Fishing a Senko on Top - Major League Fishing

Fishing a Senko on Top

John Cox fishes an unweighted Senko year-round for big bass
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November 10, 2015 • John Cox • Major League Lessons

An unweighted Yamamoto Senko, rigged on a wide-gap hook, has caught a lot of bass for me. Most often, I use it where the fish have been hammered and have seen about every other lure there is. This is probably in an area where the bass aren’t replenishing and are just sort of hanging out and feeding once in a while.

I fish this rig across the surface faster than a floating worm, but I’m not really burning it. I want it to be hopping and skipping across the surface, like a minnow or bream that’s trying to get away.

If I’m fishing grass I’ll use a Lew’s baitcasting reel with a 7:1 gear ratio and a Mud Hole MHX MB873 rod that’s 7 feet, 3 inches long with a medium-heavy action. I like 30-pound-test braid for heavy weeds, or 15-pound-test fluorocarbon for open water. Also, in open water I’ll sometimes go with a fast-speed spinning reel with 10-pound-test braid on a Mud Hole SJ842 blank, which is a 7-foot, medium-action rod.

Either way, I’m using a 4/0 wide-gap hook. If the grass is really thick, I’ll go with a heavier hook, but most of the time I stick with a light-wire model. One purpose of the wide-gap hook is to provide a better hookset when the bait is moving along at a pretty good clip. Also, it acts as a keel to keep the Senko running straight so it doesn’t twist the line. A 3- or 4-inch Senko works for this. Once it gets beat up some, I’ll bite off the torn part and just re-rig what’s left. Typically I’ll rig a shad-colored Senko or one that suggests a bream’s colors – it depends on what the main forage seems to be.

Cast it out, get a cadence going and work it back fairly quickly so it hops along. Sometimes you’ll spot a wake or some sign that a bass is chasing it. In that case, just stop it and see what happens. It doesn’t look so hot when it’s falling, but fish will grab it anyway.

Like I said, I’ve found this to be a good bait for fish that practically have been beaten to death – I mean, they’ve got hook holes in their jaws and they’re all scarred up, but something is keeping them in that area.

This has been a good year-round deal for me. There’s no particular season when it works best, just whenever there are fish up shallow. And as far as I’m concerned there are always fish up shallow.