*This article was originally published June 11, 2002 on www.insideline.net
By Russ Bassdozer
After one year of research, development and positive feedback on the Japanese market, Gary Yamamoto has released the new 9C 3" Senko in the USA.
The new 9C Senko looks a lot like you cut three inches off the tail of a 5" Yamamoto Senko.
The 9C also looks a lot like the shape of a small shad, young-of-year panfish or small crawdad!
It's obvious to see the 9C's resemblance to a small stubby shad or chunky little bluegill. Less obvious is the premise that the 9C Senko is a crawdad imitation, says Internet bass fishing celebrity, Russ Bassdozer.
A crawdad imitation. I started to favor the 9C Senko over other craw lure styles, says Bassdozer, because the 9C imitates the tucked-in claw, leg and body posture of backward-scooting crayfish, which tuck in their claws and legs, and fold their tails underneath, therefore appearing cylindrical and stubby - just like a 9C - when crawdads scoot backwards.
As a real live craw scoots across the bottom in a small stream or shallow pool, the wide fantail folds in on itself, bends and tucks up under the mid-section. The legs and claws fold in on themselves too. It almost takes on the appearance of a compact crayfish "pellet" for lack of a better word. Now that's the posture craws assume when they scoot, with their claws and appendages all tucked in and streamlined for short bursts at top speed propulsion. This streamlined little "rocket capsule" is the same way a 9C Senko flits and darts across bottom behind a jig, Texas, Carolina or Mojo weight, says Bassdozer.
Now, the bass I catch have certainly seen this scooting "posture" a-plenty, and I feel the 9C simulates a tucked-in, scooting craw posture better than other craw lures, says Russ. Big exaggerated claws, a gaggle of spindly legs and widely-fanned craw tails just don't match Nature, says Bassdozer. Most bass probably see craws scooting away from them, fleeing faster than lightning, looking a lot like clawless, legless 9C Senkos when they do.
Another point is the compact size of the 9C Senko. Some craw lures on the market are big, floppy ones up to 6" sizes. But I know an awesome live crayfish expert who is convinced that bass prefer the shortest-bodied, smallest-clawed craws instead of big ones. In fact, he catches more and bigger bass on 2 to 3 inch long crayfish than he does on larger 'dads, says the 'Dozer.
What I am saying here is that the 9C Senko imitates a craw in shape, silhouette and size, says Bassdozer.
A tube bait alternative. "I've caught more fish on 9C Senko jigs versus small tube jigs last fall and again this spring," says Bassdozer. The 9C Senko is certainly a viable alternative to tube baits on jig heads. A 9C Senko jig has the same spiraling fall as a tube jig on the drop, plus the inimitable gliding, puppy dog waggling tail action of a Senko when you retrieve the jig.
So I feel the 9C Senko has the ability to do the same job as small tube jigs and small crawdad baits, says Bassdozer.
The inimitable Senko way of fishing it. Additionally, what makes the 9C so unique is the inimitable weightless Senko way of fishing, a method that cannot be met by these other lures. I fish the 9C Senko weightless with a #1 63-Series Gamakatsu EWG to imitate shad or panfish holding tight to brushy or weedy cover, says Bassdozer. The 63-Series hook is rigged tex-posed to deter snags. In relatively snag-free spots, I opt to rig the 9C Senko weightless wacky style with a #1 Gamakatsu Splitshot/Dropshot hook. Either way, I use Gary Yamamoto's dropshot spinning rod with 8 lb. test line. This rod has the oomph to drill the chunky 9C out long distances, even when weightless against a moderate breeze. I also keep a 9C wacky-rigged on a second rod with a 1/4 to 3/8 oz. dropshot sinker rig. With this second rod, I precisely dropshot the 9C on the shadowy edges of deep ledges and underwater rocks beyond the effective depth of the weightless 9C.