By Tim Huffman
August 26, 2010
Okay, maybe walleye and smallmouth will like it too, but the new 3-inch Swim Senko was designed specifically for crappie. “We are very proud of our new bait,” says Chief George Braswell, promotions director with Yamamoto. “We needed a bigger bait because at Grenada, Mississippi and on the Alabama River the Crappie Masters tournament fishermen had over 30 pounds last year. This year 14 fish at Grenada set a new record at 35 pounds. We obviously know that crappie will hit a big bait because the same size Bandit I would use in a bass tournament is the same one crappie fishermen are using successfully. Putting all of that together we knew a big soft plastic bait would help the fishermen on these and other lakes.”
What is the 3-inch Swim Senko? “The funny thing about this bait,” says GYCB Operations Manager Ron Colby, “is it was originally designed for bass when Gary (Yamamoto) welded the tail of a swim bait to the Senko worm. It worked so well that we decided to make a new bait using the combination of the two we were already making. Now we’ve downsized it to a 3-inch model. We tested it with a 1/16-ounce head and light line like the crappie fishermen use to make sure it would swim and the tail would have a good action on the fall and when swimming. The bait has the advantage of being heavier so you can use a smaller head and still get a quick, natural fall and maintain action.”
It swims in a tank, has a natural fall and good tail action, but do the crappie like it? Pro staff fisherman Bill Braswell received a few early prototypes to try this spring. “I’ve tested the new bait by using it while slow trolling. This technique gives me something the bass guys don’t have and that’s the advantage of fishing multiple baits side by side. I’m usually using eight poles and except on tournament day, and sometimes even then, baits are likely to be different on every pole. It’s easy to see when one bait is catching the most fish. This is a true field test situation. I can say that at least on some waters I know the bait outperforms the others. The fish have shown me they like it.”
Braswell and the others have concerns because they know the bait will catch fish but they aren’t sure about the fishermen. The reason is simple; the bait doesn’t look like a typical crappie bait. It’s longer and fishermen are likely to think it’s too big. They believe if enough people try it the word will get out and it will sell itself. “I know that the looks of a bait catch a lot of fishermen whether it works or not,” says Colby. “But we would rather have a bait that has the action we know will catch fish.”
Tip of the Month
Size does matter and that’s why the 3-inch Swim Senko was designed. However, if you need to shorten this or any other solid, soft plastic bait try cutting it off from the front end. You’ll have all your tail action and the body will still hold tight to the jighead or hook.