How To Fish A Split Shot Senko

The split shot Senko is a deadly rig that works in nearly every fishing condition. Learn how to fish the splitshot Senko in this in-depth video!




The Rig....
Bait - Yamamoto Senko - 
Hook: Gamakatsu EWG Worm Hook - 

The Gear...
Rod - KastKing Speed Demon Pro Rod - 
Reel - KastKing Valiant Eagle Spinning Reel - 
Line - KastKing Copolymer Line -

View Transcript

There we go. That's a good one. Had to double-set the hook on this guy. Come here ya big guy. Liked that Senko right there, look at that. A splitshot Senko.


Today I'm going to show you how to rig this up, and what kind of equipment to use. And then I'm going to take you on the water. I'm going to show you the different techniques you can use for fishing a splitshot Senko.


Hey folks, Glenn May here with Today I want to talk to you about splitshottin' a Senko, or mojo-rigging a Senko, some people call it, depends on what area of the country you're in. Really all we're talking about is using a cylindrical weight and about eighteen inches behind it a Senko tied to it. Now if you don't know how to rig this I've got a video that talks about riggin' Senkos. It's linked underneath this this video. You can go check that out later on to see how to do this. But right now we're gonna talk about the gear we're gonna use and then I'm gonna show you how to fish it.


Right now what we're using here is a four inch Senko. It's a little bit shorter than . . . most people fish a five inch Senko but here we're fishing a four inch. I've fished three inch too. When I do, this is a finesse approach, so smaller baits is what we're lookin' at. It's just a 1/0 light wire hook, real thin wire hook. Extra wide gap hook and because of that we're not gonna use real heavy gear 'cuz we don't want to straighten out this hook when we're fighting the fish. So I've got about eighteen inches up here. Here's my weight. I really can't tell you what size weight that is 'cuz I long since lost . . . you know I've got so many of these now I don't know which is what. But I'm pretty sure this is about an eighth ounce weight. That's a good multi-purpose starting point. Eighth ounce. Three-eighth ounce, that's pretty good, where you want to go maybe a quarter ounce. You get those three, it's going to cover pretty much every situation you're gonna' fish in.


The real small ones and the heavier ones those are for specialty conditions. If you have lots of wind or you're fishing really deep and you want to heavy up a little bit, go to that three-eighth ounce perhaps. But if you want to go heavier than that, then that's really when you're fishing current. When you're fishing heavy current you want this bait to fall through the water column. If you use a real light weight like that, the only thing that's gonna happen is that you're gonna cast out and by the time it gets past you and that line gets straight it's only fallen a foot in the water column. So, you know, heavier weight. I've used up to three-quarter ounce weights on this in heavy current and fishing the Columbia River. Works great for that stuff. You still get the same action but those are specialty ones. You get this eighth ounce, up to a quarter, three eighths, it's gonna cover most of your situations.


I've got this about eighteen inches past the weight. About eighteen inches past it is the bait. Now I do that, I want the fish to focus on the bait, not the weight. Also want to give this bait the ability to move on its own. Give it some flexibility to just act naturally. If you get the weight too close to it then it starts inhibiting the action of this bait. So plenty of line between it. You don't need to go much more than this. You can go up to twenty four inches if you want. But I wouldn't go any closer than say eight or ten inches. You just loose the effectiveness of this bait. It likes to fall, that's how Senkos work is that undulated motion. You want to be about to get it to lift up and then fall back down.


Because we're using real light wire hook and because this is a finesse tactic we're using six pound test line. The reason I'm doin' than is that I don't like using fluorocarbon in this situation. I know a lot of people do, but fluorocarbon,  it becomes a bit heavy. Heavier than most lines and this bait, you want it to come up off the bottom and then float back down. And with the weight holdin' it down, it's not gonna get as high as it would, say using this hybrid line.


Braid, on the other hand, that sounds like a good choice, 'cuz braid is bouyant and it will help give some rise to this bait. But because we're fishing really clear water, braid looks like rope in it. So I'm not using braid for that purpose. So that's why I'm using the copolymer but again, if you want to use any of the lines, nothing absolutely wrong with it, just think about what you're trying to accomplish and what's the water clarity and time of year you're fishin' in.


Six pound test, like I said, and we want to match that with the rod that's got a good limber tip. So medium fast action rod, that's what you want to be using here. Nothing heavier than that. If you use a rod that's a medium/heavy action rod or something more stout than that then your risk breaking the line or straightening that hook when you set the hook and fight the fish back to the boat. So medium/light action, that's all we need. Spinning tackle again because we're using light line. That's what we're gonna go with. So there's the gear, the equipment we're gonna use. Now let's go fishing.


Okay, so what we have here is a nice rocky area. It's rocky underneath, shallow - somewhat shallow and has sporadic weeds. That's a perfect place to fish this splitshot setup with a Senko. The bait - the weight is gonna slide through those rocks a lot easier, they're not gonna get hung up as much as other baits would. And the bait, since it's Texas rig, it's gonna slither through the rocks and through the weeds, you're less apt to get hung up. Great place to throw this. Now when you throw it, it's a lob cast. It's a real light and easy lob cast. You bring the weight back, bring your rod back, let the weight settle down a little bit and then just nice and easy kinda lob it out there. You're not tryin' to win any distance competitions here. So just throw it out there. A matter of fact, if you throw it too hard what's gonna happen is the weight and bait are gonna tangle up in mid-air and then it'll all be tangled before it hits the water. It's gonna ruin your presentation anyway. So don't throw it really hard, just a nice lob cast.


Once it hits the water, you wanna watch the line. Watch where it enters the water and let the bait fall on a slack line. As it falls, sometimes that's when the fish bite it and the only way you're gonna know is if you see that line. It's gonna jump, twitch, shake. It's gonna do something odd. When you see that, reel out the slack, set the hook. Speaking of set the hook, on this set up, since you've got a light line, and a light wire, you don't wanna set the hook really hard. You know, don't hirk on it really hard. Instead, just a moderate hook set. Just psht and that's all it takes. Just a, you know, moderate hook set. Some people don't even do that. Some people just reel down really hard and just reel 'em in. It's called the reel set. Or they just bring the rod like this, which is called the sweep set. Just a nice and easy hook set. If you do it any harder than that, you're more apt to break the line or your gonna straighten the hook out. So it doesn't take much pressure at all to get that light wire to penetrate past the barb so you don't need to jerk it really hard. Just a light hook set.


So I'm gonna show you a couple different ways to fish this. The first one you get is lob it out there like I just said. See how easy I threw that? Let it fall, watching it fall, watching it fall, watching it fall. And see if the line jumps. Okay, now when it gets to the bottom, alls I wanna do is let that Senko do it's thing. You know, it shimmies best when it's fallin' naturally, fallin' on a slack line. So I'm just gonna lift up on the weight and let the weight fall back down. And when I do that, I wanna bring the rod tip back about the same speed as the weight that's falling. At the same time I wanna reel up the slack. I don't wanna move the bait with the slack. So it takes a little bit of practice to do this, but it really makes sense to do it because what happens is sometimes those fish well they'll bite when it's falling. That's what you're tryin' to do. And you'll feel those bites a lot better if you remain in contact with the bait. So this is what some people refer to as letting something fall on a semi-slack line. It's exactly what you're doing.


So we're gonna do that here. We're gonna reel up and then I'm just gonna lift up and then let it fall straight back down as I maintain contact with it. Let it hit the bottom, and that's all that is, see and I'm bringing it up to about the . . . almost straight up. And then letting it fall all the way straight back down. Now you may think that I'm moving it really far and really high but think about this, the weight is at the bottom - I'm gonna put this down for a second - the weight's down here, the bait's behind it. When you lift up the weight moves up then the bait follows it, then the weight drops and the bait falls back down. So as you can see, the bait isn't moving as far as the weight. You bring the weight up, then the bait follows it, then it comes back down. So it feels like you're moving it really far up off the bottom, when in fact you're really not. Now of course, how fast the bait falls and how fast that you follow with it has a lot to do with the weight that you're using and how steep of an incline you're fishing. You may not have to lift it as high. Say if you're fishing real steep incline, steep bank. You just have to experiment with it a little bit. And how long you wait between pauses is entirely up to you. You have to play with that sometimes. Sometimes the fish only want a bite. They see it move, you get their attention and then it falls down and settles on the bottom, and then they'll pick it up. They won't pick it up while it's moving. So sometimes you have to wait longer between pauses to get the bite. Other times they want it moving all the time. So there's no right or wrong way to do it. You just have to experiment and figure out which way the fish want it that day.


So let me show you another way to do it. I've cast it out there. It's sittin' on the bottom and now all I'm gonna do is I'm just gonna drag it along the bottom. Now I'm just gonna do that by movin' the rod tip like this and draggin' it. I'm gonna reel up the slack and then just drag it again on the bottom. It's very similar to the way I just told you but this time we're keeping the bait on the bottom. So the same principle applies here. How fast you do it, how long you wait between pauses. You're gonna have to experiment. Now this method also works well. Instead of moving it with the rod and I reel up with the slack. Sometimes you can do it just with the boat. Obviously if you're on a bank it doesn't work this way, but if you're in a boat, I just cast it out there. I let it sink. I let out about 10, 15 feet of line. bring the rod tip down and now alls I'm gonna do is I'm gonna move it with the motor, with the trolling motor. I'm gonna set the trolling motor say on 20. Maybe on 30. Just let it go. And I'm just gonna go over deep structure that way. This is the way I do it in the wintertime especially. The fish are a little bit deeper. Sometimes it works when they're shallow. I just got a bite. He let go, little guy. But this works great during the summertime and during the wintertime. Let me tell you a little bit about that, the reason why.


During the summer and the winter, that's when the majority of the fish are out on the main lake. So during those times of the year I wanna fish main lake points, offshore structure like humps, rock piles, creek channels, ledges, places where the creek channel swings in close to the shoreline. Those are the places I'm gonna target during those times of the year. I'm just gonna fish a little bit slower in the winter than I do in the summertime. But essentially dragging it or fishing it the way I just showed you, those couple of different methods. That's what I use. During the fall and in the spring, most of those fish are moving up shallow and they're feeding. So during those times of the year I'm fishing backs of creeks, protected bays, protected coves, backs of channels. I'm fishing flats, great place. I like fishing grassy flats. Those are the places I'm gonna target during those times of the year. If you do that, using the techniques I just showed you, you're gonna catch a lot of fish.


Have fun with it. For more tips and tricks like this, visit

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