The All-Powerful Senko
For years now, a soft stick bait (aka., the Senko), has been a staple in nearly everyone’s arsenal. I need not explain why, but to summarize, IT CATCHES FISH! It is a simple, simple lure to use for anyone from beginner to touring pro and it flat out catches numbers as well as quality. In addition, it is actually quite diverse in how you can rig it depending on certain situations. If you were to peak in my boat on any given day, here are a few ways you would typically find my senkos rigged up.
Weightless / Weedless
This may be the most popular way to rig a senko, and for good reason! It’s easy, it’s weedless, and it creates a very enticingly slow fall that will likely get a bass to commit to eating it. For those who aren’t familiar, I will rig it “Texas” style on an EWG hook but without any weight whatsoever. This is possibly the most weedless creation on the planet. In fact, I discovered the senko years ago while digging through the fishing forums trying to find a way to catch fish in and around thick grass. This is the perfect option anytime grass or any heavy cover is present. It’s a hard one to beat, but there ARE times that a weight can be handy.
Texas Rigged WITH a Weight
So, for the longest time it seemed rather sacrilege to add any weight to a stick bait. I mean, the whole allure of the…. lure….is that it falls slowly in order to entice strikes. It’s a “do-nothing” bait. Right? Then, one day I had a gut-feeling that I needed to try pegging a small weight to my senko just to see what happens. The very first cast I caught a solid 8+ pound fish from a spot I had casted the weightless rendition to 100 times. The lesson is this; sometimes a little weight will trigger bits from either heavily pressured fish or fish that simply aren’t feeding. In a way, it will give them a different view and make them react to your bait when they otherwise wouldn’t touch it.
Neko RigTo take it one step further, we can change up the presentation a bit more by adding the weight to the rear end of the bait. I’m typically slow when it comes to jumping on the latest fads, but last year I finally came around to trying the Neko Rig. For a rundown, with a Neko Rig you shove a nail weight up the rear of Mr. Senko while he is hanging on a wacky hook. This tends to be my go-to around more sparse cover and especially docks. This rig has offered me one more option to try to show the fish something a little bit different depending on the conditions.