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New Color 908
Rainbow Trout Laminate
Story by Russ Bassdozer

August 12, 2002

When most people think of laminates, their first thought is often "contrast". For example, green on pink as in 908 is a strong color-on-color contrast. But not as strong overall contrast as solid opaque 229 bubblegum. If you are ever on a strong 229 bubblegum bite and it starts fading? You may at times extend the waning bite by segueing into 908 to retain some desirable bubblegum contrast cut in half with the watermelon. To provide less contrast is why the 908 Laminate came into being, not to mimic a rainbow trout, although some say it does that too!

That's exactly how it happened three seasons ago. I had been enjoying an aggressive late spring bite with bubblegum Senkos. As the water warmed toward early summer, the fish started to shed their aggressiveness and switched over to watermelon Senkos. That's when I suggested that GYCB laminate a watermelon covering on top to tone down the  bubblegum for these less-aggressive bass.

Many anglers mistakenly feel that bass must eat rainbow trout for this color to be effective. Not so. Bass will eat 908 everywhere, even where rainbow trout aren't. I've depended on rainbow trout-colored tube baits and soft jerkbaits for years, in fact decades, in freshwater and saltwater, in many parts of the country.

Just don't get hung up on the name. Bass will eat this pink belly bait everywhere, even where rainbow trout aren't. Especially as the bass shake off the effects of a long, cold winter, and make their first move into the newly flooded shallows, they’ll be basking in the warm, rising water – it feels good, they feel good, and they'll belt the dickens out of this Rainbow Trout Laminate.

As you will find out, it's no slacker for the duration of the season either!


Related Story
Rainbow Trout Invade Baseball's Dodgertown
by Captain TJ Fagan, On Target Bassin' Guide Service

August 4, 2003

Many anglers get hung up on the name, thinking bass must eat rainbow trout for this color to be effective. Not so. Bass will eat 908 everywhere, even where rainbow trout aren't. For instance, Dodgertown...

"Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Derek Thompson is down here at Dodgertown (Vero Beach, Florida) for rehabilitation on his throwing arm. Last week I took Derek out after his physical therapy. Starting at 12:30 pm until dusk, we caught 56 bass! All on Senkos," says Captain TJ Fagan of On Target Bassin. "We threw a few colors, but we truly slayed them on the rainbow trout color."

I told Derek, "You know, we have no rainbow trout here in Florida so the bass shouldn't slam them... but watch." We had a blast. Derek booked me again for this Friday since he had such a blast. He too is now a Senko maniac. Only one problem. I wonder where we can get more rainbow trout Senkos in Florida?"

I took Derek out for the second time this week, another half-day, and we caught 65 bass. That was better than our trip last week when we caught 56. We still couldn't get an early start because Derek had to first go by Dodgertown again for his workout/rehab session with the team trainer and strength coach. But we did get on the water after noon which left us the whole afternoon to fish until dusk again. Since we did so well with Senkos last week, Derek went by Stick Marsh Bait and Tackle to pick up some Senkos of his own. As luck would have it, Jeannie Middleton said she had 3 bags of rainbow trout colored Senkos left. Derek just had to get those last 3 bags - and it was a good thing he did! This trip we used up all but two of our 908 rainbow trout Senkos. In fact, here's a story of how valuable they became that day. I was on the front of my boat looking at making my next cast. We were running out of rainbow trout. Derek had just caught and released a nice four pound chunk. Suddenly I hear a thump, and my Ranger boat lurches to the right. I look back at Derek wondering what the heck? He's on his belly, his upper torso stretched out over the right side of the boat over the water. Dripping wet from his head to his waist, I thought he fell and toppled overboard. A guide's nightmare. Seeing my inquisitive stare, he just shrugs and matter-of-factly says: "I dropped my rainbow trout Senko overboard...I got it back." I paused, thought, and began to laugh. I giggled off and on the whole rest of the day. What a story.

As I mentioned, Derek is now a true Senko-Maniac. He told Jeannie Middleton at the Stick Marsh Bait and Tackle to order at least 10 bags for him in her next order. There's no doubt. The rainbow trout have invaded baseball's Dodgertown.

On Target Bassin'
with Captain TJ Fagan
Private Trophy Waters
Stick Marsh/Farm 13
Miami-Garcia Reservoir
(772) 532-2854 (Cell)
(772) 564-0719 (Home)
bassinguytjf@hotmail.com
 

Related Story

By Don Applegarth, Jim Alphin, Russ Bassdozer

Jan. 15, 2002

It's soft, squishy, bursting with flavor. It's pink, but it does NOT come with a Bazooka Joe comic! What is it? It's chewing gum for bass!

If bass fishermen were like farmers, we would have our own seasonal almanac. Its venerable yellow-edged pages would sagely say that spring and early summer are the almanac's traditional times for bubblegum baits!

Yes, bubblegum baits are part of a ritual of spring renewal, up shallow. As the winter-over period of their lives ends each year, the healthy bass who've survived winter's rigors have only one thing on their minds, to get up shallow and get onto the beds. Nothing else matters. Their reproductive hormones are raging, part of which means they will patrol, confront, and attempt to kill anything intruding anywhere near their traditional nursery grounds, some of which appear to be used by the same bass year after year. Since the only way for them to confront or kill anything is with their mouths, they nip, bite or eat whatever intruders they encounter, including your bait, whether hungry or not. In short, the bass are acting as aggressive and instinctive bass parents this time of year. Not much else matters to them at this time.

Bold, sassy colors like bubblegum present an "I'm in your face" attitude. Ornery pre-, post- and spawning bass will smack down these bubblegum baits to eliminate any threat they pose to the nesting grounds, any threats to eggs on the nest, threats to hatchlings in a paternally-protected brood, or any threatening varmints slipping up over the deepwater break onto the shallow nursery grounds where schools of miniature bass spend their first few moments living alone, apart from their parents in late spring and early summer.

As the new season's broods begin to thrive and strengthen on their own, the protective parenting instinct gradually ebbs in their mothers and fathers. With the new generation ensured, the older wiser ones will vanish beyond our hooks' grasps back into deep water sanctuaries from whence they came, until next spring when they again come up shallow, and vulnerable to angling due to their parental desires.

So goes the traditional bass fishing folk lore that our almanac would tell us about the spring bubblegum season. After spawning and rearing fry is done, bubblegum baits begin to wear off in either their effectiveness or usage (I'm not sure which) among anglers. That doesn't mean you can't do well with bubblegum in late summer, autumn and winter. It's just that it isn't traditional according to the almanac. It's not what the majority of us do, not how we use 'em, except mainly in spring, up shallow.

There are three colors of bass chewing gum made by Yamamoto now. First, the ever-popular 229 Bubblegum, which is opaque or solid. Second, we introduced 320 Merthiolate in 2001, which is translucent. In 2002, we introduced the third flavor of chewing gum, 908 Rainbow Trout. Don't let that name fool you, it's half watermelon (194) back and half hot pink belly. Remember our almanac said there's a time when dayglo "bite me, eat me" bright ones like 229 or 320 start to lose their luster in mid-summer? Well this new rainbow trout is only half-bubblegum hidden under half-watermelon, so the 908 is a stealthily-camouflaged, toned-down all-season watermelon-bubblegum, so to speak. The 908 should excel in its effectiveness as a bubblegum bait year-round. Try it, and let us know how you like it. The 908 is definitely destined to be a winner!

Turning to the new 320 Merthiolate, this bright orangish-pink translucent color has been a popular color for quite some time in other manufacturers' trick and floating worms. It is widely used among bass anglers, especially during the pre-spawn periods, says Georgia's Don Applegarth.

If the truth be known, Don was one of our Inside Line writers who lobbied hard for us to make a merthiolate bait, and when Gary released the floating Senko Lites in March 2001, Don's wish for a merthiolate color by Yamamoto came true.

Don says that the color can be intimidating at first glance, and many anglers would not even consider trying it. It appears to be a battery-operated Fruit Roll-Up, but the bass absolutely love it.

It is a mind bender, and a light bender both! Dangle one on the end of your line, catch the light just right, and you can see either a white line or a black line at the edge of the merthiolate bait. It is an optical illusion, a bold one. Having different eyes than us underwater, who can say whether a bass sees this black or white optical illusion on a merthiolate bait? But you can see it as a human. It's weird, but highly effective in provoking bass to bite.

Merthiolate is very easy to see, and can be used to work shallow cover in clear or stained water. While the color can work at any time in spring, it has been Don's experience that it seems to produce its very best during overcast and rainy days.

Don's most successful patterns with the merthiolate color have been working around shallow, heavy cover such as brush, stumps, docks, fallen trees, and standing timber. It seems the real key is to fish it in and around any type of wood, during spring. He finds it works best once temps reach the mid to upper 50’s and can be deadly all the way through the spawn.

Skipping a merthiolate Senko Lite as far back horizontally into the cover as possible, and then using a fairly rapid retrieve coming back out, will draw strikes from some good fish. The bait will dart, and jump similar to other soft jerkbaits, but then whenever it hits or bumps any of the cover, stop and allow it to fall back for a couple of feet before retrieving it again. This is where the Senko Lite really shines, says Don. That twitching, quivering action will be more than any bass can stand, and if the fish has been following the bait, it will pounce on it as it appears to be struggling and falling down through the cover.

Don has had great success with both largemouth as well as spotted bass using this technique in shallow cover, but he has also caught some nice spotted bass working the bait over deeper water areas as well. The spots will come up from a distance in deep, clear water to eat a merthiolate Senko Lite!

The key to catching these fish is to watch the bait, says Don. The color is very easy to see, and whenever it disappears, drop the rod, and wait until you actually feel the fish, then set the hook. Otherwise, you are going to miss more than you actually stick.

Yamamoto's Toledo Bend Pro Shop staffer, Jim Alphin, is another one who started fishing the new merthiolate Senko Lite last year when Gary invented it in the spring. I have got to tell you it worked well for me, says Jim. I was fishing the Everstart Central Division last year in late February. By the time we got to Sam Rayburn the lake was 15 feet over full, spawn was well on its way and on top of that we were fishing "used water" a week behind the Wal-Mart Bass Fishing League event. To try and set the picture for you, I get to fish Sam Rayburn about 3 or 4 periods a year, but most of my known spots were up to 30 ft. under water. This made Sam Rayburn a new lake for all. There were a lot of bass on the move in the tops of the flooded trees. Thank goodness for that, because there was just no way to get back through the trees to the shallows and shorelines. The one piece of information I did know before arriving was that the "wacky worm" bite was on, in fact I had heard that merthiolate trick worms were THE answer. Sure enough when I got there it was working. I used a Mustad Finacky hook with trick type worms on 30 lb braded line and caught some pre-fish, but I was not happy with the quality of what I was catching, so I went looking for something else to improve my catch.

After experimenting, what I found was that if I pitched a series 9LF 6" inch Senko Lite 320 on a Gamakatsu 5/0 SuperLine hook...that bigger, heavier hook weighted down the nose and it would bounce around on the limbs as it sank. I used an almost vertical presentation when I could. The action was different. It would deflect off to one side and quiver. The heavy hook held down the head, but the tail waggled like a little pink poodle! The bass were roving in and out of the trees and it sure made a big difference. The second way I used this heavy hook Senko Lite was when I found fresh, new start-up hydrilla beds where it is patchy and short, the tail would stand sticking straight up out of the short grass. With a little wind or current that tail would just drive the fish crazy.

This year I am going to fish Toledo Bend and Sam Rayburn in February, 2002 through the spring and it looks like water level may be up at least a couple of feet higher than normal, says Jim...and trust me I will not leave home without the 9LF in the 320 or the 9 in 229.

Well, we hope you've enjoyed chewing on the gummy material we've given you here today. At Gary Yamamoto, we make good baits, but it is truly the information like you have here that makes our good baits better for you!  Jim and Don have talked a lot about the new merthiolate, but it all applies equally well to the 229 bubblegum, and the new half-pink half-green 908 rainbow trout.

As we close the pages of our bass fishing farmer's almanac for today, there are other flavors of bold baits, lemon chartreuses, bright whites, fluorescent yellows, and they all work in spring. All have their magic moments. But when you want all three of spotted bass, largemouth and smallmouth, and lots of them? Give them a sweet stick of pink chewing gum, buddy! 

When little is left of winter except sweet sun-warmed melt water rising in budding bass-filled buckbrush, keep the bubblegum baits in mind... and toss 'em.

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