Yamamoto Baits Senko 4"
The 4" Yamamoto Senko is a soft plastic stick bait exhibiting an ambiguous appearance that looks more like a sharpie than any sort of forage. It's actually this oddity that makes the Senko so great - while looking like nothing, it displays an action and profile that just seems to mimic general forage species such as bluegill, shad and crayfish among others. Legendary bait designer and professional angler Gary Yamamoto designed the Senko essentially by accident. He sought to improve the design of the popular Slug-Go, but poured the plastic thicker causing it to suspend less, rather, it displayed an entirely unique action. The soft plastic he created could wiggle like no other plastic and would glide side to side erratically upon the fall. Yamamoto found no wrong way to rig the bait and realized his mistake was actually quite an effective finesse presentation. Bass can hardly resist the Senko's unique horizontal fall when fished weightless or wacky style. Not only does the Senko have incredible fish-catching action, but it casts like a bullet and gets into the strike zone quickly.
We offer the Yamamoto 4" Senko in a wide variety of colors that are certain to match any forage. Each pack contains 10 baits.
When to use the 4" Senko
The Senko works all year round, but shines from spring to fall when bass are roaming the shallows looking to pick off easy meals. In the Spring, the Senko is one of the most popular bed fishing baits as its slow, wiggly fall irritates fish trying to guard their bed. During the summer, the bait replicates bluegill during their own spawn up shallow. Bass will wolfpack during this period in hopes of cornering the weakest bluegill in the bunch working together to get their high protein meals. When shad school up, bass will chase them near the surface in hopes of capturing a few as they reach the barrier between water and air - many times these shad will jump out of the water to escape, but upon returning to the water they are scooped up by opportunistic bass. The Senko is ideal for casting to fish that are chasing these baitfish and also makes a great follow-up bait for fishing topwater. During the colder months, anglers find success in deeper water on long underwater structure such as points. When fishing it in deeper water, a small weight is recommended.
Where to use the Senko
Yamamoto says the Senko is best in shallow water, especially in spawning areas in early spring. However, he has caught fish in cold water from as deep as 30 feet at Beaver Lake. Shallow cover, such as grass and stumps are good, while bluffs are tailor-made for throwing a Senko.
Rigging the Senko
Most anglers prefer a 3/0 extra wide gap (EWG) hook when fishing the 4" version Texas-rigged with 8- to 12-pound test fluorocarbon line and a medium or medium-heavy action rod. This combination of light line and a medium action rod allows for long casts and positive "pressure" hook sets — a swift jerk is not recommended. The 4" model of Senko is also an excellent choice for the wacky rig using a dedicated wacky worm hook and 5-8lb fluorocarbon. Fluorocarbon line is preferred over monofilament because its density allows it to sink with the bait and does not interfere with the fluttering action the Senko is famous for. When weights are desired, 1/8- to 1/4-ounce screw-lock weights work best.
How to use the 4" Senko
The Senko is a finesse bait, but can be worked in a few ways. The most popular way to use it is without a weight of any kind. Simply rig it as you would on a Texas rig and skin hook it with the point just under the surface of the plastic. It's important that the bait hangs as straight as possible on the hook, otherwise the signature fluttering action of the bait will be lost. If skipping a Senko under a dock, the wacky rig is a good option. Wacky rigging is simple, but not very weedless. The worm is impaled through the middle much like a live nightcrawler. A third option is to weight the Senko. Yamamoto will fish it weighted if he wants a different look or is in deep water (10 or more feet). He says a 1/8-ounce screw-lock weight is best because it stays with the worm and makes it spiral as it falls. The simplicity of the Senko doesn't s"top" with the design. It's also a simple bait to use. Yamamoto says while he designed the Senko to be a jerkbait, few people use it that way. The action on the fall is what draws the most strikes. Yamamoto will cast it to shallow cover and simply let the worm fall. The fluttering action draws the strikes. Yamamoto says the slower you fish the Senko, the better. After watching the line to see when the bait is on the bottom, Yamamoto will let it sit for several seconds, then raise the rod tip 6 inches or a foot, then let the bait flutter down again. Repeat this until the bait is no longer near any cover. "When the fish hear the splash, they look to see what it is. When they see the worm, they may not grab it right away, but go over and inspect it. When they get a good look at it and it moves again, that's when most strikes occur." Once you feel pressure from a fish, Yamamoto says a jarring hook set is not needed. Since the worm is skin-hooked, all you need to do is reel until the line is tight and allow the fish to set the hook for you as it swims away.