How to fish a lizard for bass
A lot of anglers might look at a soft plastic lizard and wonder why they would pick it over another soft plastic that seems to be more accurate representation of what’s in the water. For one, anything that looks like a protein filled meal is going to be preyed on by bass. They are just that type of predator. And secondly, there are species of lizards that will dive and swim in bodies of water.
The main reason they are used by a lot of experienced anglers is that they know what lizards will prey on bass eggs and is the reason for the disdain bass have for lizards. Let’s take a look at some tips for fishing a lizard lure for bass.
How to fish a lizard for bass
Let’s begin by talking about 5 different ways to rig up a lizard lure.
There are a lot of different ways to fish a lizard lure, and all of them can be highly productive. And regardless of how you rig up your lizard, be sure to experiment with retrieval speeds. While some of these rigs are traditionally used with certain retrieve speeds, there is no need to be restrained by those traditions. Figure out what the bass are keying in on and go with it. Below we have listed some of our favorite ways to present a lizard lure.
Carolina Rig. The Carolina rig is a traditional swimming/searching pattern that allows you to cover a lot of water. When using a lizard lure with this set-up, which is the what a lot of anglers have in mind when thinking of a classic Carolina Rig, you can cover ground quickly if you are not familiar with the water and where the bass are bedding. We still think that slowing down your retrieve will hook up on more fish even if it means you being a bit more patient searching for feeding bass.
Learn more about how to carolina rig your lure here:
Texas Rig. When the vegetation is a bit too thick for the Carolina Rig, a lizard lure rigged up Texas style can be a deadly tactic. With its weedless presentation, you can work dense weed beds where bass will often go to seek cover and begin feeding shortly after the spawn. We like this set up during the pre-spawn and during post-spawn where the bass are feeding a bit more aggressively.
Learn more about this approach in the following video:
Jig. Any type of plastic can be fished with a jig head. We love lizards paired with a jig head and a little skirt for added movement. This is one of our go-to methods when fishing gravel bottoms coming off a point with a gentle gradient. It is killer on smallmouth when gently hopped and pulled along the lake bed.
This is also a good tactic for when you are in the spawning beds as it mimics an egg eating lizard fairly well.
Drop Shot. The drop shot is a bit more finesse in its presentation and requires a more patient angler, but when done correctly, it can lead to a lot of hookups. What we like about the drop shot is that you can keep your lizard in the strike zone much longer than with other presentations.
You can dance it above underwater vegetation or sunken structures. We add a lot gentle rod lifts and twitching when fishing the lizard with a drop shot. This is one of the more underutilized methods for presenting a lizard, and it shouldn’t be.
Learn more about this approach in this video:
Scott Martin Rig. Martin is a professional angler and is the first person we have seen utilize this rig so effectively, so we are giving him credit. The reason this method of rigging is so effective is because of the orientation of the rig. When compared to the other methods, this one is reversed with the hook being oriented to the tail end of the lizard with some weight included inside the lizard at its head. Learn more about how to rig your lizard with the Scott Martin Rig here.
With this orientation, when the rod is lifted, it looks like the lizard has its head buried in the river bottom as a real lizard would look when consuming bass eggs. We love fishing this in the same places as a jig and around bass bedding areas.
When to use a lizard lure
As we already mentioned, lizards will dive down and forage for bass eggs. This means lizard lures are incredibly effective during the spawning period in the spring. They can be effective at other times through the years, but if there was one period where you should be stocked up on lizards, it’s the spring.
Where to use a lizard lure
A lizard lure can and should be used anywhere where bass are holding. Since we are keying in on spring, we love throwing on a lizard in shallow areas with pretty clear water where a lot of bass like to make their beds.
They are certainly not limited to that area alone. Bass will move off of their bed to cover, and fishing structures around these bedding areas should also be keyed in on.
We also like using lizards on the bottom coming off points or anywhere where there is a gentle gradient.
As we mentioned in the rigging section, these lures can also be fished through vegetation with a weedless rigging.
The Lizard lure is a staple in bass fishing. It is a versatile lure that can be fished in any number of ways and is especially effective during the spawning season of bass.
We hope that this article has given you a few ideas of how you can break out the lizard lure come spring and hook up on some aggressive spawning largies and smallmouths.
Please share with us your thoughts on how to fish a lizard for bass in the comments below.