Fishing the senko in San Diego

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I have been fishing the Senko for about 6 years now. I started fishing them about 2 years or so before they became really popular and these lures almost single handedly accounted for 3 club championships for me. These things can be fished any way you feel like fishing them.

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  • The most popular way to fish these is t-rigged, weightless but there are so many other ways to fish these. I have caught fish on Senkos fishing them on a Carolina rig, as a soft jerkbait, as a topwater bait, T-rigged with a weight and fished like a worm, flipped, drop shotted, even using them as you would a slow rolled spinnerbait. There is no wrong way to fish these lures.

    I don’t know what made me first buy a bag of Senkos, they certainly don’t look like much. The first time I tried them was at a club tourney at San V. I was having a tough day and decided ” what the heck”. I tied one on and after the second cast I put the rod on deck and started rummaging through my tackle to see what I was going to use next. When I picked up my rod I had a 3lbr on. I fished the Senko for most of the rest of the day and won the tournament by over 8 lbs, nobody else had more than 2 fish. I was a convert after that.

    The weightless method really seems to work best early in the year from late winter through post spawn when the fish are still a little sluggish. It’s a very subtly bait and one that won’t put the fish off with too much noise and flash. I’ve noticed that after the post spawn the weightless method loses some of it’s effectiveness as the fish become more aggressive and want faster moving baits. If you want to keep fishing it this way you can do a couple of things to up your odds of getting bit. You can vary the rate of fall by doing any one of several things. You can increase your hook size or use fluorocarbon line that sinks faster than mono, either of these will make the Senko sink faster.

    I like to use a weighted hook as this will substantially speed up the fall but still keep it falling horizontally. This effectively turns the bait into a reaction bait as the fish will likely be striking it as it falls past it’s face without getting a good look at it.

    You can also add a nail weight to the bait. With a nail weight you can alter the fall in other ways as well. If you place the nail in the back of the bait it will dart away from you as it sinks(think Flying Lure), this is a good trick if your bed fishing, you can “pop” the lure off the bottom and it will sink backwards to where it was before, or you can use this if you want to get the bait under a mat of tules or other weeds. If you place a nail weight towards the front of the bait it will give it a spiraling fall like a tube, this works well on breaking fish. Cast at a boil and let the bait spiral down through the fish. Also, with the weight in the head the bait will kind of stand on it’s head as it hits the bottom. Shaking the bait on the bottom like this can be deadly. I usually use the 4″ or 5″ but I have started having better luck with the 6″.

    As for some of the other ways I like to fish them. I know alot of you on here like to flip senkos in the tules, you guys know how deadly this is. I usually flip the Senko weightless. If the fish are suspended in the weeds this gives them a better chance of getting the bait before it goes shooting past them to the bottom. I will use a weight if the cover is real heavy. The shape of the Senko makes it an awesome bait for flippin’. I usually use a 5″ for flippin

    There is really no trick to fishing it on a c-rig or a t-rig or drop shotting them, but it is an excellent bait for these. I really like the Slim Senkos for dropshotting.

    One of the ways I really love to fish these is to cast them at breaking fish. They give you options without having to change baits. You can cast them at the boils and let them sink, you can jerk them like a Fluke, or my favorite, you can use a steady reeling, keeping the bait just on the surface creating a wake. Because of the blunt nose of the bait, water does not pass over the bait real well, this causes the bait to dart from side to side on a straight retrieve. This resembles an escaping shad very well. I like to use the 2″ or 3″ baits for this. This kind of leads into fishing them like a spinnerbait. I came across this by accident a couple of years ago over at the Colorado River. I was fishing them weightless and had caught a couple of fish as I was bringing the bait in for another cast. I started throwing it in the tules where I would normally use a blade and I would reel steadily and slowly. The bait has that same side to side darting action and I ended up getting my limit and culling several fish this way. I have caught fish every place I have tried it ( but not every TIME I have tried it). I use the 4″ and 5″ for this.

    One little trick I like to do to some of my Senkos is to take a razor blade and shred the tail of the bait so it looks like a tube. This makes a great bed fishing bait because the bait is heavy enough to use without a weight but it still has the waving tentacles of a tube, and is subtle enough not to scare the fish off the bed. Doing this will also add to the action when fished in any of the other methods.

    I don’t really think color makes a huge difference. I have 6 Plano boxes full of just senkos, from 2″ to 7″. I have caught fish on every color bait I have tried and have about 20 different colors. I do follow one rule of thumb in regards to color. In clear water I use more natural colors like watermelon, pumpkinseed, smoke and clear and in off colored water I use darker colors like black and peanut butter and jelly.

    There truly is no wrong way to fish them nor a bad color to fish. If you haven’t tried these yet you’re missing out. Pick some up and be ready for next spring when the lure is at it’s finest.

    Hopefully some of you will find something useful in this post, and if you have an area where you feel you have some knowledge to share with all of us, please do so. We can all learn more than we already know.

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    Established in 1996, sdfish.com is San Diego's original and #1 source for updated fishing information, reports, and much more!

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