March 24, 2017
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' has a new color in their assortment of the three-inch Fat Senko. It is called the General's melon. It is named for Larry Nixon of Bee Branch, Arkansas, who has worked on Yamamoto's staff of professional bass tournament anglers since 2014.
Nixon, who is 67 years old, is a much heralded and accomplished professional bass tournament angler. He has competed on the Bassmaster, FLW, and other big-time tournament circuits for 40 years. During this spell, he has garnered nearly four million dollars in prize money, won the Bassmaster's angler-of-the-year laurels in 1980 and 1982, and the Bassmaster Classic in 1983. Because of his angling prowess, he is affectionally hailed as "The General."
In 2011, Stacey King of Reeds Spring, Missouri, told Nixon about the effectiveness of one of the traditional Midwest finesse baits that features a short stickbait, like a three-inch Fat Senko, attached to a 1/16-ounce mushroom-style jig with an exposed hook.
Since then, Nixon estimates that he uses this Midwest finesse rig about 10 percent of the time in tournament situations throughout the year. But there are some venues and times, when he will make untold numbers of casts and retrieves with it — especially at the FLW Tour events at Beaver Lake, Arkansas, and similar waterways. "And whenever I am in dire need of catching a bass," he said, "I will pick it up, and it will often catch me one."
Nixon rigs the three-inch Fat Senko on either a 1/13- or 1/16-ounce jig. He uses two styles of jigs: a mushroom-style one and a ball-head one. His ball-head jig possesses a monofilament weed guard.
He has found that the most effective color has a mixture of chartreuse, copper, and green hues. And the color of the General's melon Fat Senko exhibits those three hues. In fact, the folks at Yamamoto describe the hues as being watermelon, copper, and chartreuse. This hue was introduced to the angling world at the 2016 International Convention of Allied Sportfishing Trades show.
A package of 10 cost $6.39.
(1) Here is a link to Yamamoto's website: http://www.baits.com/.
(2) About three years after the turn of the millennium, several Midwest finesse anglers in northeastern Kansas began affixing one of Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits' Senkos to their 1/16-ounce Gopher Tackle's Mushroom Head jig. Before that, we used a Beetle, which was created by Chuck Woods of Kanas City, Missouri, in the 1950s, or an extremely short soft-plastic worm. Once we crossed paths with Yamamoto's creation, a Senko-style bait on a mushroom-head jig has been one of the preeminent rigs in the repertoire of Midwest finesse anglers. It took almost a decade for other anglers around the nation to realize the effectiveness of this rig for inveigling vast numbers of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, and spotted bass. In fact, Stacey King was the first angler on the big-time tournament circuits to employ a small Senko-style bait on a 1/16-ounce mushroom-head jig, and that occurred at the Professional Anglers Association tournament at Lake Lanier, Georgia, on Mar. 30, 2011.