|For an effective go to bait throught summer and early fall, try Senko plastic worms.
It’s pretty easy to think of certain baits such as the Senko (and similar cigar-shaped sinking worms such as the Stik-O by Bass Pro Shops), as being a great presentation but limited to wacky rigging just prior to and during the bass spawn. However, Senkos are effective throughout the summer and early fall, as evidenced during a recent trip for river smallmouth bass.
Senkos baits are one of my friend Mark’s confidence baits; he fishes them often when he joins me. We frequently fish a section of impounded river, short lake-like river sections that stretch six to 10 miles between lock and dams. During these outings, which typically take place during the last hour or two of daylight, Mark scores on bass with a wacky rigged Senko, tossing it close to bank-hovering willows that sit in a foot or so of water.
On our most recent outing, however, we were on a section of free-flowing river, well upstream of the impounded waters. The smallmouth along the rocky bank were showing little interest in Mark’s wacky-rigged Senko, though I was picking up fish pretty regularly with a fluke-style soft jerkbait. Mark made a slight rigging adjustment, altering the Senko’s look to a Texas rig with a small slip sinker. Within a cast or two he was into a three-pound-plus smallmouth. The Senko continued to produce for him during the evening’s fishing.
Here are a few tips on fishing a Senko Texas-style:
- Baits like a five-inch Senko team-up well with a hook like Gamakastu’s EWG worm hook in the 2/0 or 3/0 size. Jump up or down in hook size, proportionately, when using a longer or shorter Senko.
- Senkos sink on their own, being liberally impregnated with salt. The sink rate increases as you go to a larger version of the same bait, which is not only longer but also fatter. For example, a five-inch Senko sinks quicker than a four-inch bait, all other things being equal.
- When fishing deeper water it can be advantageous to add a light slip weight to increase the sink rate even more. A 1/16 or 1/8 ounce weight is often just enough to make a big difference in strikes.
- Moderate to strong wind can make fishing a Senko less than pleasant as it greatly diminishes the angler’s touch and control. Adding a bit of weight, as previously mentioned, can help. Another adjustment is to hold the rod tip low, close to the water’s surface. This reduces the amount of line that’s exposed to the wind, minimizing those big line bows that eliminate any sense of feel.