How to Fish a Senko: The Easiest Bass Fishing Finesse Lure

Coty Perry

Gary Yamamoto’s Senko bait, or the Senko, is a unique and incredibly effective fishing lure for catching bass. 

You may have heard of this finesse lure from other anglers and asked yourself, how to fish a Senko for bass? You’ve come to the right place.

This soft plastic stick bait can be used in many different ways.

You can use a Senko cut in half on the back of a tiny Ned rig head or punch it through a thick mat of hyacinth behind a 2-ounce sinker – the possibilities are endless. resident angler Wes Littlefield shows us how to fish a Senko worm several different ways.

Senko Worm Fishing Techniques

So, the question is how to fish a Senko worm? The key is being patient. 

I’ve found you want to cast your bait out into areas where there are likely to be bass, such as near weed beds or around structure like rocks or logs. 

Once your bait hits the water, let it sink slowly until it reaches the bottom. Then, give it a few gentle taps with your rod tip before reeling it in slowly. 

This will help attract the fish’s attention and trigger them into biting your lure.  

If you find yourself getting frustrated because you’re not catching any fish, try changing up your technique a bit. 

Try various rigs and different depths when casting out your bait, or change up your retrieve until you find what works best for that particular day on the water. 

Pro tip: You want to go extra slow with this technique.

They sink slowly and can be used in all kinds of water, from deep lakes to shallow creeks. When fishing with Senkos, it’s important to keep your movements slow and methodical. 

The lure needs time to reach its target depth before you start reeling it in.

Best Gear For Senko Fishing

When it comes to how to use Senko worms, the most important piece of equipment is your rod. A medium or medium-heavy action spinning rod and reel is typically best for this type of fishing. 

As for lures, you can use just about any type of Senko worm.

A fluorocarbon leader with a braided main line is a great choice when using the Senko bait. It provides low visibility and easier casting, making it ideal for presenting the bait underwater without spooking the fish. 

Water Clarity for Fishing a Senko

It’s important to consider the clarity of the water when choosing this type of lure. 

In clear water, fishing a Senko can be highly effective as it calls attention to the bait by creating vibrations that travel through the water. 

This motion often attracts the attention of any passing fish and entices them to take a bite, leading to more successful catches for anglers.

When fishing a Senko in murky or muddy waters, it’s important to consider both color and presentation. I personally like to use dark colors like blacks or browns in muddy water to mimic the silhouette of bait fish.

Additionally, you should use the lightest weight possible so that your presentation is slow enough to give the bass time to find and strike your bait. 

Senko Worm Fishing Based On Rig

The Senko is a versatile and effective lure, and its effectiveness will depend on how you rig it. Below are some of the most popular methods for rigging the Senko, as well as how to fish them:

How to Fish a Wacky Rig Senko

Senko wacky rig

Thread the o-ring onto the middle of the Senko allowing both ends to swing freely when retrieved. 

Cast it out and let it sink to the bottom. Then hop it off of the bottom and let it sink again.

Or slowly retrieve with quick jerks for lifelike action that will attract bass from all directions.

You can also fish a Neko rig using the same techniques as a wacky rig

How to Fish a Texas Rig Senko

texas rig setup for bass fishing

Texas rig the Senko by threading it onto a hook and sliding a bullet weight up the line to secure it in place. Cast it out into open water and use a slow retrieve or hopping motion.

There are many different presentation and retrieval techniques when using a Senko Texas rigged. 

Two popular ones are dragging it, best done in cooler temperatures when fish tend to be moving slower, and lifting and dropping it, which works well in the summer when fish are more active. 

When dragging it, cast your lure along the cover and sweep the rod tip back and forth two or three times. Reel your lure in slowly so that fish have more time to get to it. 

For lifting and dropping, cast close to cover and let the lure sink until you feel it hit bottom. Lift the rod about a foot to keep the line taut then drop it slowly back to the bottom again.

Unweighted Texas Rig

Fishing with a weightless Texas rig is an effective technique for Senko fishing. 

Without the added weight, the bait has a different appearance which can be beneficial in clear or cold waters where fish may be more hesitant. 

Unlike a weighted rig, Your bait will glide or flutter on its way to the bottom, and the bass can see it from a greater distance, meaning they won’t be as easily spooked. 

In my experience, this method is particularly great for sight fishing in shallow water or along the edge of vegetation. You can keep your bait in the strike zone for longer before coming to rest gently on the bottom. 

You can even take things one step further and try deadsticking, where an angler simply lets the bait sit on the bottom and do nothing. Again, patience and a slow pace are key when fishing a Senko.

Weighted Texas Rig

When fishing with a Senko in warmer or deeper waters, a heavier tungsten weight can be beneficial as bass are more active and willing to chase. 

In muddy water, using a quicker and heavier Texas rig works best as the bass will rely on their lateral line to detect vibrations and movements in the water.

Shaky Head

shaky head rig combo with senko soft plastic lure

The shaky head jig and Senko lure combo will take your fishing to the next level so you can catch big bass.

With a 3/8- to 1/2-ounce shaky head, cast into a deeper area and let the bait slowly drag along the bottom.

While this isn’t necessarily the best way to cover a lot of water, if you have located numbers of fish in an area, shaking your rod tip while dragging along can be an effective way to draw out bites.

The stick worm will vibrate and move in the water without any further input from you, making it incredibly easy to use and perfect for areas of heavy pressure or during the post-spawn. 

Don’t think you can only use it in deep water though, the jig-and-worm rig is an extremely versatile tactic that can be used in any kind of water, from as shallow to extremely deep water.


dropshot rig

The dropshot rig with a Senko lure hook-up is popular among largemouth bass anglers, especially when fishing in deep water. 

The drop-shot is particularly useful for when fishing gets tough and the bite slows down. When fishing in clear water reservoirs with high pressure, this rig is going to be your best bet. 

To make this presentation even more effective, consider pairing it with a 3- or 4-inch Senko – these lures have enough wiggle to attract cautious fish. 

The rig features a hook at the end of the line, with a weight attached about 8″-12″ inches above the hook. 

The weight provides enough force for the Senko lure to sink beneath the surface and reach bass hiding among weeds or structure.

How to Fish a Senko Carolina Style

carolina rig setup for bass fishing

To properly fish a senko Carolina style, tie on a Carolina rig and make sure to use a heavier sinker. As you reel your line in, keep your rod tip high and steady. This will help ensure the bait’s presentation is correct. 

Make sure you retrieve the line slowly to give the bait more time to move through the water without being dragged down by the weight of your sinker.

Best Bait Color When Fishing with a Senko

green pumpkin with blue Senko worm soft lure for bass fishing

When it comes to choosing the best Senko color to catch bass, green pumpkin, and watermelon are the way to go.

These soft plastic colors closely resemble the look of a bait fish, which often attracts bass. I personally love green pumpkin as my favorite Senko color for fishing.

But black and blue also work quite well and are usually my go-to in dirty water. 

So green pumpkin or black and blue? It all comes down to the water conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions About How to Fish a Senko for Bass

What is the best way to fish a Senko?

There is no ‘best’ way to fish a Senko. One of my favorite methods is by using a shaky jig head we talked about earlier.  

The shaky head adds extra action and vibration to the lure and makes it even easier to fish in waters with higher pressure. 

If you’re wondering how to rig a Senko, simply stick the lure directly through the worm hook, and you’re good to go.

When should I use a Senko?

You should ue a senko anytime. While no lure is perfect or 100% effective all the time, in my opinion, this one comes pretty close.

Since it was designed to imitate an easy snack for big fish, it stands to reason that popping one into the water could be a great way to get some bites.

How do you fish Senko in grass?

Weedless wacky rigging is a great way to fish Senko in grass and other vegetation. 

Your hook should be rigged in the center of the worm, which will help it remain weedless and free of snags. 

With this technique, you can twitch the rod tip slightly while maintaining tension on the line, allowing you to work the Senko through heavy grasses or small areas of timber.

Final Thoughts

The Yamamoto Senko bait is one of the easiest and most effective bass fishing lures out there. If you’re looking for a new go-to lure, give the Senko a try. 

You can rig it straight onto the hook and cast it out for a slow and steady sink.

Got any more questions or tips on how to fish a Senko? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for more tips on when to use different types of lures, be sure to download our bass lures cheat sheet, so you always know the right lure to throw.

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