A post in the Ultimatebass.com forum about having trouble catching bass with senkos got me thinking. To me, the biggest problem I’ve seen and had myself with a senko is speed. Not being patient enough, I sometimes work a senko faster and harder than it should be. It’s not power bait; it can be power-fished, but slowly, don’t dawdle between casts. I’ve found the hardest thing to do with a senko is to let the bait make its action, but when I do, it works. The other problem, anglers must fish it where bass are; in my part of the world, this means grass beds and shoreline cover.
I was first introduced to the senko by an angler I ran across while fishing a large grass bed. While we discussed the normal in passing talk of two angles on the water, I explained I wasn’t catching much on my go-to bait, the tube. He then asked if I ever used senkos? I told him no, and he kindly gave me a few and told me how to use them. He explained how I just needed to toss it out 10 or 15 feet with some slack and let them work their way down through the grass, and the bass will grab them.
I wonder how many other baits we move too fast or too slow. Swimming a grub is one which comes to mind; retrieving at a steady depth straight back generally calls for a slow retrieve. Buzz baits are another one. While sometimes they need a high-speed retrieve, I catch most of my bass when the bait moves just fast enough to keep the blades from sinking. On my home waters, I caught my personal best bass dead sticking a Ned Rig on a 1/16-ounce jig head.
Like any lake, my home lake has community holes. Two of my favorites are break-walls on genteelly turning points ranging from 3 to about 5 feet of water. I’ve gone into them after many boats already worked them hard. Sometimes there is a half-hour wait even to fish in these areas. When I do finally get to fish one of them, I get tight to the wall with a drop shot, 3-inch Sticko with just enough weight to get it to the bottom; I have to move slowly to keep it down or just let it sit, I’ve caught several four-plus pounders along with many keepers in the 2-3 pound range, slow does the trick.
I have caught bass working a Zara Spook or Rebel Pop-R as fast as possible and as slowly as I could, same with jerks and soft plastics. We need to let the bass tell us how they want it. The really hard part is learning to wait it out when the bass demand a slow-moving bait. Speed is relative to the mood of the bass, and I know it drives me nuts sometimes, especially when the speed has to be slow.
Take the time to be a fish whisperer; you’ll learn to catch them like Dale, Mike, and others here on Ultimate Bass.
See You On the Water