Arizona pro Brett Hite has been part of the Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits pro-staff for years and like the rest of us, he fishes the Senko all of the time. Yamamoto’s most popular bait gets talked about often, but there are several other baits in the lineup that Hite relies on as he fishes the country on the Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour.
Here are a few of his other favorites and some insight on how he rigs and fishes them.
Neko Rigging Kut Tail Worm
The Neko Rig has exploded in popularity and countless different worms work with the technique. One of Hite’s favorites is the Kut Tail Worm.
“I really like it on a Neko instead of a regular Senko at times,” he said. “The Senko still works great, but I like the skinner tail that tapers down. It has much more action when you are shaking it along the bottom.”
He opts for the Kut Tail right after the bass spawn and throughout the summer as he feels the more aggressive action appeals to fish in warmer water temperatures.
“I’ll still use the Senko when it is colder or when I feel that I need a subtle action from my bait,” he added.
Hite is regarded as one of the best in the world at fishing a ChatterBait and has the big wins to prove his expertise. His go-to trailer is the Yamamoto Zako and he will at times use the Kickin’ Zako, the paddle tail version.
“I like the regular Zako on my Jack Hammer ChatterBaits,” he said. “The ChatterBait has so much vibration and gives the Zako the action while it is moving. It has a nice natural action.”
Although the standard Zako is his primary weapon with a ChatterBait, he will switch it up at times.
“I’ll use the Kickin’ Zako at times when fishing the heavier ¾ and 1 ¼-ounce bait if I am fishing it deeper on ledges. Places where the light penetration isn’t as good, and I want a little more vibration so the bass can track it down.”
For swim jigs, he opts for the Kickin’ Zako almost exclusively.
“I like the traditional swimbait style tail to get a good kicking action,” he said. “I feel like that helps to get bigger bites. Plus, since the bait is segmented, it folds up like an accordion when the fish gets it and you get a better hookup.”
Backward Fat Ika
The Fat Ika is a unique bait that looks similar to a tube but with a solid body section. These characteristics make it great for fishing around grass and docks, according to Hite.
“It’s a cool bait with a lot of weight to it,” he said. “I like to rig it backward with an Extra Wide Gap hook and will cast it out weightless. The bait will sink because of the heavy plastic, but rigging it backward makes it slide away from you like the old ‘Flying Lure’ that was on TV back in the day.”
The backsliding of the bait makes it excellent for fishing around docks, he says.
“The bait will slide up under the dock and get to places most baits can’t,” he said. “If you pitch it to a dock, it will shoot underneath the dock. It also works well around grass and you can pump your rod and it will slide back away from you.”
Modify Your Flappin’ Hog
The Yamamoto Flappin’ Hog comes in two sizes (3.75 and 4.5”) and has a unique crawfish look. It also has several appendages and two craw pinchers. Hite removes the side appendages when punching mats to slide through the cover easily.
“I tear off all of the tentacles on the side when punching,” he said. “I like the larger size for punching and when you remove the appendages, it slides through the mat better. It goes in easier and comes out easier, so you become much more efficient.”
Shad Shape Drop-Shotting
The Shad Shape worm is one of Hite’s must-haves when drop-shotting.
“That’s one of my favorite baits they make and it is perfect for nose-hooking on a drop-shot,” he said. “When I go up north, it is a smallmouth catching machine. But, I use it anytime I am vertically fishing with a drop-shot, no matter what species I am after.”
Bigger and Smaller Senkos
The five-inch Senko is the most popular, but Hite likes to go bigger and smaller depending on how and where he is fishing.
“In Florida or any big bass lake, I like the six-inch Senko,” he said. “It casts a long way and you can feel it in the grass much better. On the opposite end of that, I like the three-inch Fat Senko for my Ned Rigs.”
The Yamamoto Senko gets the bulk of the attention from anglers, but there are many different soft plastics from the famed company that makes up Brett Hite’s arsenal.