Outdoor Articles

Bagwell’s Bass Tactics: Keeping Senkos Simple

by Pursue The Outdoors on June 27th, 2005 in Freshwater Fishing

Since joining the Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Pro Team in 2003, I have been asked literally hundreds of questions about our various product lines. One question however seems to outnumber the rest by a 20 to 1 margin. That question is “How do you fish a Senko?” If I had to guess, I would say Senkos are probably one of the most misused baits in the fishing industry. The good thing is they still catch fish even when used wrong (if that makes any sense).

While you can rig a Senko any number of ways, the one thing you should always remember is to not “over work” the bait. Instead, let the bait work itself. Many anglers will cast the Senko and as soon as it hits the water, they start reeling it in, with one of many retrieval methods. While this will catch fish, I think they are greatly reducing their success rate. The most effective and efficient technique that I have found for fishing the Senko is done by hooking it Texas rigged without a weight.

After the bait is properly rigged, make a cast towards your selected target. When the bait hits the water, rather than tightening up the line, leave some slack. The unique design of the bait will cause it to fall vertically with an enticing little wiggle. If there is pressure on the line the bait will not fall straight down. “If” the bait makes it to the bottom without being gobbled up by a bass, let it remain stationary for a few seconds. In many instances, bass will pick up a motionless Senko from the bottom. If this does not occur, lift your rod tip to cause the bait to rise from the bottom. Once again, allow the bait to descend on semi-slack line. Repeat these steps until the Senko is out of the targeted strike zone or more likely, “in the mouth of a fish.”

Another very effective and increasingly popular technique for fishing the Senko is one that has been dubbed “Wacky Rigging.” This is done by hooking a Daiichi Wacky Rig hook in the center or “sack” of the Senko. The overall way of fishing this style is similar to that of fishing it Texas Rigged without a weight. One of the major differences (at least when I use it) is the addition of a little added movement. Very rarely do I ever allow a Wacky Rigged Senko to hit the bottom. The exposed hook is very easily snagged. Instead, I allow the bait to fall for a number of seconds (which will be determined by water depth), stop it just prior to hitting bottom and then bring the bait back to the surface. To bring the bait to the surface I raise my rod tip slowly while simultaneously making very slight twitches with the rod. Once again, as the bait nears the surface I let it fall back to my predetermined depth and repeat the process as needed.


In addition to these two techniques, the Senko can also be fished on a Carolina Rig, a Drop Shot rig, as a Jerk Bait and numerous other ways. These rigs require a little more effort to be effective. However, they can be easily mastered once you understand the basics of each particular technique. The versatility of the Senko is what has made it one of the hottest baits in fishing. Although there is really no wrong way to fish a Senko, there are slight adjustments you can make to your fishing style to increase your level of success.

Regardless of the technique that you choose when fishing a Senko, always allow the bait to do all of the work. These baits were born to catch fish and they don’t need a lot of help in doing so. Just let the Senko work its magic and you will look like one of the hottest anglers on the water.

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