The Yamamoto Fat Ika is a little different. Its tentacles make it look like a tube at first glance but the body is actually solid. This gives the bait a different fall in the water and allows for some creative rigging options that you can't do with a tube. However, the solid body also eliminates some of the rigging options you'll have with tubes, like running a jighead up into one and only exposing the eye.
So, as previously stated, the Fat Ika is a little different. But it's a good kind of different. Available in several proven Yamamoto colors, this bait catches fish. Let's take a quick trip down memory lane and then look at a few features of the bait and talk a little more about rigging options and the bait's composition.
This genre of soft plastics with a solid body and the tentacles of a tube are generally referred to as a spider jig or spider grub, though most baits in this category also have claws or other appendages. This particular bait piqued my interest because I had success with something similar way back in the day. I was a young angler, in my early teens or maybe even before and my dad had a couple packs of a similar bait. I can't even remember the name brand now but we caught a lot of fish on them.
I don't think this style of bait got the recognition it deserved back then nor does so now for that matter. These baits offer a unique profile that really looks good in the water. It's one of those baits that looks like a lot of things a bass eats without looking exactly like anything. That versatility is what we'll talk about next.
I really like how versatile the Yamamoto Fat Ika is. You can Texas rig it, Carolina rig it, run it onto a shaky head and expose the hook like a big Ned rig, punch it or even rig it backwards on a wobble head. The bait can do a lot and look different while doing different things. Rigging it backwards on a wobble head is probably my favorite.
The tentacles mask the jighead well. And when dragged along the bottom, the bait's skirt also imitates a crawfish's tucked tail on the retreat. So you have a nice compact bait that really looks like a crawfish. Even without claws, the Fat Ika still pulls of this impersonation. After all, not all crawfish have claws as they are often torn off by a fish or during a battle with a fellow crawfish. And that's one of those things a fish won't likely second guess during the second or two it's within range to see before the bite. The absence of claws also narrows the chance of a fish biting the bait without getting the business end of the hook.
This bait is really soft. It feels as though it has the same salt content and consistency as the famed Yamamoto Senko, though the body is a little larger in diameter. Soft baits lead to more bites and fish holding the bait longer. That's a pretty widely held belief among anglers. This bait backs that up the best I can tell, because it gets bit often and the fish hold onto it plenty long enough.
But there's a compromise in order to gain that edge. You will go through several baits, similar to how you will a Senko. The bait tears pretty easily and you'll do good to catch 3 or 4 fish on one before having to return to the pack for a fresh bait. But there's another added benefit of this bait's consistency; you get a really good hookup ratio. With tougher soft-plastic baits, you run the risk of not being able to punch the hook through on the hookset. Not an issue with the Fat Ika.
The Fat Ika from Gary Yamamoto is a very effective bait at getting bit. And it's a bait that brings with it a good hookup ratio. Both of those are made possible by the softness of the bait. Which, yes, leads to using several baits. But if you're going through baits quickly, that means you're catching fish. So it's a worthwhile trade-off.
In plenty of proven colors, the Fat Ika gives you a versatile bait that you can use to mimic the majority of what a fish will find along the bottom. You could rig this bait a half-dozen ways and truly be able to target fish setting up in as many different locations. Pitch a Texas rigged Fat Ika to a stump, punch one through a mat, drag it on a Carolina rig over a gravel bar, rig it backwards on a wobble head and pull it across a current swept point, you get the idea. There's a ton you can do with this bait to offer something different to almost any soft-plastic presentation.