Fishing Yamamoto BaitsFishing Yamamoto Baits These batis are becoming buzzwords in the fishing industry. Here are some tricks and techniques you can use with them.
By Charles Stuart
Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits are becoming "buzzwords" in the fishing industry. These magnificent baits are now in the hands of almost ever angler on the professional touring trails today. I personally would not think of going fishing without them. And neither should you!
If after using my conventional "fish finding lures" of a spinnerbait and a buzzbait, I am still not getting activity from the bass, a worm will usually catch the fish I am looking for. My first worm of choice (if the breeze remains light) is usually a 4-inch CUT TAIL in my personal favorite color of root beer with black and green flake from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Fished weightless with a number 1/0 Gamakatsu hook and ten pound test G-Line, the CUT TAIL will often catch large fish, but more often the smaller twelve and thirteen inch bass or better still baitfish. You may be wondering why baitfish? Well the answer is simple. In all my years of bass fishing, I have discovered that if I find baitfish, I find bass! So if I am pestered by, or catch baitfish, I know I am in the right area. Keep this important piece of information in your mind and read on.
If the wind is moderate to high, I may try a bulkier presentation with a Hula Grub in the same color, which keeps approximately the same length of the lure, but ads bulk to assist in placement and presentation. The 4-inch baby slim Senko will also work well, fished in a straight presentation.
After locating feeding fish, my next change would be to increase the size of the offering. This will help to avoid the smaller fish and allow the bait to fall through them, reaching the larger sized fish positioned below. You know as well as I do that small fish will still try to eat baits larger than themselves, but I also see this as good news. My reasoning is that when the smaller fish become aggressive or excited, this can trigger bass into a feeding mode, which after all, is exactly what I want to happen.
Now remember I said I like to catch baitfish? Well there is a second and more important reason for that. Baitfish size & color! These two factors are the most important when making that critical decision as to what color and size I throw. I have in the previous paragraph talked about increasing the size of the bait to avoid the really small fish. Well now I can match the size and closely co-ordinate the baitfish with the vast selection of colors offered by the Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits catalog. For an example, let's say that the baitfish are grouped tightly together (a good sign that the bass are aggressive) and average between 4 and 5 inches in length, with silver sides and a blue back. I will use a FAT IKA to speed up the fall and get through the baitfish, in perhaps a blue pearl with silver or similar color. If the same fish are scattered (often meaning less aggressive bass), I might cast an IKA in smoke with black, blue and gold flake. While this offers less bulk and a slower fall rate, it still matches the size of a meal the bass are looking for and allows me to offer a more subtle presentation.
You may ask why black and blue with gold, when the baitfish are silver and have a blue back? Why not clear with silver or blue pearl with silver? Well it is a personal choice, but I like bass to see something a little different when the baitfish are scattered. The switch in color combination will allow the less aggressive bass to focus on that specific "baitfish" not only because of the color variation but because of the slower and more erratic fall that I will give it by "twitching" the rod without retrieving line. This often triggers violent strikes because the bass see this bait as an easy target. If you are a Senko fanatic (as I have occasionally been called), I also suggest upgrading to the 5-inch offered in similar colors. To speed up the fall of a Senko (when required), I will insert a nail type weight into the center of the bait. I must emphasize the center, as you do not want to lose the subtle head and tail action, offered by the Senko product range. (I have seen two small nails inserted, one into the head and the other into the tail, but I have had little success with it).
With these various tactics and lure combinations, I have invaded the bass environment and, as in baseball, I have thrown a "curve ball" at the bass. The rest is up to instinct and nature as the bass makes that decision to commit or to avoid the strike. If the fish avoids the bait, I change color again and again, until I find the combination that is right for that area, keeping in mind the information I have gathered previously.
You must be ready to change after three of four casts if nothing happens. It does not mean the bass are gone, but it does mean that what you have shown them is not acceptable. The beauty of the Gary Yamamoto range is that the colors and sizes that are available are so diverse that we now have a virtual army of offerings to test the senses of the wary bass.
Similar tactics can be used when fishing warm summer locations and also as the temperature begins to drop during fall and early winter. The subtle changes I make revolve around the size color and lure retrieval speed. Do not be afraid to experiment with different sizes and colors during this time. Take a look at the range offered with the Single Tail Grubs now that's a serious bait for late fall and early winter. Bass are again becoming aggressive as the cooler weather approaches and tend to eat more to build up their energy levels for the on-coming winter.
In the chilly months of winter, I will simply slow down the presentation, and increase the size of the lure to offer the bass a more tantalizing and energy efficient meal for the effort the bass has to exert swimming towards and then eating the offering.