catch rate.
Dan Wells and Ron Howe holding there Snag Proof champions trophy’s from using the tips in these videos for there success!
Fall Jig Fishing
The days are getting shorter, nights longer and the deer woods are calling, it must Fall.
This is one of my favorite times of the year. Not only for the cooler weather, the hunting seasons and the comfort food that’s on it’s way but for the fishing. One of my favorite types of fishing is Jig fishing, this time of year is when it really starts to shine. All types of lakes turn on in the fall for the jig bite, this mostly happens because the fish are really trying to feed up for the winter hold over. The smaller fish have a tendency to hang out and around the bait balls and gorge themselves on the bait fish. Bigger fish will of coarse eat bait fish as well but if they get the chance for one good meal, they are taking it.
The crayfish that a jig represents, is a more nutritious meal and helps put more weight on. As the winter months near the bass are trying to stack on as much weight as possible. While the lakes are full of free swimming bait fish at this time of year, bigger fish are still more territorial and have the tendency to stay closer to structure and wait for the bait to come to them. The structure they tend to stack up on is rock piles and vertical wood. the rock piles will hold more temperature and crayfish are often found in the vicinity. The standing timber also attracts the bigger bass but in this instance it gives them a vertical feeding alternative as well.
Now that we have some areas to search for these bigger fish lets talk about the jig itself. My favorite jigs are the LBS Tackle 1/2 ounce football. The 1/2 ounce size is probably the most used jig on the market. I like to stay with very natural colors. Brown, orange, black, blue, green and purple to name a few. Any combination of these colors can really make for a great jig. My best advice is to try and match your jig to the surrounding cover. So, if you find a lot of clay banks I stay with brown and orange or just brown, so on for grass, rocks etc. I like silicone skirts with band collars. They are very versatile, I can keep my head tied on and change the skirt as needed.
Fishing the jig,
once I find the structure I’m going to fish I like to position my boat a full cast away so that when I cast the bait actually lands a few feet on the other side of the structure. I like to start by hopping the jig kind of quickly along the bottom pulling and raising the rod to give the fish more of a reaction bite approach. I can always slow down and drag it but in the fall I like to go fast first, then slow down. Make sure you fish from several angles before you move on to another area. If I have a spot that has produced before, I like to hit six to ten different angles just to see if the bass are positioned in a certain way, on the structure. When you catch fish remember to pay attention to the angle and speed of your retrieve, this will probably be the way all the fish are set on this structure. Now you’ve caught several fish off this structure, I always like to throw a different color jig back in there, just to see if I can pick up that extra fish. A lot of times the big fish has watched the same color come through, time and time again then a different color comes through and that’s the trigger.
Jig fishing in the fall is about hitting your good spots and making multiple casts to the same
areas. You might not catch the numbers that the bait fish guys are but the fish you catch will be of better quality.
My favorite LBS Tackle jigs are the Scarecrow, Molting Craw, Deep Purple, Mud Candy and the Brown and Orange.
See you on the water.
Fall Bass Fishing Tips by Ron Howe
Fall is a continuation of summer. Bass will feed shallow early in the day and move deeper as the sun comes up.On warm days in early fall Bass will still be looking for shade and good oxegen. As the days get shorter and the nights get cooler the water temps will begin to drop quickly. This change will bring on the fall bite. In fall all bass think about is food! The bass are long removed from the spawning season and the cooler water makes the bass more comfortable and they will move shallow and feed heavy before winter. The big key is that the bass will follow the bait. In fall the bait will be where the Bass were in spring. Backs of creeks,bays,coves and protected areas. Minnows will be abundant and Baby Bass will be feeding on them. When you see this use baits that imitate Baby bass. Flukes in baby bass or green albino,rip baits,spooks in baby bass,and senkos in the 912 color can be effective at this time. Another major food source in fall will be shad. The shad will also be up in the creeks,bays and protected areas in the body of water you are on. Shad feed on small plankton and which ever direction the wind blows into you will find the shad. Shad have a ton of protein and Bass will take advantage of this and gorge on this bait fish to prepare for winter. Small shad colored crank baits will do well at this time of year like a Luhr Jensen Speed trap in white or other shallow diving crankbaits like a Stike King series 3 crankbait in sexy shad. Shad will feed on algae as well so look for wood in the backs of creeks or ditches since summer algae will still be growing on the wood. White spinner baits like the Persuader Echip spinner bait will do well when you find schools of Bass feeding on shad. If you see the Bass feeding on the shad and pushing them up to the surface try a Heddon super spook in Bone white or throw Zoom flukes with long pauses.In the afternoons when the water warms up a few degrees dont be shy to throw a Persuader inline buzz bait, you wont catch alot of fish on this bait,but you can bet they will be good ones! A rattle trap can be a key factor at this time of year I recomend Lucky Craft. This bait is so versitile you must expearament with it. Try a lift and pause when around the shad let the rattle trap flutter to the bottom. This dying shad type look will trigger a strike! Another effective methode is to look for shallow weed beds,Bass will look for slightly deeper weeds that are still alive as the cooler weather kills many of the shallower weeds,make sure you cast past the target and try to get your bait hung up in the weeds and rip it out this will trigger strikes on tough days! My last and one of my favorites is flipping. On the cooler fall days Bass will hold tight to cover such as wood or rocks and they will be shallow. This puts them in the flipping zone! I like to use creature baits that mimick crawfish or bluegill. I will use a 3/8oz tungsten weight with either a sweet beaver in 420 or dirty sanchez,a 5″ Zipper worm in green pumpkin or a Persuader E-chip jig in green pumpkin tipped with a single tail grub.
These are just a few ways to attack fall bass fishing!