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 come to realize that it’s an effective tool any time the fish are shallow – and especially if they’re in water so shallow that their back fins should be poking through the surface. It’s far from seasonally-specific, too.
“I use it any time I have a place that’s so shallow that you normally wouldn’t think about throwing a slow moving hard bait there,” said Elite Series pro Kurt Dove. For many anglers, that might occur in the immediate post-spawn, when fish are guarding fry. In fact Dove used it successfully this season at a B.A.S.S. event on West Point for those very conditions, but he added that it’s also deadly “in the fall, when fish are super, super shallow around hard cover like laydowns or rocks.”
Why not use a walking bait like an Ima Skimmer in those situations? Sometimes Dove will do that, but he noted that the Floating Flit can be fished even more slowly, and sometimes that makes a huge difference.
“It dives just a short distance when you twitch it and then it comes right back up to the surface,” he said. “I start with a very slow twitch and then concentrate on how long the pause is. That’s the most important thing. Pay attention to how long they need it to sit motionless to get them to strike.”
Traditional balsa minnow baits have been used in similar situations for decades, but Dove believes that the half ounce Floating Flit provides all of the same enticing action, but in a much heavier package. The half-ounce body enables him to make pinpoint casts. “With that weighting system in the bait it won’t float away in the wind,” he explained. “You can almost pitch it tight to cover.”
When the bass are particularly finicky, he’ll add a feathered treble hook on the rear to “keep the action going when the bait is motionless or in a slight wind. It’ll keep pulsating without doing anything.”
Because this presentation tends to tempt bigger-than-average fish, and because the lure is easily castable, Dove throws it on baitcasting tackle, specifically a Powell 703 casting rod, which he said is somewhere between a medium and medium-heavy action. “The key is the soft tip,” he said. “You need it to give it the right action. Otherwise you’ll jerk it too far. The soft tip allows the lure to act naturally.”
His other key tackle recommendation is that he doesn’t use fluorocarbon, his most frequent line choice on tour, but rather monofilament, including a prototype variety from Toray. He said that mono floats better and it’s critical to keep the line on the surface to get the twitches timed correctly and in order to keep them natural.
The lure has three razor-sharp trebles, so if fish get hooked they usually stay hooked, but Dove encouraged anglers to minimize lost fish by fighting them properly: “Don’t try and horse them to the boat,” he said. “When they eat it, give them a second or so, pause it like you would with any other typical topwater strike. Then don’t set it hard, just pull the hooks into them.”