The most revolutionary softplastic bait in the history of bass fishing was developed almost by mistake. Gary Yamamoto was simply trying to improve an existing soft jerkbait when he designed the Senko to mimic the shape of a Bic pen. His goal was to create a bait you could quickly twitch for a reaction or feeding bite. But what he ended up with changed the face, and the catch rates, of bass fishing.
“I originally wanted to make the bait like a Slug-go,” Yamamoto admits, “but after the initial phase of testing, it turned out that the Senko was better as a finesse bait. When I saw it sink in the water, I knew it was special.”
So special, in fact, that the shape has been duplicated by no fewer than 54 other manufacturers. It’s the topselling soft-plastic bait on the planet. Gary Yamamoto Bait Co., founded in 1983, ships 2.5 million Senkos per year worldwide.
Yamamoto has influenced more than lure choice. He flew a bass boat to Japan to bring anglers in that country a bit of bass culture. Japan is now the No. 2 bass boat market in the world. —G.B.