By Todd Ceisner
Time is running out. The pattern that worked yesterday isn’t working today. It’s crunch time. There’s an hour left in the tournament. Your nerves are starting to fray. What do you reach for when you absolutely need to generate bites?
We’ve been asking pro anglers from the various circuits that same question as a way to find out what their ultimate confidence baits are regardless of the situation, along with the reasoning behind their choices. As one might expect, the answers have run the gamut, from big-line, big-weight flipping to light-line finesse and from topwater to slow-dragging baits.
In this edition, Shinichi Fukae delves into why one of the newest finesse trends has become his favored option when the going gets tough.
After checking out the latest installment in the series, head over to our Feedback page and let us know what your go-to bait is and how you rig it.
> Angler: Shinichi Fukae
> Confidence bait: Neko-rigged soft plastic stickbait
> Gear used: 7’ medium-action Shimano Expride spinning rod, Shimano Vanquish spinning reel (JDM model), 14-pound YGK SS112 sinking braided line, 8-pound YGK fluorocarbon line (leader), 2/0 Gamakatsu G Finesse Weedless Wacky hook, 3/64-oz. G7 tungsten straight screw nail weight, G7 worm protector tube, 5” Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits Senko.
> Origin: “It’s getting people into fishing, but not all 107 (Elite Series) anglers have it tied on. Only a few finesse guys use it in deeper water like Mike (Iaconelli), (Brett) Hite and (Brent) Ehrler. Not many fish in deep water have seen it, plus it’s easy to fish for kids and women and me.”
> Why he trusts it: “When it’s falling, nothing happens, but when you pull back on it, that’s when it moves more water. It’s easier to see for the fish. When it’s falling, it looks like a shad. When you’re pulling it, it looks like a crawfish so you get two actions with one bait. You’re also able to fish suspending fish. It’s got everything.”
> One more thing: “It’s easy to skip and cast a long way. The only problem with a Neko rig is on windy days. You have to find a protected area away from the wind and current.”