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The Backward Fat Ika
Story & photos by Chris Johnson, Bass World West

The Fat Ika from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits has become a deadly tool for many bass anglers. Though it has secretly been winning tournaments for a while now, the Fat Ika is still a bait that is misunderstood by many. At first glance, the Fat Ika looks like a tube bait, and many anglers start off rigging it as such. However, it is only when rigged backward that the Fat Ika discovers itís greatest potential - as a penetrating target bait.

When rigged on a Gamakatsu 5/0 EWG hook (as seen above), the Fat Ika does itís magic. Rigged without a weight, the bait should be cast out and let to  sink on a slack line. The Fat Ika falls away from the angler when rigged as such, so significant slack should be allowed on the sink. The bait falls at an angle (as seen below) because of the salt in the plastic creating weight to the back end of the bait.

Most strikes occur on the initial fall, but if the bait settles to the bottom, twitch the  bait upwards with a sharp lift of the rod tip. One or two lifts, then let the bait settle back to the bottom on a controlled slack line. Always watch your line for indications of a strike. As you lift the bait, the skirt flares, and then folds back as the bait falls again to the bottom. A very realistic crawfish action is created by the Fat Ika's lift and drop. Most often used in shallow areas with targets such as docks, brush, weeds, etc., the Fat Ika can really penetrate deep into such areas with itís backwards decent. This is a technique where youíll need to use a medium heavy rod with at least 12 lb test line.

The Fat Ika is much like Yamamotoís Senko for the fact that weight from salt gives each bait its action, not the angler. They are both patience baits which need to be fished slowly, enabling each bait to do its job. The weightless technique is deadly for big bass because it forces anglers to slow down and spend a longer time with their baits in the water. The Fat Ika is definitely one of the deadliest weightless soft plastic baits ever invented.

Good luck using the backward Fat Ika.

Chris Johnson,
Bass World West

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