My Two Go-Tos
August 3, 2009
In a world of fast cars, drive-thru restaurants and Internet banking, it was only a matter of time before fishing and its associated products were destined to join the ranks of the “quick fix” lifestyle.
I’d like to share my own “contributions” to the madness; however, these were created (I have to admit) by mistake, rather than design!
During my early introduction to the Yamamoto product line, I was shown the versatility of the 4-inch Kut Tail worm and was amazed at the action the bait produced when rigged on a 2/0 live bait hook that had strategically been placed in the center of the worm to act as a “keel”. This allowed the bait to fall naturally with additional action in both the head and tail of the worm. I was in Alabama at the time, fishing a large group of easily seen post spawn bass that had made a fallen tree their home. Once I narrowed down my color selection (297), I caught a limit of fish in quick succession. But then, as if someone had just flipped a switch, the fish simply stopped biting!
I knew that if I were to stop to tie something else on my line, my window of opportunity could be lost, or the fish might be spooked and move off, so I did the unthinkable: I picked up a 5-inch Senko, whacky rigged it with the same rod, line and 2/0 bait hook and flipped it straight back into the tree. The reaction was instantaneous as a large female pushed her way through the school of fish and inhaled the Senko (also 297) with such ferocity it almost snatched the rod and reel out of my hands!
My equipment choice has changed somewhat since my first “two for one” rigging experience and now I use a fast tip medium action 6’6” G. Loomis spinning rod (SJR722) and Shimano Stradic reel MG2500 combination, loaded with 10-pound copolymer test line from P-Line.
Again, one rod and reel combo is sufficient for the two presentation styles. This allows me to concentrate on the equipment “in hand”. I don’t have to look for another set up or re-rig my terminal tackle, saving me time and momentum.
The rod I use is a mag-medium G. Loomis 7’ 10” (SJR941 one piece spinning rod) also with a Shimano Stradic MG2500, but for this presentation I now use a 17-pound copolymer test line (green) from P-Line and my hook choice is the 4/0 EWG (fine wire) Gamakatsu worm hook.
With all Gary Yamamoto products, I try my best never to add weight to the bait. This ensures the natural built in action of the lure is not compromised -- this presentation is no exception to that rule.
The Fat Ika often takes the place of my flipping jig when I find the fish are highly pressured. In a similar flippin’ style cast for jig fishing, I allow the Ika to fall vertically, peeling off line by hand from my spinning reel to ensure the Ika falls straight down, and to eliminate any pressure on the line which could pull the lure away from my intended targets. These targets are usually floating docks and moored boats in a marina-like environment, and I tend to cast to the shaded side on my first pass, returning to the sunny side if my first efforts fail to produce bites.
My retrieve for this presentation is a slow steady “drag” along the bottom, feeling for rocks and weed contact. When such structure is encountered, I will stop the retrieve and allow the bait to rest for 10 to 15 seconds. If no interest is shown, I give the Ika a gentle hop. This is when the strike can be sudden, so you should be prepared to set the hook quickly and firmly in order to penetrate the thicker body of the Ika and into the bass.
Likewise, the Kreature is rigged with the same equipment and I use this bait to make the switch when approaching a lay down or overhanging tree limbs. In my experience, the Fat Ika can sometimes be too “bulky” for certain conditions and the Kreature bait simply “softens” that presentation. Again, peel off line to allow a vertical fall, but once the bait touches the bottom, I’ve found it useful to impart some additional action to “bring it to life”. Not unlike the shake of a drop shot presentation, I gently shake the rod on a semi-tight line, slowly raising the rod tip and gently reeling in any slack line, keeping contact with the bait at all times. You should also watch your line for any subtle “ticks” or a sudden change in line direction.
So there you have it -- four presentation using only two set ups, both handy when you’re looking for speed and convenience; when you’re in the “fast lane”, fishing in the 21st century!