Fishing lizards (aka salamanders):

By Mike Rude, August 30, 2013
We believe Rude Baits lizards are some of the best lizards on the market. They are available in one size, 6” as we believe that is the only size needed to catch bass of any size. They come in our standard set of eight colors; Watermelon Seed, Green Pumpkin Seed, Grape Seed, Pumpkin Seed, Kiwi Seed, Pomegranate Seed, Junebug and Black with blue flake. We anticipate offering lizard laminates in the future. We have had great success with black and red as well as other color combinations we are currently testing. Although plastic lizards are almost always referred to as lizards, in reality, the bait is more often imitating a salamander which is an amphibious creature found in various parts of the United States and other areas worldwide depending on the specie. Small lizards inhabit land areas only, although if a lizard finds itself in the water, a bass will certainly eat it.
Lizards can be fished a variety of methods but certainly the three most common methods are Texas rigged, Carolina rigged and fished weedless. Rude Baits lizards have our proprietary formula that includes salt and scent and are designed for a slow descent when fished without weight. Sometimes you’ll want a very small amount of weight either to add casting distance or for a particular technique such as getting the nose down faster than the body. You can add a small split shot right up against your hook to get a fast nose first descent, or add the split shot up your line to get a different look on the descent and add casting distance. I always insert the hook Texas style to make the lizard weedless. This allows to you to fish the bait in heavy cover, weeds, submerged trees, rock areas, etc. without getting it snagged.
Without a doubt, the best time to fish lizards is during the spawn when males are protecting bed areas and the bigger females are on the beds. The lizard is my “go to” bait during this period of time. Before we discuss techniques, we are aware not every bass fisherman believes in targeting the big females during the spawn and we at Rude Baits would like to encourage anyone targeting spawning bass to make sure to handle them as carefully as possible to minimize any stress on the fish during this critical period. This means bringing the fish in as quickly as possible and carefully releasing the fish with minimal handling.
Techniques:
Sight fishing: If fishing beds during the spawn period, try rigging the lizard weedless without any weight. Cast so the lizard will fall directly on the bed area and if you are not bit on the sink, let the lizard sit there. You’ll normally see the smaller males surround the lizard and one will normally approach the bait and quickly inhale and expel the lizard. You’ll need to be extremely fast on your hook set to get these fish. Bigger females may also do this but they frequently will simply inhale the bait and give you time for a hook set. If the bass are simply looking at the lizard and not inhaling it, give the slightest twitch to your rod tip so the lizard moves but moves as little as possible. This action will frequently elicit the strike. If you’ve moved the lizard off the bed, cast again and repeat this process of letting the lizard sit for at least 15 to 30 seconds before any movement of the bait. Sometimes you’ll have to make numerous casts before getting the fish to hit the bait. However, once the bass realizes the lizard is going to keep coming back to the bed (due to your repeated casts), they will eventually strike the lizard either to move it by inhaling and expelling it quickly, or just outright nailing the bait to kill it.
Using the split shot at the nose of the lizard is sometimes very effective as it gives the bait the appearance that the lizard/salamander is after the eggs.
Another extremely effective method of fishing lizards is fishing them where there are grass mats, tule “laydowns”, lily pads or any type of matted area that allows you to cast the lizard on the matted area and drag it over the matted areas and then let it drop into open water pockets. When fishing this method, try fishing the lizard without any weight and if you do need to add weight, I suggest a very small split shot up against the nose of the lizard.
In the western United States, there aren’t that many lakes that have grass mats and most bass fishing is in deep water lakes where Texas rigged or Carolina rigged baits can be used effectively. Techniques are the same as fishing any Texas rigged or Carolina rigged plastic worm and I’ve had great success in fishing a Texas rigged Rude baits lizard.
As noted in my blog post on fishing soft plastic baits, it is critical to fish soft plastic baits as slow as possible. The number one mistake fisherman make in fishing soft plastics is fishing them too fast.
Check Rude Baits lizards out at https://www.rudebaits.com/products/6-lizard-baits/
Thanks and good fishing! (Please practice catch and release.)

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