There comes a time in our fishing lives where we find baits that are special to us. We may have caught some really big fish on them, maybe just a lot of fish, or maybe we won a tournament with them. I have found not a speical bait, but a special bait company. The company is Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits (GYCB), which is owned by Gary Yamamoto whois a well-known tournament fisherman. I have not had the pleasure of fishing with Mr. Yamamoto, but I can tell you this, he is always with me in spirit. Yamamoto Baits are kind of like my American Express Card, as I don't leave home without them.
Lately, Yamamoto baits have been gathering much press on the Internet. From what I can gather, they have also stepped up their recruitment of 'Pros' and have amassed quite a few factory pros over the past few years. Don't get me wrong, Yamamoto baits have been around quite a while and used extensively by the hard core Tournament crowd with much success. Lately it seems, the average weekend fisherman has learned about the 'special baits' that Mr. Yamamotos company has been making for years.
By now, most everyone has heard of the Senko and the magic allure that it has for fish. Much has been written about it, how to fish/rig it and how the fish absolutely love it. In fact, much has been written about most of the Yamamoto baits and I suggest that you look up resources such as Russ Comeau's new weekly site by subscribing at http://insideline.net/ezine/ or the Yamamoto Inside Line at http://www.insideline.net. I want to share with you some of the fine baits that have charmed me from Yamamoto (Yes, I will include the Senko!). These include the 10" 'BIG' Grub, the 8" Grub, the Twin Tail Grub, the Craw, and of course the Senko. If you have a current catalogue or have access to the website http://www.yamamoto.baits.com , you can see that GYCB has a very diverse line of baits and is always expanding and designing new baits for us fishermen. Please remember as you read this, that the baits, fishing styles and rigging methods are just my preference for my home waters which are North and East Texas. As you read this, I will try to explain some fishing, hookset and rigging methods that may be new to you and will also share some tips that will save you money. I am by no means an expert, but I have learned much through trial and error and some of this from seasoned 'pros'. I will try to make you laugh at some of my and others mistakes, captivate you with stories of big fish and introduce you to the best soft plastics that I have ever used.
10" Grub: Lets go back several years to lake Fork. It was late summer and the big worm bite was on, I believe that the color of the day was 'Tequila Sunrise'. I had just purchased this monster of a grub in Black with Blue Flake and I was amazed at its size! Make no mistake about it, it is as big as my forefinger and supple. I rigged it with a 5/0 Owner straight shank hook. I rigged this thing up as a Texas Rig and threw it out on some deep grass beds. Well, I got a lesson on how to miss fish! I must have lost a dozen fish on that bait and was disgusted! What do I do? Well, I use it the following weekend and lost even more fish. It was weird, I felt the strike, set the hook and the fish was gone. How could that be? I just said "to heck with it" and put on that 'Tequila Sunrise' worm and caught a few fish. I questioned my Uncle about the bait and he told me some 'secrets' on how to fish it (My Uncle is a pretty accomplished fisherman with several fish over 13 and also knowledgeable of Yamamoto Products). I went out with renewed vigor and caught some good slot fish. What had changed? Well, I was using the wrong hook, wrong hookset, and wrong rigging method. I was now using a Gamakatsu EWG Superline 5/0 hook, a screw in 1/4 oz weight (F rig) and a delayed hookset. BINGO! This stuff worked like a charm. It also helped that I slowed my presentation down and worked the bait methodically
To prove my point above, let me tell you the story of my friend Brent Humphreys. We were fishing his private lake near Mineola and he wanted to fish the 'Big' Grub. I knew there were some big fish in this lake as I had lost a BIG DOUBLE DIGIT BASS a few weeks earlier. Brent and I made a quick run to the Yamamoto store, where we picked up some of the 'Big' Grubs. Within a few minutes, Brent was complaining about missing fish, well you all know that I just had to tell him how to fish it right? NO WAY! He had kicked my behind all morning and I wasn