Outdoor Articles

Bagwell’s Bass Tactics: Bass Catching Lizards

by Pursue The Outdoors on June 27th, 2005 in Freshwater Fishing

With the same passion and intensity that we would like to use towards the little insurance selling lizard on television, bass too have a strong dislike for lizards. Putting one of these little guys (soft plastic, not live) on the end of your line can be the ticket to fuller livewells.

Lizards during the Spawn are deadly. Bass absolutely hate these little creatures. If a lizard even thinks about getting near a bed, it will be executed. The reason for the violence, is actually pretty simple. Various lizards are well-known bass bed robbers. They will ransack the nest and kill hundreds, possibly thousands, of bass eggs before the guardian even has a chance to react.

Take advantage of this hatred and toss a Texas rigged lizard past a bed. Slowly drag the bait into the nest and slowly shake your rod tip. The rapid movement will quickly get the attention of the adult fish that is supposed to be guarding the nest.

The most common techniques for fishing plastic lizards are Flipping, Pitching and Carolina rigging. Targeting various wood and rock cover are favorites of many anglers. Slowly dragging lizards along humps, ledges and points is also very productive. The retrieves used for fishing lizards is nearly identical to the ones used when fishing plastic worms. You can drag, hop, crawl, shake or swim soft plastic lizards. Experiment with the various speeds and retrieves until the bass indicate which one they are keying in on for that particular day or time period.


Swimming lizards is a tactic that is very simple and at the same time, widely overlooked. As the name indicates, you are simply swimming the bait back to the boat (or shoreline). Make your cast and allow the bait to sink to the bottom. Once you have done this, begin a slow retrieve. I usually make very slight up and down motions with my rod tip to give a little more variance and added movement to the bait. Bass will eat these little snacks just as they do a scurrying Crankbait. Swimming lizards is also a tournament winning technique when bass are relating to Lilly Pads and other aquatic vegetation.

Another awesome presentation for using lizards is the Drop Shot rig. After you have your drop shot rig set up, simply nose-hook the bait. Now you have the ability to cast your lure, put it in the strike zone and leave it there as long as you want. All of this while still achieving a wild amount of movement. Giving your rod tip quick shakes and slow raises will cause the lizard to do tantalizing underwater dances that bass can’t resist. This setup is one that can and will dominate during the spawn as well as produce nice limits the rest of the fishing season.

Next time you find yourself in need a huge, tournament-winning limit of bass, reach for a plastic lizard from Gary Yamamoto Custom Baits. Although they do not come bearing gifts of Budweiser like the lizards on television, they can provide just as much excitement. The best part is you will not have a hangover the day after catching loads of bass on plastic lizards.

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