Use Yer Melon

While a Senko has probably accounted for 75 percent of the bass I’ve caught in recent years, I have worked hard to pare down the number of colors I carry in the boat. I don’t remember the last time I threw color #215 (cinnamon red with small blue), the first variety I owned, and the one that I used most frequently a decade ago. Nor do I regularly use #213 (Junebug), a tidal water staple that I vowed to use more after Randy Howell won a Bassmaster Open with it on my home state James River a few years ago.

Truth be told, at this point I could probably get away with black with blue flake (#021) and green pumpkin (#297) for the vast majority of my efforts.

Sometimes I’ll switch ‘em up and use #523 (which is just #021 with a blue tail) or #912 (a green pumpkin and watermelon laminate) but there’s no real science to it. In the spring, when there are lots of bluegills around, I dote on #913 (#297, green pumpkin, with a chartreuse tail) and once in a while I go totally crazy and mix in #051 (black with red flake) just for the hell of it.

As I said, I really only need two colors. It makes ordering and organizing much easier.

However, when you get a wife who likes to fish, you do everything you can to keep her interested. And if she finally shows an interest in tackle, you indulge that completely and without question. My wife Hanna spent a lot of time at this year’s Bassmaster Classic, where she fell under the spell of the King of Bee Branch, Arkansas, one Larry Nixon, who seems to have a future in this fishing game. I’m not sure how it came up, but as some point he recommended to her that she try color #990, his eponymous color “General’s Melon.” As an aside, it’s a good thing that this color was named after the General and not one of Yamamoto’s female pros, because “Ms. ___’s Melon” would’ve led to some NSFW speculation.

The bottom line is that I’ve acquired six bags of 5-inchers in “General’s Melon,” a 60 Senko trial run to see if they’ll make it into the long-term rotation. I like keeping things simple, but I’m willing to branch out a bit, and Larry Nixon – who has caught more fish on soft plastics in odd-numbered Tuesdays in January than most of us will catch in a lifetime – is worth listening to.

The General, courtesy of FLW Outdoors

The General, courtesy of FLW Outdoors