Randy Pringle’s Frog Fishing Approach

Randy Pringle’s Frog Fishing Approach

As a longtime guide on the California Delta, Randy Pringle, aka “The Fishing Instructor,” has had plenty of epic days fishing a frog. The Delta is one of the most famous frog fishing hotspots in the west and possibly the entire country and part of the reason why bass...

Fred’s Buzzbait Approach

Fred’s Buzzbait Approach

The buzzbait is seen as one of the best ways to catch giant bass. There is something about the action it creates on the surface that is like a magnet to bass. They work around a variety of cover and excel during the warmer months, but Fred Roumbanis has learned that...

Fred Roumbanis on Drop-Shotting with the Victory Tail

Fred Roumbanis on Drop-Shotting with the Victory Tail

  One of the greatest things about the drop-shot rig is that it works with nearly any soft plastic bait on the market. Anglers can have success with everything from finesse worms to soft stickbaits and small swimbaits. You name it; you can drop-shot it. Knowing...

Fishing the Madness Japan Balam 300: Part 2

Fishing the Madness Japan Balam 300: Part 2

This is part two of a two-part article about the Madness Japan Balam 300 swimbait as told by lure designer and big fish expert Satan Shimada. We will discuss the origins of the bait, gear required, where to fish it, and “Balaming” also known as the 8 Trap Method...

Fishing the Madness Japan Balam 300: Part 1

Fishing the Madness Japan Balam 300: Part 1

This is part one of a two-part article about the Madness Japan Balam 300 swimbait as told by lure designer and big fish expert Satan Shimada. We will discuss the origins of the bait, gear required, where to fish it, and “Balaming” also known as the 8 Trap Method...

Zappu Product Overview – Part Two

Zappu Product Overview – Part Two

This is part two of a two-part series on Zappu terminal tackle and how to use the products. Zappu is a Japanese brand that has become a leader in terminal tackle. They offer a wide range of products designed to customize the look and actions of your lures. We recently...

Zappu Product Overview – Part One

Zappu Product Overview – Part One

This is part one of a two-part series on Zappu terminal tackle and how to use the products. Zappu is a Japanese brand that has become a leader in terminal tackle. They offer a wide range of products designed to customize the look and actions of your lures. We recently...

Meet The Boom Boom Family

Meet The Boom Boom Family

The Boom Boom line of swimbaits continues to evolve with three different versions available, multiple size options, and a growing list of colors. At first glance, the swimbaits may appear to look similar, but they all have their subtleties in how they swim, and each...

How Butch Brown Fishes the Thumper Tail

How Butch Brown Fishes the Thumper Tail

The thought of swimbait fishing can be intimidating to some anglers. The big baits require upsized gear and a different approach to fish them correctly, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. Noted big bass hunter Butch Brown is one of the best in the world with a...

Shaking a Spoon

Shaking a Spoon

The spoon is one of the oldest types of lures, and they have been catching just about every different species for generations. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Mueller is an avid multi-species angler and uses spoons for just most of what he chases, including bass. The...

Freestyling For Big Bass

Freestyling For Big Bass

There are hundreds of ways to catch a bass, and that is part of what makes bass fishing great. Techniques are continually evolving as bass anglers discover new ways to fool their favorite fish. One technique you may not have heard of is called “freestyling,” a...

Four Situations for the Finesse Popper

Four Situations for the Finesse Popper

With so many great lures available to today’s anglers, picking the right one comes down to knowing the situation. Topwater baits like the Finesse Popper can be situational depending on the season, water temperature, weather conditions, and more. Bass fishing success...

Lowen’s Froggin’ Tips

Lowen’s Froggin’ Tips

Throwing a frog has to be one of the most exciting ways to catch a bass. Topwater in general is always fun, but working a frog along the surface and waiting for the bite adds even more fun. Frogs are also adept at fooling giant bass, and Bassmaster Elite Series pro...

Fishing the Boom Boom Swimbait Fred’s Way

Fishing the Boom Boom Swimbait Fred’s Way

Fred Roumbanis is known for his prowess with a swimbait. It began during his days in California and continued throughout his professional career. He has always loved throwing swimbaits. He designed the Boom Boom family of swimbaits for Optimum Baits and has been...

Michael Murphy’s Schooling System

Michael Murphy’s Schooling System

Catching schooling bass on topwaters and subsurface baits can be some of the most exciting times of the year. The action is often fast and furious and there is always a good chance to catch a true giant. Professional angler and fisheries biologist Michael Murphy...

Tackle and Rigging Tips for the Boom Boom Swimbait

Tackle and Rigging Tips for the Boom Boom Swimbait

Fred Roumbanis is usually targeting the biggest bass in the lake when he’s chunking and winding his signature Optimum Boom Boom Swimbaits and he knows that trophy fish don’t get big by being stupid or careless. Even when hooked, they’ll use every trick available to...

Making the Most of the Optimum Boom Boom Swimbait

Making the Most of the Optimum Boom Boom Swimbait

Fred Roumbanis calls the Optimum Boom Boom swimbaits – both the weedless and treble-hooked versions – his “live or die” baits. While he now calls Arkansas home, Fred’s California roots make him a true believer that swimbaits are not just a fad, but a way to win more...

Swimbaiting the Midwest

Swimbaiting the Midwest

The Optimum Boom Boom swimbait was released in 2016, but it has already become a favorite for Indiana’s Mario Mills, a member of the Optimum Baits Pro Staff. “It has quickly become one of my favorite baits because it is ready to go out of the package and catches fish....

Fred Roumbanis Shares His Panic Baits

Fred Roumbanis Shares His Panic Baits

Many times there are lures that are overlooked by the majority of anglers. Sleeper lures that produce when nothing else will. The use of them is often kept quiet by those in the know, anglers who would rather keep them a secret as long as possible. “This bait is...

Fishing the Reins Tungsten Sliding Football Head

Fishing the Reins Tungsten Sliding Football Head

Bassmaster Elite Series pro and Reins pro staff member David Walker designed a versatile piece of terminal tackle called the Reins Tungsten Sliding Football Head. The football-shaped weight allows anglers to try a new spin on a popular finesse rig, have an alternative...

Fishing the Octopus and Bad Bubba Shad

Fishing the Octopus and Bad Bubba Shad

Optimum Pro Staffer JP Gano regularly fishes the waters around the Farallon Islands and coastal waters in Northern California for lingcod and rockfish. He recently added the new Optimum Octopus and Optimum Bubba Shad to his arsenal, with immediate success.  He shares...

How to pop the Deps Buzzjet Jr, Buzzjet 96 and Spiral Minnow

How to pop the Deps Buzzjet Jr, Buzzjet 96 and Spiral Minnow

Many anglers use this trio of Deps topwater bass fishing wakebaits one way - with a steady, wide-wobbling action that wakes the surface. Yet there is another slower, more suspenseful, often more exciting and productive tactic – to pop and pause for a lingering instant...

What is the Ima Glide Fluke and How to Fish It

What is the Ima Glide Fluke and How to Fish It

The newest bait it the Ima lineup was developed with the input and experience of professional angler and guide Michael Murphy. He wanted a bait that can be fished like a soft jerkbait like the Optimum Victory Tail, but that could also double as a glide bait for his...

Quick User Guide to Ima Crankbaits

Quick User Guide to Ima Crankbaits

Welcome! Thank you for visiting. There's something for every reader, from newbie to expert, to learn here about Ima crankbaits. It's quick, clear to understand and we hope it helps guide you to pick the perfect Ima crankbait for your next fishing trip! We’re pleased...

User guide to the Neko Rig

User guide to the Neko Rig

Many of us have heard about the “Neko rig” but you may not have tried it yet or even know that much about this technique. What we do know We know the Neko rig originated in Japan and it’s a finesse worm tactic that works best with light tackle spinning gear. We know...

Crankbait vs. Jerkbait with Bill Lowen

Crankbait vs. Jerkbait with Bill Lowen

When the bite is on, knowing when to use each type of lure can increase your success throughout the year. Jerkbaits, flat-sided and square bill crankbaits all have their time and place and each can outperform the others at times. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Bill Lowen...

Renaissance of the Wacky Jig from Zappu

Renaissance of the Wacky Jig from Zappu

"Throughout my years of bass fishing," says Matt Paino, CEO of Optimum Bait Company in Temecula, California, "I've always been told there is no wrong way to fish a worm. I still believe this is true. However, I've also learned that certain methods will perform better...

Ima Suspending Vibration – Don’t miss this!

Ima Suspending Vibration – Don’t miss this!

We proudly introduce you to a deadly lure concept that is missing from most anglers’ arsenals. Fred Roumbanis encouraged Matt Paino and Ima Lures to build it and now Fred tells you all you need to know to hit the water with it this spring. “The Ima Suspending...

Breaking Down Jerkbait Color Selection and Beyond

Breaking Down Jerkbait Color Selection and Beyond

With so many lifelike colors available to jerkbait users, deciding which one to use can seem overwhelming. For Bassmaster Elite Series pro Paul Mueller, it comes down to selecting a color based on the forage base and weather conditions. His approach comes from years...

Pumping and dragging the deps Balisong Longbill 130 SF

Pumping and dragging the deps Balisong Longbill 130 SF

With the Balisong Minnow Longbill 130 SF, deps owner and chief lure designer Kazu Okumura desired to create a new concept lure for big bass – a big profile,natural minnow body combined with an oversized bill like you find on a deep-diving crankbait. Okumura desired to...

Break the Depth Barrier with Deps Balisong Minnow 130 SP

Break the Depth Barrier with Deps Balisong Minnow 130 SP

You need to get the Balisong Minnow into your hands and into the water now because this is not "just another jerkbait." The Deps Balisong Minnow 130 SP is a new jerkbait concept. To put it in context, let us first review the overall existing jerkbait market and usage...

Fishing the February Thaw

Fishing the February Thaw

Mid- to late February in the South is when it all starts happening again Bass pro Fred Roumbanis from Russellville, Arkansas usually gets the winter off. Fred’s tournament season starts anew in mid- to late February – an excellent time to throw the Ima Shaker...

Mueller’s Foxy Secret

Mueller’s Foxy Secret

The Ima Flit quickly became a mainstay of jerkbait anglers from coast to coast. Anglers subsequently clamored for a version smaller than the standard 120, and Ima listened, providing them with a 100-sized model. When the bite is tough enough that even the 100 is too...

Spawn Time Swim Jigs

Spawn Time Swim Jigs

  The bass may be done spawning in most parts of the country, but except in the deepest parts of the south bass where summer patterns have begun anglers would be wise to keep their eyes and attention focused on spawning areas. In this case, it’s not where bass...

Square Bill in the Post-Spawn with Bill Lowen

Square Bill in the Post-Spawn with Bill Lowen

  When bass are done spawning, most anglers try to intercept them between the bedding areas and their deep summertime haunts, but veteran pro Bill Lowen said that for many of the biggest fish there’s a slightly-out-of-the-way stop on the route there, and it...

Murphy’s Jig Substitute

Murphy’s Jig Substitute

When many anglers think of tungsten, their immediate thoughts turn to the super-heavy weights, those one ounce and over, and of course that’s one realm where they excel. The Reins punch shot in its heaviest versions is a perfect tool for those applications, but South...

Murphy’s Favorite Pre-Spawn Crank

Murphy’s Favorite Pre-Spawn Crank

As big fish stage and prepare to move into their spawning grounds, there’s often no better tool for picking them off than a mid-range crankbait, and South Carolina pro Michael Murphy said that the Ima Pinjack 200 is head and shoulders above the others. “If you look at...

Morgenthaler’s Year-Round Sliding Football Head

Morgenthaler’s Year-Round Sliding Football Head

  Chad Morgenthaler is best known for his prowess with an extra-extra-heavy flipping stick in his hand with a monster Reins Tungsten flipping weight attached to the end of his line. However, when there are no grass mats to flip he increasingly finds himself...

Tharp’s Big Weight System

Tharp’s Big Weight System

There's no better way to consistently catch monster bags on tournament day than by extracting fish from the thickest cover on a lake, and there maybe no one better at it on either tour than Florida pro Randall Tharp. With a flipping stick in his hand flinging a big...

Worming the Shaker

Worming the Shaker

Bill Lowen doesn’t like to talk about it on tour, but one of the best ways to fish a crankbait is not to burn it, or retrieve it a moderate pace, or even take it for a slow stroll. When pressured fish want a hard bait, but won’t bite when it’s just proceeding forward...

Mueller’s Classic Vibe

Mueller’s Classic Vibe

A month after the conclusion of the 2014 Bassmaster Classic, the story of Paul Mueller’s valiant charge at the title, and eventual runner-up finish, has resonated throughout the bass world. By sacking a Classic record five-fish limit on Day Two, he bounced back from...

Bubble Your Way to Big Numbers and Big Bass

Bubble Your Way to Big Numbers and Big Bass

Connecticut angler Paul Mueller guides on Candlewood Lake, and he’s convinced that this year at least 30 to 40 of his clients landed their personal best smallmouth under his tutelage. Location and presentation are of course critical, but Mueller believes that his job...

Mueller Put a Ring on His Classic Quest ~ Reins Ring Craw

Mueller Put a Ring on His Classic Quest ~ Reins Ring Craw

The road to the Bassmaster Classic is not easy via any of the available paths, but the Federation route may be the toughest, at least in terms of sheer numbers. An angler has to qualify from his state, then be the top angler from his state at the Divisional, and then...

The Reins Advantage

The Reins Advantage

Tungsten weights are the same across the board, right? So why should you hunt down the ones from Reins, which may not yet be as easy to find as some of the “major” brands, and might even cost a few pennies more? The answers are simple and several, said South Carolina...

Approaching Laydowns with the ima SquareBill

Approaching Laydowns with the ima SquareBill

When Bill Lowen and the ima engineers developed the shallow-diving Square Bill crankbait to be the ultimate heavy cover grinder, they made it as snag-free as any lure with two sticky-sharp trebles can be. As a result of its unique design, it comes through rock, wood...

Victory at School

Victory at School

As summer transitions into fall, bass anglers increasingly encounter schooling action from bass who are putting on the feedbag and putting a scare into the local baitfish populations. When the fish start busting the surface, most weekend warriors attack them with...

Wacky in the Wind

Wacky in the Wind

ZAPPU Inchi-Wacky At an Elite Series event on Bull Shoals Reservoir in Arkansas earlier this year, Kurt Dove suspected he’d have to rely on finesse tactics. His hunch proved correct as many anglers in the top ten fished small tubes or shakey head worms. “It was super...

Early morning is prime-time during a shad-spawn

Early morning is prime-time during a shad-spawn

Tackling the Baitfish Spawn with the Skimmer With August water temperatures in the low 80s, Kurt Dove assumed that the shad spawn on Lake Amistad was long over, but recently he came across a situation where small baitfish were utilizing the ledges in the lake’s rocky...

Swimming the Twin Blade

Swimming the Twin Blade

ZAPPU-Twin Blade The swim jig revolution isn’t just limited to small pockets of the country anymore. While it used to have devotees primarily in far-flung locations like Wisconsin and Alabama, today most serious anglers who want to catch shallow-water bass around any...

Yo Yo Into Fall ~ Rock N’ Vibe

Yo Yo Into Fall ~ Rock N’ Vibe

If you save your lipless crankbaiting exclusively for the pre-spawn bass of the spring, you’re missing out on some of the year’s best bites, said Elite Series pro Kurt Dove. He dotes on an Ima Rock N’ Vibe throughout the late summer and well into the fall. “It’s great...

Boat Positioning for Cranking Bluffs

Boat Positioning for Cranking Bluffs

As bass start to leave their deep water summertime haunts on lakes around the country, their trek to shallower fall feeding spots is a gradual one. They want to keep their secure access to deep water, but they’re pulled in the opposite direction by their conflicting...

Float With the Flit Into Fall

Float With the Flit Into Fall

  When Ima first released the Flit 120 Floating, many anglers assumed that it was not much different than its predecessors, a tool aimed largely at cold-weather conditions and the pre-spawn. Those who learned to use its buoyancy to their advantage, however, have...

Burning the Square Bill for Smallies

Burning the Square Bill for Smallies

Bill Lowen can slow down and fish a Carolina Rig, drag a tube, or jiggle a dropshot, but given the choice he’d rather keep moving…FAST. While he’s willing to pick apart a defined area, running and gunning come naturally to him, and when fish are aggressive he’s in his...

Stay Shallow and Swim a Jig for Smallmouths

Stay Shallow and Swim a Jig for Smallmouths

The two major bass tours typically end their seasons on northern waters where the smallmouth grow big and mean, but are usually in relatively deep water. As a result, the dominant patterns usually involve dropshotting or dragging a tube, or perhaps slinging a deep...

Summertime Victories

Summertime Victories

The Victory Tail soft plastic is a relatively new addition to the Optimum Baits lineup, but Michael Murphy says that it’s a lure that draws from the past and looks to the future. It can be rigged on just about any terminal tackle that you already use for plastics, and...

Sticking to it in the Summer

Sticking to it in the Summer

For those anglers who still haven’t dared to throw the Ima Big Stik because it looks too imposing, California guide Randy Pringle has one thing to say: Get over it. Pringle, who had a heavy hand in the bait’s design, said that while he uses this topwater when he needs...

Summertime Square Bills

Summertime Square Bills

Summertime Square Bills California fishing guide and noted instructor Randy Pringle has been crushing bass on the Cal Delta over the past month, and he expects that his current bite to continue well into the summer. While he’s employed a number of tools, depending on...

Don’t Retire Your Flits in the Summer

Don’t Retire Your Flits in the Summer

Don’t Retire Your Flits in the Summer Many bass anglers elect to put away their jerkbaits once the cold-water bite for prespawn bass has concluded. That’s a mistake, says South Carolina pro Michael Murphy. The natural baitfish profile that these minnow imitators...

Optimums Top-of-the-line

Optimums Top-of-the-line

In the last couple years I've utilized the top-of-the-line swim bait for some of my spinner bait bites. You can work this bait over around logs, up over rocks and with the colors that we offer at optimum we can imitate just about any baitfish your body of water has....

Post Spawn Topwater

Post Spawn Topwater

The immediate post-spawn is one of Randy Pringle’s favorite times of year because it signals the beginning of prime topwater season. The key during this time period, he said, is to “be adjustable.” Fortunately, IMA gives him three solid tools to work with – the...

To Pop or Not to Pop?

To Pop or Not to Pop?

Optimum Baits makes two tremendous hollow-bodied frogs from the same family – the Original Furbit and the Poppin’ Furbit. Both feature rabbit fur “legs,” a dangling blade, perfect color patterns and a super-sharp 6/0 Owner double hook. The difference, as the name...

Murphy Goes Mini

Murphy Goes Mini

Mention the word “swimbaits” and the first thing that comes to most anglers’ minds is the gargantuan seven-, eight- and even twelve-inch versions favored by west coast lunker hunters. But the same characteristics that make the big baits effective can also be deadly in...

Simple Guide to Double Diamond Swim Jig Trailers

Simple Guide to Double Diamond Swim Jig Trailers

River guru Bill Lowen loves to swim a jig for shallow water bass. His favorite D&L Swim Jig, which he had a hand in designing, has played a key role in his Elite Series success in recent years. He likes to keep it simple, utilizing a ¼ ounce model perhaps 75...

Alter Line Size for Jerkbait Success

Alter Line Size for Jerkbait Success

Texas pro Kurt Dove always fishes the IMA Flit on 12-pound test line, but depending on what he wants the lure to do, that line may be mono or it may be fluorocarbon. Fishing the ultra-clear waters of Lake Amistad, he gravitates toward fluorocarbon because it’s less...