Fishing tips from Gord Pyzer: Secure your stickbait
If a poll were taken to determine the one bait that has had the most revolutionary impact on bass fishing over the past decade, I’d be willing to bet that the winner—by a wide margin—would be the Senko-style soft plastic stick bait. If there is a bass angler anywhere who doesn’t have a package of Senkos, Trigger X Flutter Worms, Berkley Sinking Minnows or YUM Dingers in their tackle box, I’d like to meet them.
There is just something about that seductive wiggle, as the heavy, scented worm falls through the water column, that drives fish crazy. And, as a general rule, the less you do with these baits, the more fish you catch.
As a matter of fact, I get to spend a considerable amount of time talking and fishing with some of the top names in the business, folks like Kevin VanDam, Aaron Martens, Ott DeFoe, Bob Izumi and a many more, and I’ll tell you what drives them crazy. It is when they are fishing a draw-for-partner tournament and their non-boater for the day shows up with a Senko dangling from the end of their line. As the pros will tell you, you better catch everything you can, because the angler fishing with the Senko from the back of the boat is going to mop up behind you.
While there is really no wrong way to fish these versatile baits—other than perhaps, fishing them too quickly—there is a trick you can use to increase your Senko success immeasurably. Especially when you fish the soft plastics in and around cover, and you rig them Texas-style or Tex-posed.
As anyone who has ever done this knows, sometimes you feel a bass take the bait, set the hook hard and miss it. When that happens, the tell-tale reminder of your mistake is a balled up chunk of plastic wadded around the hook. Well, here is how you can avoid that embarrassment and get a second, third, even forth crack at catching those fish.
After you Texas rig your Senko-style soft plastic stickbait, be sure to bury the eye of the hook well inside the soft plastic head. Now, take a piece of heavy monofilament or fluorocarbon line, I like to use 20-, 25-, even 30-pound test, and carefully run it through the plastic, the eye of the hook, and back out.
When you trim the excess line with a pair of scissors, you’ll find that you’ve anchored your Senko almost permanently to the hook. So, when you feel a fish bite, but you miss it, you can be totally confident the bass hasn’t balled up your bait, requiring you to reel it in and lose time re-rigging it up.
Instead, simply let your stick bait fall back to the bottom, pause for a couple of seconds and then tighten up on the line. Chances are the bass has rushed over to eat the worm it just missed, giving you a second, third, even fourth chance to nail it.
In fact, watch this short one minute video tip I shot that shows exactly how to do this, on last week’s edition of the Fish ‘N Canada television show. Simply slide the adjustment bar to the 8:45 minute mark and you’ll see how easy it is to get a second crack at all those bass you’ve been missing.