June 23, 2014 Share

Psst…A Secret Only Pennaz Will Share

By Steve Pennaz

It took a lure designer in Texas to really open the eyes of anglers to the untapped potential that tweaking the sink rate and action of a lure can have on overall fishing success. What is sink rate? For purposes here, it describes not only how fast a bait sinks, but also how it sinks.

On the surface, the Senko is really nothing more than a cylindrical piece of refined petroleum with colors added. The lure spawned a whole new class of baits, however, as it did something no other bait had done before…it quivered as it fell slowly to the bottom, makes it look like a baitfish that just had it bell rung. And bass, like all predators, simply find it impossible to pass up because it does a great job mimicking an easy meal.

Let’s leave sink rate out of this discussion for the now and focus on how a bait sinks because this information WILL substantially impact your ability to catch fish.

Baits sink in four general ways:

Straight down—given enough weight and enough slack, a front-weighted baits like a jig will fall straight to the bottom. This is ideal when pitching to heavy cover.

Angled descent—By moving a weight back, even slightly, you can achieve an angled descent, and make the bait do some interesting actions when twitched or jerked.

Horizontal Fall—A wacky-rigged bait will fall in a horizontal fashion, as well as weighted in the middle. Deadly?? Absolutely!

Side-Swimming—You can also weight a bait so it wobbles side-to-side or back-and-forth as it falls.

As anglers, we tend to stick with classic presentations as they are what we know best and have produced for us in the past. But if you look at the process of fooling fish as a moving target…one that gets tougher every day because the fish are learning to avoid thing that hurt…it makes it easier to explore new ways to do things.

For example, my tackle box is filled with bullet weights of several sizes, shapes and even materials (lead, brass, etc.), However, my inventory or alternative weights is rapidly growing. For example, I use Storm Suspend Dots to tweak my hard bait presentations—especially my jerkbaits. And Sebile’s new Soft Weight System is opening a ton of options for soft baits.

In a word, these small, black Tungsten/gum rubber pellets are incredible. They allow me to customize any presentation and are super easy to use…you simply screw them on to the shank of your hook and position them to achieve the fall rate and action you demand. The weights run from 1/64 ounce to 1/32 ounce; just add or subtract the number as required.