"Stick Bait" / "Senko"
This week’s Tackle Talk Thursday we are gonna change over to one of the best baits I’ve found for catching bass! This weeks showcase bait is the “Stick bait” or some know it as a “Senko”. Now first look at this bait a lot of people look at it like it’s just a big chunk of plastic, however with so many different rigging options and way to fish these makes the possibilities endless. In this review I’m going to go over the different ways to rig these baits and relation to the times of year I fish these specific techniques.
First off let’s start with spring! In the spring months I like to use some of the small versions of these baits like the 4”. Reason behind this is I feel these fish like a smaller presentation because the forage in lakes and the river will generally be a bit smaller this time of year. Now the way I fish these in the spring varies a little, first off when you find a bass on a bed that won’t eat anything you tie on a senko and they will eat! Now for rigging these in the spring I will generally “wacky rig” it. For those who don’t know what that is, it is where you take your hook and hook it thru the center of the bait so each side has movement. This I will throw weightless so it has a nice flutter as it drops in the water column. Also to really pin point it or fish deeper beds I will use a drop shot and still rig it the same way. I feel with a drop shot you can pin point and drag the bait right on top of the beds and have more control just twitching the bait until those fish on the bed eat the bait.
Now to the summer and fall months I will use the bigger sizes 5”-6”. Now I will use them on a drop shot to hit deeper points, edges of weeds along with casting it weightless working around docks. One approach I like to do once the weeds grow pretty thick is find where they are matted up and throw it Texas rigged style! When rigging a worm “Texas Rigged” the worm is rigged on the hook with the point of the hook pinned back into the body of the worm to make it weedless and a bullet weight is used on the line ahead of the hook. This allows these to be weedless and get down towards the base of those weed stalks where the bass generally will be sitting.
One downfall with these baits is they are meant to be fished slow. Now I wouldn’t recommend for trying to find schools of fish by using this type of bait, but for picking apart an area you know is holding bass and they are not eating anything else, toss on a stick bait and you will get some of those fish to eat! Now as far as color patterns go it all depends on where you fish. Here in the metro area of Minnesota I will generally throw a PB&J or pumpkin seed color on the clear bodies of water where the more stained lakes I’ll maybe throw a June-bug color. As far as brands go with these there are a ton of options out there, from Gary Yamamoto’s Senko to Big Bites Baits Trick Sticks are a couple of my favorites. These soft plastics are well known around bass fishing and I will generally always have a few of these tied on during a bass trip. Get a bag or two to add to your arsenal this season!