Bass Angler’s Guide to Fish a Senko Worm

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Written By Donny Karr

Donny Karr is a Tournament Angler with more than 20 years of fishing experience and a writer whose work has been featured in magazines for over a decade. He is a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He enjoys bass and crappie fishing in the lakes around the south-eastern United States. He also fishes for trout in the streams and rivers of the Appalachian mountains. Donny has written for Georgia Outdoor News, Paddling Space, Man Can Outdoors, Alabama Outdoor News, and Bassmaster.


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To fish a Senko worm for bass, rig it weightless with a Texas or wacky rig. Cast near cover, let it sink naturally, then slowly twitch the rod tip to create a subtle, enticing action. Be patient and watch for line movement, indicating bass strikes. Set the hook firmly and reel in.

The Senko is arguably the best type of soft plastic lure that anglers can use in a variety of different techniques. It’s a relatively simple, straightforward bait that has just the right amount of action for mimicking the movement of a baitfish. 

There are a lot of ways you can use a Senko to catch bass throughout most of the year. In this article, we’ll break down how to use a senko and the best techniques for bass fishing with this bait. 

Senko Overview 

The Senko has become one of the most widely-used baits in the bass fishing world. It’s been the difference-maker in some of the world’s biggest fishing competitions and has also become an integral part of the average bass angler’s tackle arsenal. 

The bait was first invented by legendary angler and soft plastic bait maker Gary Yamamoto. According to Yamamoto, he got the idea to create a soft plastic bait like the Senko after drawing various designs on a whiteboard with a pen. He considered the shape of the pen and how it had just the right amount of thickness to draw the attention of bass and other types of fish. 

The Senko is one of the few soft plastic baits that I make sure I always have in my tackle box before I launch my boat. There are numerous ways that I prefer to use the Senko which I learned from other anglers and articles I discovered online. Here are some of my top choices of rigs and techniques for how to use a Senko. 

Yamamoto Senko Worm
  • 5-in Plastic Senko Worm
  • 59 Different Colors Available
  • Salt Impregnated
  • Unique Horizontal Fall

Ned Rig 

One of my favorite ways to fish a Senko is the Ned rig. This relatively new rig is a blend of other techniques that involve the Senko standing up, which appears like a bait fish that’s scouring the bottom or feeding on the bottom of the lake. There are some major advantages with the Ned rig that make it the perfect go-to Senko rig for certain situations. 

I like to use the Ned rig specifically during the pre-spawn when bass are moving up from the deep water into the shallows of the lake where they will eventually spawn once the water temperature warms to a certain degree. The Ned rig seems to work best when it’s used on a hard-bottom that features either rocks or pebbles. 

One of the reasons the Ned rig is totally unique from other ways that you can fish a Senko is the bait stands upright the whole time thanks to the design of the Ned head jig and hook. During the early spring when bass are in the prespawn stage, you can catch bass by gently bouncing or dragging the Ned rigged Senko across the bottom using a spinning rod and reel with braided line. 

senko worms
Several Colors of Senko Worms

Wacky Rig 

I was slightly unsure about whether the wacky rig would work as well as some anglers had told me when I first began to experiment with using it. However, within a very short amount of time, it quickly became one of my favorite types of bass fishing techniques. 

The wacky rigged Senko works best when bass are very lethargic or when they are holding closely to certain types of thick cover like brush piles or standing timber. The wacky rig involves using a plastic O-ring which fits around the Senko near the middle of the worm and holds the hook in place. This unique style of hook placement allows the Senko to have much greater ‘wiggle’ action that fish often can’t resist. 

I prefer to fish the wacky rig around areas of cover where bass are holding near, or for targeting fish that are in open water and around primary points and secondary points. There’s almost no situation where the wacky rig won’t catch fish, which makes it one of the top choices for professional anglers in tournament scenarios. 

Texas Rig 

One of the most common methods of how anglers use a Senko is the Texas rig. This is one of the classic ways to fish a soft plastic worm and it’s one that many novice anglers start out using the Senko with to get a feel for the bait. There are other types of soft plastic worms and creature baits that are better-suited for the Texas rig in many ways, but the Senko does work well with the Texas rig for a number of reasons. 

It’s a great choice of technique for situations that call for a weedless rig as the Texas rigged Senko offers a compact profile that’s capable of punching through vegetation. I like to throw the Texas rigged Senko around brush piles and downed trees where it allows me to get a bit closer to the fish without a major risk of getting snagged. 

I like to fish the Texas rig when I’m trying to target bass vertically as I’m able to drop it down into brush piles and pick up bites from fidgety bass that don’t want to emerge from this type of cover. The Texas rigged Senko is also great for flipping and pitching into tight quarters as it is a small, compact style lure that allows for optimal accuracy. 

Neko Rig 

The Neko rig is quickly becoming one of the most exciting techniques I use when it comes to bass fishing. It works at virtually any time of the year and can be fished in a wide variety of scenarios. The Neko rig was created by famous Japanese lure designer Haruhiko Murakami, who named the lure “Neko-sogi” which in Japanese means ‘lure that catches fish like a vacuum cleaner.’ 

It’s easy to see how this lure is capable of getting bites on a consistent basis because it allows you to cover a very wide swath of water in a more thorough manner than almost any other tactic. The Neko rig is very similar to the wacky rig in almost every way except that the Neko has a small weight in the ‘head’ that makes it tip downward. 

This downward-oriented presentation makes the Neko rig appear to be a small bait fish that’s swimming along the bottom, foraging for food. I like to use the Neko rig as another reliable prespawn lure that allows me to cover primary and secondary points to located and target bass. It’s great to pinpoint the specific kinds of places where bass are situated in other times of the year as well.


These techniques for how to fish a Senko are ones that I use throughout the year to catch bass on a consistent basis. There are lots of other ways you can fish a Senko and it’s crucial that you experiment with this versatile soft plastic bait in order to discover the specific tactics that work best for different lakes and scenarios. The Senko is a phenomenal soft plastic that has earned its place among the most valuable baits you can use for catching bass. 

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