Senkos aren't the only sticks that catch fish

SPOONMINNOW

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Joined
Oct 9, 2016
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Ever since I caught my first bass on a GY Senko I wondered why that lure is amazing. I noticed the plastic is of some formula that cause it to sink faster than most any plastic could given the same shape: a thin stick with blunt tips. Gary Y somehow figured out the hydrodynamic properties of the design and made a killing. For a lure crafter and designer such as myself, it opened some doors regarding soft plastic tail designs that took into consideration how lures move differently given different presentations. There is no advantage to having a huge variety of lures that do equally well given conditions, but I can always pretend that many of my creations do well because they are different than most soft plastic sold.

My first grub was a bright yellow Mr Twister Grub given to me by a tackle shop owner. I was blow away by the smallmouth it caught ! You see the tail flapping and figure that fish must thing the grub represents another fish. Course that doesn't explain Mr Twister's Phenom worm especially with a purple body and pink tail.  No lure in nature looks nor moves like that! But hey if it catches fish, there's got to something fish are thinking about when they bite certain designs. 

But getting back to the Senko. A few years ago I accidentally fashioned a stick-grub by accident and to this day have no idea how it ended up
in my tackle box. But there it was and what the heck - why not rig it on a ball head jig like any other grub. This was the first fish of over two dozen it caught that day:
LA8hPEQ.jpg


Now I'm confused ! The tail is blunt, the surface of the lure is smooth as glass and fish blasted it. Finally I watched it in the water using the usual rod tip twitches for finesse lure and DANG if it didn't wag back & forth like a miniature Zara Spook surface plug - except underwater !!
A lure's action speaks louder than words and like all other great lures, lure action is 3/4 the reason fish attack them.

So as is my nature after catching a bunch of fish on a new discovery, I went wild coming up with short stick grubs cut from different sources and added them to 1/16 oz ball head jigs. Here are a few:
jJgCEzi.jpg
KoFu2ZN.jpg


Then I figured : why does a stick grub have to have rounded sides ? Enter the stick grub with four flat sides (note the grub holder wire):
vc1JOQL.jpg

It did as well as any other mini-stick. 

Last year I started making transparent plastic sticks with glassy smooth sides and blunt tail. They did great in any color water:
g01eCWT.jpg

Different diameters (above picture) were tested and all caught fish. 

But before that I figured - why not make a bullet shaped grub which a call a cone tail grub
[size=small]
LWZ8rrN.jpg
[/size]
[size=small]It caught this 4 lb catfish and a three other species:[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
zOzgMe0.jpg
[size=medium]
6Fsalq6.jpg
[size=small]
VZd0Pwn.jpg
[/size][/size][/size][/size]
[size=small][size=small][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium]                                                                 ^Even this little guy wanted a piece of one  ^ and this bass[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]


[size=small][size=small][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium]Back to short sticks. Again I have no idea how or when I made this 2.5" stick grub, but when I saw it laying on my craft table I figure, [/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][size=small][size=small]why not wacky rig it with a 1/32 oz jig and see how it falls in the water. UNBELIEVABLE ! It had the same  tip and body wobble on the drop as a 4" [/size][/size]Senko !  and caught fish the first time I took it fishing. Here is the first prototype:
rvB3fUm.jpg


For a faster drop but with still the same action, a 1/16 or 1/24 oz ball head jig was used. 
note: a jig must be used considering the light weight of the plastic in order to start the lure wobble and tip gyrations on the drop.
note: the lure can be rod tip-twitched mid-depth anywhere to the bottom.
 
I have bags of never used curl tail grubs so I figured: why not cut of the tails and weld the bodies together using a candle flame:
[size=small]
j1gvvR5.jpg
[size=small]
gFZ59We.jpg
[size=small]
g8jauhM.jpg
[/size][/size][/size]
[size=small]They all work great ! (Note the different jig rigs in the two photos on the right.)[/size]
[size=small]Don't forget cone tail sticks - another tried & proven design:[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
hGBdgrH.jpg
[/size][/size]

[size=small]Thanks Gary Yamamoto ! It was a pleasure learning the secret of the Senko and taking it from there![/size]
[size=small]Also, thanks for the digital camera and a place to store photos to transfer from.[/size]
 

Hawnjigs

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Location
Ogallala, NE
Yup, as I've previously posted bud Jon outifishes me with a 5" Gulp senko style worm cut into 3 stubs.

JiggerJohn designs jigs based on his belief that fish are stupid, and all of his sometimes wacky creations are successful.
 

SPOONMINNOW

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Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
26
JiggerJohn designs jigs based on his belief that fish are stupid, and all of his sometimes wacky creations are successful.
 
Stupid is as stupid does. as Forest Gump would say. 

If fish were as bright as many trout anglers using certain fly patterns insist, I shouldn't have caught much of anything the many trips I used a varied selection of lures.
But 40-100 fish / outing indicate not so much a low IQ as a sensitivity to what's moving and how it's moving.  The the basic idea for any good lure design regardless the species or size fish is how well it catches different size fish on different days.

 I can pretend the grub hit by this 3 lb fish was some prey animal it recognized, but what? !
tWQZgQc.jpg
[size=small]
s6vDA3T.jpg
[/size]

[size=small]Whoever heard of 7 lb catfish striking a purple worm (Slider Worm rigged on light jig head)? It barely fit into the net.[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
L9fioTF.jpg
[size=small]
PN9b2uq.jpg
[/size][/size][/size]

[size=small][size=small][size=small]Please tell me what that fish was thinking ?!!! It's really nice to be free of doctrine - fish tales if you must, printed in magazines and on fishing sites. I rarely see positive replies to posts like the above and others in jigcraft. A buddy and previous writer for Fishing Facts Magazine fully acknowledges the above and we compare notes frequently.[/size][/size][/size]
 

Jig Man

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Joined
May 19, 2010
Messages
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Out here...
I can see catching a catfish on a plastic worm, but a sucker? Now thats something different...
 

SPOONMINNOW

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Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
26
Heck, who would expect catching large river carp on 3/4 - 1 oz. Hopkins Spoons !?? We cast them across the creek mouth on the incoming tide and caught a dozen between 2-5 lbs. The following spring in a creek further south I was vertical jigging the same spoon under the boat and caught a 7 lb. carp. Good thing I always carry pliers especially since carp lips are the most difficult to remove hooks from. !!!
 

Hawnjigs

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Ogallala, NE
Since bottom suckers feed on most anything organic that gets into their mouths including small fish and invertebrates, not surprising that they will bite lures if in attack mode.  Some non-game species that bit my jigs are at least 2 buffalo varieties, red horses, quillbacks, grass carp, several kinds of suckers, and of course common carp.  Altho mine are mostly bycatch,  JiggerJohn and his crew actually target carp, and when serious he sometimes cheats with corn tippings.
 

duffy

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Joined
Oct 7, 2015
Messages
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Location
Eastern WA.
Nice research. I had some grub like bodies that had a split tail that would sometimes work better than the plain tubes for perch ect. Had them for years before the beetle spin came out. Have also caught suckers on shrimp while steelheading, carp and catfish while using a nightcrawler for walleye but I think most of those were opportunity catches.  Allot seems like amount of food for amount of fish. Plentiful food source equals picky fish where as scarce food source with large numbers of fish = more competition. Kinda like what's going on now with the idiot hoarders.
 

snake River

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Messages
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Location
oregon
I guess I have to get Busy and try this method out.I guess you can get really creative with all the different body styles I have and do a lot of experimenting. I guess you can get really creative with all the different body styles I have and do a lot of experimenting
 

snake River

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Messages
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Location
oregon
snake River said:
I guess I have to get Busy and try this method out.I guess you can get really creative with all the different body styles I have and do a lot of experimenting. 
 

SPOONMINNOW

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Joined
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One thing I've discovered is that fish don't know what their hitting or what lures should look like and because of that the only thing that remains important is size, shape and action. Look again at the lures posted. They are no way a realistic version of anything and because of the ones I've tested, here are the unnatural characteristics of the lures I've modified and tested that caught bukoo fish:

1.  four flat sides for example (soft plastics and some hard plastic lures such as Helin's Flat Fish)
IjVbAdV.jpg


2. colors - rarely a factor when a lure shimmies, wobbles or moves in such a way that provokes a strike. Clear hard plastic lures 
have done well for for over 30 years, and last year I found clear soft plastics (of those with a faint color tint) do well. 
zDZwTNJ.jpg
[size=small]
UVW21j6.jpg
[size=small]
tWE29cY.jpg
[size=small]
ycEczQN.jpg
[/size][/size][/size]
[size=small][size=small][size=small]As you've seen, many fish are caught on fluorescent pink and chartreuse.[/size][/size][/size]

3. asymmetry - note how the top stick is wacky rigged:
xlA6VZI.jpg

All of the sticks shown will catch fish and all have excellent tip action on the way down. Here's another wacky rig example :
ToEuMx2.jpg


4. There are NO designs that fish will ONLY bite on any one outing. All of these will catch fish when fish are found that can be provoked:
gdQqZKh.jpg

(5 and 6 are from an injection mold and are copies of a Flip Tail Worm made decades ago before Whopper Stopper stopped making lures; excellent action !)

....including this claw/ grub body hybrid (one of my best producers) and the curl tail of a Twister Grub and reattached to the grub body it came from (on the right):
[size=small]
jO1VvkJ.jpg
QwZ8O4T.jpg
jYYHxJQ.jpg
[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
DZekz0E.jpg
[size=small]
9HTbKSq.jpg
[/size][/size][/size]

[size=small][size=small][size=small]Claws removed and the craw head added to a grub body:[/size][/size][/size]
[size=small][size=small][size=small][size=small]
zwEknt4.jpg
[/size][/size][/size][/size]

5. Fish ignore hardware such as the wire of a Beetle Spin (lt.), weed guard (rt.) or the hooks hanging from a Floating Rapala:
[size=small]
Qpqrodc.jpg
[size=small]
rJG2V0R.jpg
[/size][/size]

[size=small]6. Most important-  have fun finding designs fish don't have a clue what they are.[/size]
 

SPOONMINNOW

New member
Joined
Oct 9, 2016
Messages
26
I guess I have to get Busy and try this method out.I guess you can get really creative with all the different body styles I have and do a lot of experimenting.


Yes Bob. With your ability to mass produce and sell the best lure designs, you could take any ones shown (please do) and get molds made for them. Believe me - THEY WORK FANTASTIC ! (Just remember to send me a few LOL)
 

snake River

Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2010
Messages
363
Location
oregon
Ever since I caught my first bass on a GY Senko I wondered why that lure is amazing. I noticed the plastic is of some formula that cause it to sink faster than most any plastic could given the same shape: a thin stick with blunt tips. Gary Y somehow figured out the hydrodynamic properties of the design and made a killing. For a lure crafter and designer such as myself, it opened some doors regarding soft plastic tail designs that took into consideration how lures move differently given different presentations. There is no advantage to having a huge variety of lures that do equally well given conditions, but I can always pretend that many of my creations do well because they are different than most soft plastic sold.

My first grub was a bright yellow Mr Twister Grub given to me by a tackle shop owner. I was blow away by the smallmouth it caught ! You see the tail flapping and figure that fish must thing the grub represents another fish. Course that doesn't explain Mr Twister's Phenom worm especially with a purple body and pink tail. No lure in nature looks nor moves like that! But hey if it catches fish, there's got to something fish are thinking about when they bite certain designs.

But getting back to the Senko. A few years ago I accidentally fashioned a stick-grub by accident and to this day have no idea how it ended up
in my tackle box. But there it was and what the heck - why not rig it on a ball head jig like any other grub. This was the first fish of over two dozen it caught that day:
LA8hPEQ.jpg


Now I'm confused ! The tail is blunt, the surface of the lure is smooth as glass and fish blasted it. Finally I watched it in the water using the usual rod tip twitches for finesse lure and DANG if it didn't wag back & forth like a miniature Zara Spook surface plug - except underwater !!
A lure's action speaks louder than words and like all other great lures, lure action is 3/4 the reason fish attack them.

So as is my nature after catching a bunch of fish on a new discovery, I went wild coming up with short stick grubs cut from different sources and added them to 1/16 oz ball head jigs. Here are a few:
jJgCEzi.jpg
KoFu2ZN.jpg


Then I figured : why does a stick grub have to have rounded sides ? Enter the stick grub with four flat sides (note the grub holder wire):
vc1JOQL.jpg

It did as well as any other mini-stick.

Last year I started making transparent plastic sticks with glassy smooth sides and blunt tail. They did great in any color water:
g01eCWT.jpg

Different diameters (above picture) were tested and all caught fish.

But before that I figured - why not make a
bullet shaped grub which a call a cone tail grub.
[size=small]
LWZ8rrN.jpg
[/size]
[size=small]It caught this 4 lb catfish and a three other species:[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
zOzgMe0.jpg
[size=medium]
6Fsalq6.jpg
[size=small]
VZd0Pwn.jpg
[/size][/size][/size][/size]
[size=small][size=small][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium] ^Even this little guy wanted a piece of one ^ and this bass[/size][/size][/size][/size][/size]


[size=small][size=small][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium][size=medium]Back to short sticks. Again I have no idea how or when I made this 2.5" stick grub, but when I saw it laying on my craft table I figure, [/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][/size][size=small][size=small]why not wacky rig it with a 1/32 oz jig and see how it falls in the water. UNBELIEVABLE ! It had the same tip and body wobble on the drop as a 4" [/size][/size]Senko ! and caught fish the first time I took it fishing. Here is the first prototype:
rvB3fUm.jpg


For a faster drop but with still the same action, a 1/16 or 1/24 oz ball head jig was used.
note: a jig must be used considering the light weight of the plastic in order to start the lure wobble and tip gyrations on the drop.
note: the lure can be rod tip-twitched mid-depth anywhere to the bottom.

I have bags of never used curl tail grubs so I figured: why not cut of the tails and weld the bodies together using a candle flame:
[size=small]
j1gvvR5.jpg
[size=small]
gFZ59We.jpg
[size=small]
g8jauhM.jpg
[/size][/size][/size]
[size=small]They all work great ! (Note the different jig rigs in the two photos on the right.)[/size]
[size=small]Don't forget cone tail sticks - another tried & proven design:[/size]
[size=small][size=small]
hGBdgrH.jpg
[/size][/size]

[size=small]Thanks Gary Yamamoto ! It was a pleasure learning the secret of the Senko and taking it from there![/size]
[size=small]Also, thanks for the digital camera and a place to store photos to transfer from.[/size]
I need to try more of that bait down here in Texas to see if the big bluegill bite
 

Hawnjigs

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
3,827
Location
Ogallala, NE
Judging by the pics of catches with every jig different appearance may not matter ?

I've never targeted bluegill but recently about 10 managed to get stuck on a 2/0 EWG T-rig with 3" senko style baits from cut in half 5" Gulp Sinking Minnows which are actually closer to 6". Bass were the target and the BGs were kind of a nuisance.

The BGs weren't very big with 9-10" big enuf for my companions to keep 30 for fish fry.
 

Hawnjigs

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Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
3,827
Location
Ogallala, NE
After a long lifetime of avoiding targeting largemouth bass, finally got serious a week ago acquiring Gamakatsu EWG worm hooks and practicing T-rig presentations. Hooksets remain a work in progress - strike too soon = no set and too late = deep swallow. After losing fish that dove into aquatic vegetation and terminally snagged, bailed on that and switched to open water habitat where a plastic on a jighead could be used.

Point of posting on this topic is that cut in half 5" Gulp Sinking Minnows and 5" Yumdingers have proven to be great bite getters, with the advantage of minimal air resistance long cast capability. In fact, my new bassman bud Bill has switched to these short SENKO style lures when it appeared they were outfishing his traditional 5-7" long bass plastics. Maybe cuz the bass are on the small side averaging 13-15" & topping out at 19".

Formerly an action tail fan for other species now have confidence in what I thought was a do nothing design. Kudos to Gary Yamamoto for designing and popularizing the SENKO.
 
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