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Friday, October 19, 2007

• Senko Tips

The Senko is a very diverse lure in the world of bass fishing and I cannot cover everything in this post that I'd like to, but I'll cover what I can think of. The Senko is a relatively simple plastic worm with a tapered body designed to have a steady even fall. After the success of the original Senko several companies came out with similar worms. My two favorite alternatives are the Big Bite Baits Trick Stick and the Wave Worms Tiki Stick. The bottom line is that a Senko-type bait works wonders. You should never go bass fishing without one.

Not unlike the spinnerbait, there is really no wrong way to fish a Senko. Most people will rig it Texas rigged with hooks of varying sizes and shapes. I prefer a 3/0 or 4/0 wide gap hook or a Zoom Horny Toad hook with a screw lock. A screw lock hook may slightly alter the action of a Senko, but I still get plenty of bites by quality fish. The hook size will also affect the rate of fall, so keep that in mind. Anglers tend to let the worm do all the work on the drop. That's the beauty of this worm. Letting it fall and sit works wonders. Lift with the rod and repeat. Sometimes even barely moving the worm with a slow lift of the rod gets a bass to bite. You can also let it drop and subsequently twitch it back to the boat in erratic patterns or with a lift and fall pattern. The Senko will dash, dart, and dive all over the place. I catch a lot of fish this way too. Dragging a Senko along the bottom draws some easy strikes too. If you want to make the worm a little more weedless, Texspose the hook into the body of the worm.

The original Senko is not that cheap and has a reputation for ripping easily. I could go all day without catching a single bass and still end up replacing damaged Senkos far too often than I'd like. Many anglers have gone with alternatives, but nothing really beats the original according to some of the die hard Senko fans. I like to think the Wave Worms Tiki Stick comes pretty close because it doesn't tear up quite as bad as the original and still has a similar plastic consistency, not to mention similar action. The Bass Pro Stik-O version is just too stiff in my opinion and lacks the great action the original Senko has. Big Bite Baits has created the Trick Stick. I've found it performs at the same level a Tiki Stick might at a much cheaper price. Using screw lock hooks also helps make any Senko-type worm last a little longer because the plastic doesn't rip beyond repair. The head is secured by a screw rather than sliding back and forth on a hook.

There are other ways to rig this worm. Don't limit yourself by any means. The wacky rig is a very popular way to rig a Senko. Just run the hook through the middle of the worm and you're good to go. You can also rig it a little off center. Many have started using the wacky rigged Senko on a drop shot rig. When you rig a Senko wacky, you can probably figure out two things. The first is that it isn't exactly weedless and the second is that the worm can slip off the hook after a little wear and tear. Two things can be done to remedy these problems. After running the hook through the worm, run the point through the worm again until it just barely breaks through the other side. Now it's weedless. The other trick has several incarnations. One thing anglers do to protect the Senko is slide a split ring or O ring slightly smaller in diameter than the body of the Senko and run the hook between the ring and the worm. The hook never actually goes through the worm. You could do the same thing with a rubber band or cut sections of a tube bait. Some people use tubing you can buy at the hardware store.

So I guess you're wondering what secrets I know. I've already shared a few. I don't keep secrets and share whatever I know about fishing. I've picked up a few things since I started using this lure. I don't use them all, but I won't forget about them. The first few tricks have to do with how easy the original Senko tears. When your Senko rips and the hook no longer stays in place, instead of tossing it aside, you have a few choices to extend the life of the lure. You can use some glue designed for soft plastics or you could turn the worm around and run the hook down the tail end. Once you wear down a Senko enough, you've got to use another. I take all of my torn up worms and cut them shorter and make mini Senkos that measure about 3 to 4 inches in length. Yamamoto baits was working on a Senko this size anyway. Trim the thicker end down and round off the end with some scissors. Then melt it a little with a lighter until the edges are smooth. It's like having a new worm. I've also learned the Senko works well on a shakey head jig or wacky rigged on a jig. I have also seen a Senko inserted inside of a tube bait which makes a very interesting looking lure.

(Edited 6-16-2008)

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