2020 The Year for Yamamoto Baits

Fishing Through 2020 with Yamamoto Baits


Winter 2021

In practice, I had a really tough time. In 2 1/2 days, I hadn’t even caught five keepers. My best five in those practice days, probably wouldn’t even have gone nine -pounds.

Again, when things got tough, I threw a Neko-rigged Senko and a wacky-rigged Senko. Those were my most consistent bite, but I wasn’t really getting the big ones. In practice they were like two or 2 1/2-pounds. I just couldn’t get anything big going.

Stumbled on an area watermelon red came back. I caught a key fish on Day One– a five-pounder on a Neko-rig, about two hours into the morning. It was the biggest that I had caught in three days and it helped settle me.

Later in the day, I ran up north to Nice and got a key fish punchin’ a Yamamoto Cowboy in Bruised Shin.


• Yamamoto Cowboy

• 4/0 Mustad Flippin Hook

• 1 1/4-ounce Fitzgerald Tungsten Weight

• 70-pound braid – straight 70

• 7’10” Fitzgerald Titan Series heavy-action Punch rod

with a 7.3:1 gear ratio reel

I was punchin’ offshore grass and would sometimes alternate a 1-ounce weight.

Over the rest of the tournament, I got several of my fish on a lipless crankbait and also got another key fish – a 4-pounder – on a Neko-rigged Senko in watermelon red and that’s how it is as I look back through the year… there is always that key fish that Yamamoto baits are responsible for.


If I had to pick one bait that is the most important bait over the past five to seven years of my fishing career it is the Senko. I’ve won more money on that bait than any other bait.

Early in my career, I just wacky-rigged a Senko. I threw it from late-February until about the first week of June and then as the fish started to move out deeper, I generally didn’t throw it. unless I was at the Delta.

So basically before, I used to put it down for the later part of the year, until I learned to Neko-rig at Shasta. That was about five or six years ago. When I figured that out, I knew how to catch them year-round on a Senko and now that is the bait!

That’s the bait… no matter where I am at! I got four top- 10’s this year and the Senko had to do with every single one of those. The Senko is my number one.


You can treat it like a shaky head, you can pitch it to cover, you can fish deep and shallow. At Havasu, I was catching Neko-rig fish in 2- to 4-feet of water, At Clear Lake, I was fishing down to 15 and then all the way back to WWBT earlier this year, I was catching ‘em in 5- to 45-feet at Shasta.


They make all the colors to catch ‘em in clear water or dirty, but my choices are pretty simple. I am a green pumpkin, watermelon red, black and blue and black and red guy. To me, green pumpkin is the best all-around color.

At Shasta, I like 301, green pumpkin with large green and purple flake, when it is overcast. When it is super-clear, no wind with light penetration, I like natural shad and baby bass or some kind of translucent color.

It was pretty much the same at Havasu. The Delta is a grass fishery and depending on where you’re at the water can be clear or dirty; so, when it is dirty, I like black with red flake. When it is clear water, I throw green pumpkin.