All Hail the Senko
If you have fished in fresh water in the past 50 years odds are you have at least debated throwing a rubber worm to catch fish. Any tackle shop will have a wall overflowing with sizes shapes and colors of these creepy crawly looking lures. From curly tail grubs to paddle tail shad a fisherman could spend every day trying a new combination and never repeat. However, if a fisherman was required to use only one style of soft plastic lure it should be the Senko.
In the 1990s Gary Yamamoto already a fisherman of renown decided to create a soft plastic bait that could be fished by “doing nothing”. His creation: the Senko was a slow sinking soft rubber bait that looked like a thinned-out cigar. Its slow falling action and gentle taper makes it flutter ever so slightly when its sinking or even in the current if fished in a river. Now 30 years later every lure company makes a version of this deadly invention.
Now the magic of the Senko is more than just its flutter. Its shape being almost symmetrical and tube shaped allows fisherman to rig this any way they wish depending on where the fish are.
Typically, the Senko is fished as a precision lure. Rather than casting and covering large expanses of water hoping to draw a fish in; a fisherman tries to place the lure directly into a spot where the fish will most likely strike out of curiosity or aggression. The most common rigging method for this lure is Wacky Rigged. Wacky rigging places the hook in the middle of the lure so that the senko has the maximum amount of flutter. An example of where I would pitch this lure would be if bass were using a boat dock for cover from the noon sun. Casting the slow fluttering senko directly in front of the dock would draw a reaction from the fish camped out in the shadows.
If you are fishing an area where there is heavy vegetation like lily pads a Texas or Carolina rigged Senko may produce more favorable options. Rigging this way greatly reduces the chance of snagging lily pads and the added weight helps bring the lure to where the fish will most often be. Since the hook is now imbedded in several inches of the lure it won’t flutter on the way down but will still wiggle and can be made to “dance” while sitting on the bottom with just the slightest flick of the rod tip.
If your fishing spot has a rocky or even sandy bottom give a jig head a try. This will help get your Senko to the bottom and make a bit more fish attracting noise than the sinker on the Carolina rig. Play with the cadence of popping the jig off the bottom and letting it rest, many times a bass will strike as the lure sits nearly motionless on the bottom.
Traditionally Pumpkin, Watermelon, and June bug are money makers but I’ve caught fish with just about any color of the rainbow. For the cost of a bag you can afford to get plenty of colors. Fish them with any hook you have and develop a game plan for your local spot. If nothing else seems to work give the Senko a try.