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Jared, when I get home from work today I am going to take all of the SK Guide Service and RTA plugs you know who put into my articles, and update some of the pictures to give them a better appeal to the reader, and then I will e-mail them to you... thanks!
 

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Oh yeah, I forgot we did have a front page !! LOL. No rush Jared, I think most all the members go in thru the forum but I guess it will help for the search engines in the future
 

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Hmm OK so this dumy put this in the wrong post !! Oh winter time !! brain cells freeze right up
 

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I re-worked this one Jared... had to change a couple of things. More to come!

Also, I have pictures that go with this - I will e-mail them to you





Innovate: Don't Imitate
by Mike McKay
(Inspired by Gene Cochran)

I do not know one serious fisherman who has not caught fish using a Senko. Hate it or love it, the baits catch fish as well as any soft plastic ever created. That is the simple fact. People have won just as many tournaments than any other bait since its creation in 2000. People are hooked on it, mostly because of its versatility. You can fish the bait so many different ways, you can throw it weightless, with a tube-head, with a bullet sinker, on a drop-shot rig, heck even under a bobber and you will probably catch a fish. So what is it about this bait, that can allow fishermen to throw it out, sit back eating a sandwich, and win a tournament? Well, that is probably the question that fisherman SHOULD be asking themselves, isn’t it? Well to tell the truth, the average fisherman, even at a higher level of competition, is not asking themselves that question. Instead they are buying all of these Senko baits at 5.99 a bag, in about 14.7 million different colors (roughly). The way I see it, why spend all of that money unless you know what you are buying. And if you know what you are buying, and WHY you are buying it, would you really be buying it to begin with? Lets find out.

Why Does It Work?

Lets explore the reasons that a Senko can catch fish that seem to know every lure that they have ever seen by heart. Why will a Senko outfish just about any other lure thrown right next to it, in almost all conditions? Well there are a few reasons. Let me first start out by saying that Gary Yamamoto is a genius. He has created a bait that is so amazing, it does not need to even be marketed for fishermen to come into a retail store and fill carts with it. How does this happen? Were we missing something for the last 50 years? 41 of which, I wasn’t even alive? Well, maybe. Gary Yamamoto is an innovator. He took all of his knowledge gained from many years of professional fisherman, and he created one of the timeless molds that will be around for a very long period of time. I know this because no matter how many times those dang fish get caught on this lure, they keep hitting it. And hitting it. And eating it. They have not even come close to getting sick of it yet, and this writer does not believe that they will. The basic principles I have come up with are these: the Senko works so well, because it is a long, slightly fatter bait, made from incredibly soft plastic material. These baits are salt impregnated, which is a key because if you are a fish that bites into the Senko, you get that burst of salt into your mouth (trust me, I’ve bitten into a few in my day) this is what makes the fish hold on. Fish will sometimes even swallow the bait before you even realize he is there. Then the fun begins.

Imitation

Somebody once said that imitation is the highest form of flattery. In this case, imitation is probably the highest form of money making. It is mind-boggling the amount of bait companies, even some well-known bait companies that have come out with their own type of Senko type bait. However because the baits have incredible amounts of patents on them, they cannot make the exact same bait and sell it as their own. Which is why none of them catch fish quite like a Senko. Also, it is why none of them can sell like a Senko, even at half the price. The closest of course is the Kenami Flash, which of course can make the exact same bait and sell it for cents less because it is all in the family. It is a direct branch from Gary Yamamoto. But to name a few others, we have the Yum Dinger, the Venom Salty Sling, the Gulp! Sinking Minnow, the Waveman Tiki Stik, the Chomper Salty Sinker, the Bass Pro Shops Stik-O!, the Netbait Salt Stick, the Strike King Zero, the Zoom Z-Nail, the Culprit Stinger, the KidLizard Kid Sticks, and the Food Source Food Sticks. It is unimaginable to have that many imitations of one bait!

Why?

As fisherman, it is my FIRM belief that we should be smarter than this! INNOVATE, don’t IMITATE! We all know exactly, word for word, why the Senko catches more fish than any other bait. So why not explore with this concept? If there is one thing that everybody needs to learn, it is that not one lure will catch every fish in the lake. Also, you have to know that no matter what there will ALWAYS be a way to catch more fish. Even if it is something you would normally never ever do. If people did not shake things up once in a while, would we even have a Senko to begin with? Absolutely not. The innovators are the ones in this sport making money, and I bet that Gary Yamamoto has made more money on his bait than all of the imitators combined. Some of the best baits ever made have come from something stupid and unimaginable. Something that nobody wanted to try, until somebody else did. Maybe we would catch more fish and be more successful if we were more like Gary Yamamoto and did something revolutionary. And even now, seeing what works on the water, why not innovate other baits to do the same thing? Do you want to tell me that a fish will not hit a very slow falling jig-n-pig with a slight wobble? I highly doubt it, and tip that jig with some salt impregnation and we are in serious business. Break from the mold, and catch more and bigger bass.

Innovation

Some fisherman probably already have all the baits that they think they will ever need. Some modify baits, and catch so many fish that they do not want to share it with their fellow fishermen for fear of getting beat by it. This does happen, and amen for the fishermen who does not expect a lure to catch fish right out of the bag or box the first time that they use it. Here are some quick modifications that any fisherman can do to baits. First off, don’t ever be afraid to experiment with colors. Take a hi-liter and tip the tails of your brush hog. Take some dyes and dip your baits in them. Switch the front hooks of your crankbaits to red, slightly larger trebles. This could throw the wobble a little bit wider and make the fish appear just a bit more wounded. Also, do not be afraid to move things on a crankbait. If you want more weight, add it to the hooks using weight wraps. Make the bait suspend if it does not suspend. Make it float if it does not float. Switch hooks, add or remove split rings. Little things that could make the bass decide in that split second decision period that he wants your bait will ultimately make you a more successful angler in the long run. Think about every time you have ever fished, think what if you had caught one more bass every time on the water? How many tournaments would you have won? How many times would you have beaten the crap out of siblings? Innovation is about applying what you know and what you learn to what you are using to catch fish. You can be the most knowledgeable person in the world when it comes to Bass and Bass behavior, but if you are not putting fish in the boat, then what does it really matter?

Do not be afraid to break from the mold. One pattern is NOT going to work every time you step onto the deck of your boat. Gary Yamamoto is an innovator, and it is almost like cause and affect the way he is imitated.

Cause: Gary Yamamoto took what he knows about bass and bass fishing, and applied it and created a bait that fisherman are literally saving up to buy in bulk, that will not stay on the shelves, and has won more money for anglers than any other bait in the last five years.

Effect: Every lure making company in the entire world has their own, slightly worse, version of that same bait in hopes of making a fraction of the money that GYCB makes every single day. Imitation being profitable, but who is making the real money here, the imitator, or the innovator?
 
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Nice article Mike. However, Gary Yamamoto doesn't make a dime from me anymore. I am convinced his baits are not 1 degree better then Alluring Baits, Yum Dingers etc. I have caught lots of fish on all of those imatators and keep on catching them. I just love the fact that I can catch fish on a bait that costs half as much as the GYCB version.

But I apply this to everything also. I buy generic drugs when I have to which is hardly ever. I buy generic food items also. Some things are best from the original, however there are allot of things that are exact versions but cost allot less. For example. When I go grocery shopping I do not buy rice from Minute Rice anymore. Why? because they are too expensive. I can buy the store or generic brand of rice and get the same exact thing for less. Sometimes the original company who invented something is just plain greedy and charges too much for their product and other companies are happy making less for the same thing. I typically will buy the cheaper thing if I believe it is comperable or even an exact of the original. If none exist then I am stuck paying the piper if I want what they have. Thankfully there are lots of options for the Senko.

BTW, Gary Yamamoto doesn't have a patent on the Senko. I bet he wishes he did.
 

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I dont know Keith... I mean, while it is no secret that alot of baits will catch alot of fish, I guarantee the original will still out perform.

I ran my boat as a camera boat for ESPN last year on the elite series and on the four days of competition I did not see ONE PERSON throwing a bait that wasn't top of the line. Even the guys who are sponsored by other hard bait companies were throwing lucky craft lures, now that is saying something. Of course, none of these guys will tell you in a press conference that they are doing this, but I saw it way too many times for it to be ignored.

My best freind Jesse finished third on the non-boater side of that event (well, tied for second.. but ruled into third) He fished with Yusuke Miyazaki on day two (when Miyazaki took the lead in the tournament) Halfway through the day When the pro did not have any fish in the boat, he pulled out a bag of senko's and caught 5 smallmouth very quickly. (along with a venom tube) However, this fisherman is NOT sponsored by GYCB OR VENOM. At the end of the day, when Mark Zona was interviewing him for ESPN he did not make ONE mention of the Senko OR the Venom Tube, he just simply said he alternated baits and used his knowledge to scramble a big bag together. He DID however, name a few other sponsors of his THAT RIVAL THE VERY BAITS HE ACTUALLY USED to help catapult him into first place of a 100,000 dollar tournament.

What I am trying to get at here, is that there is no possible way EVER to tell side by side what baits outperform what baits. This is true because whatever bait you are catching fish on, is the bait that is catching fish. If you catch 5 fish in a day using nothing but the zoom trick worm and win a tournament by 5 pounds, who knows how many you would have caught using a senko? or a stik-o? or a kinami? Maybe in the same situations, you would have lost the tournament, or won by 10 pounds, or 15? It is impossible to know.

So I think, that the best way to determine what baits really are superior to other baits, is by looking to the top.. the cream of the crop - the Bassmaster Elite Series. These guys make a living (and some of them a damn good living) fishing, so they have to disect every single angle, every aspect of fishing. Some of these guys think about things that I would never think of, just in hopes of maybe getting one extra bite out of their day, and THATS what makes them the best.

I spent four straight days at the elite series following 100+ of the greatest fisherman in the world, and the baits I saw more than anything were Lucky Craft Hardbaits, Gary Yamamoto plastics, Tru- Tungsten weights, and Gammagatsu hooks. It is as simple as that. WHen I see 100 fully sponsored fisherman using products that their sponsors do not even create.. that says something to me.

Above all, fishing is a business. You can make 100,000 dollars endorsing Kinami Flash baits, using them, and losing at the highest level. Or you can make 200,000 dollars endorsing Kinami Flash baits, using Senko's, winning the tournament, and SAYING you won the tournament on Kinami Flash baits. Unfortunately, this happens more than anybody knows, I personally have seen it first hand, and This year for the Bassmaster Major coming to my home lake Oneida, you can bet Ill be either riding along as an observer, or running a camera boat again. I wouldnt miss it for the world.






Side note, this would be a great topic to debate in another part of the forum.. I would love to hear other peoples opinions.
 
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Mike, I have debated this on forums along with lots of other guys. I have never seen someone on their side of the fence change sides yet. Everyone makes valid points and at the end of the day no one changes.

I have outfished people using Senko's when I was using a Stick-O. Vice versa. I have outfished people using Lucky Craft while I was using a cheap $2 jointed lure. They where using Lucky Craft's jerkbait.

Personally, I don't think a bass is that intelligent to know the difference to a Senko or a Yum Dinger. I don't think they care either. The bass has no preference the angler however sure does. So I think we both would agree that using what you are most confident in is the best advise. Not using Lucky Craft or Yamamoto baits or any other high dollar bait. Use what you believe will work best for you in that situation. That is what I always say.
 

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I agree with the confidence part... however, can you honestly say it is a cooincidence that EVERY top professional migrates to using the high quality baits? I mean, it seems to me that it would be common sense that the baits just simply work better...
 

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Truthfully, I have yet to find a bait that has the same "feel" and texture of Yamamoto's Senko... also I have yet to find a bait that breaks and tears as easily as the original senko. Of course it's the amount of salt molded in that does that but still, it seems no one has really copied that. They seem to try to just duplicate the shape and look to exploit the senko market. I prefer the original senko myself though.
 

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Great article Mike! I will copy and paste it and hang on to it. Let me know when ya get the pictures for it and I will put it in the article archive for sure.
 
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