Outdoor Life - - HUNTING -

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.

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