A Great Soft Plastic for All Seasons: The Do-it Essential Series Lizard

It’s only appropriate that for an article running in May that I talk about lizards.

If you are a bass fisherman in this region and are getting ready to fish for the pre-spawn, spawning, or post-spawning bass, the lizard has always been the center square on the bingo card, and an automatic.

No one really knows for sure, but it has always been assumed that bass attack lizards with a vengeance at this time of the year because a salamander is a natural enemy to a bass guarding a bed full of eggs. I’m not a biologist and don’t know if this is fact, but I do know that a ton of May bass are taken on lizards.

A weedless weighted hook system is a more natural presentation of the Lizard.
A weedless weighted hook system is a more natural presentation of the Lizard.

But if you are like me, you also know that the lizard is not just for May or spawning bass, or even only bass in general. Those darn walleyes, pike and even muskies love them all year long.

That’s why I was pretty excited when Do-it offered its 7-inch Lizard mold in their Essential Series. First off, if you aren’t familiar with the Essential Series, it is a very economical way to get into the soft plastics world. Do-it offers 14 of the fishing world’s most popular soft plastic baits at an incredibly affordable price. For about the cost of four bags of your favorite soft plastic worms, creatures, frogs, etc, you can own a high-quality aluminum mold that will last a lifetime.

The Essential Series Lizard has so much going for it, including body size. There are a lot of lizards out on the market, and one thing that I don’t like is a scrawny lizard. Many have a thin body that is no different than a worm with legs. While those may still catch fish, when I want a lizard I want it to look like a lizard. The Essential Series Lizard is all that, with a nice, plump, realistic body. The tail has a perfect swimming action and features six swimming legs that undulate with the slightest movement, making the proportions perfect.

The mold is a single-cavity injection mold that shoots with ease. The venting on these has been engineered so that you get a perfect lizard every time, no matter if you are a beginner or a pro.

As with any of the “home-brew” soft plastics, the Lizard is no exception, as the colors are endless. Let your creativity flow. The choices are Black with Red Glitter, Watermelon with Black/Red Flake, and June Bug Purple. Those are the automatics, but for spawning bass, Pearl White or Bubble Gum Pink infuriates them.

Again, the body of the Lizard has some meat to it. This allows you to hand-pour a little plastic in the belly of the open mold, let it cool briefly then close it up and shoot the rest of the bait with another color. You end up with a two-color laminated bait that adds realism and contrast. For instance, in Wisconsin there is what I call the “Wisconsin Special.” It’s a black and orange combo. Pour a black lizard with an orange belly, and look out—largemouth bass and muskies absolutely love that combination. Try finding that one in the tackle shops. That’s the beauty of making these yourself.

There are a variety of ways to fish a Lizard from the surface in the slop to 30 feet deep on a Carolina rig.Wisniewski-Soft Plastic LizardFEATURE

Let’s start on top. Slop, pads and heavy vegetation are normally thought of as “frog water.” But the Lizard would dare to differ. Rig Lizards Texas-style with a wide gap worm hook, or, with my favorite, a large, wide gap worm hook, with a wire pigtail keeper through the nose. No weight is added at all. Crawl this lizard over pads, logs and through shallow vegetation. If you get to an open pocket, let it fall and let the tail and legs do the work. Seeing pads move and water swell up as the Lizard travels through the heavy cover makes you weak in the knees.

Probably the most versatile rig is the traditional Texas rig with a sliding bullet weight. This can be fished through the weeds in a couple feet of water down to 20 feet of water depending on the size of the weight. That’s how I fished it most of my life. Now I hardly fish it that way at all since I started fishing them on a weighted hook with the wire pigtail through the nose. Why do I like this? I have discovered that by getting the weight under the bait instead of at the head, it is a more natural horizontal swimming action. The bullet sinker gives it a more up and down motion. Watch it for yourself in shallow water. With the weight in the belly it looks exactly how you would think a waterdog would travel along the bottom, horizontally, gliding from spot to spot along the bottom. I feel like it is more weedless as well, without that bullet weight diving into the vegetation. When I fish the lizard on a bullet sinker I have to lift and drop it with the rod tip. With the weighted hook I hold the rod horizontal and use the reel to move it. I’m always in a good position to strike with that method.

Creatures and Carolina rigs go well together, and it’s been a go-to system in deep water for 40 years. Rig it weedless, add 3 or 4 feet of mono or fluorocarbon leader to a swivel and then add a 3/4- to 1-ounce egg or bullet sinker. It’s very effective on deep humps, rock bars and deep points—the “ol’ ball and chain,” as the pros like to refer to it. The bass normally hit the lizard as it is slowly gliding back to the bottom.

One last method I would like to mention is the jig and creature system. I’ve had the fortune to have known and learned “creature” fishing from one of its originators, the late, great Tony Portincaso. Tony caught crazy amounts of bass, pike, giant walleyes, and muskies on a simple 7-inch lizard rigged on a 1/2-ounce Stand Up Jig Head (Do-it SUHD-5-A, Heavy duty hook). The rig is cast out along a weedline and allowed to settle on the bottom. Then, with the rod horizontal, turn the reel three quick turns and then stop and watch the line until the lure gets back to the bottom. Continue all the way back to the boat, watching for the telltale “Hop” as the lure is falling; they always hit on the fall. You will want a light single strand wire leader on this one. I can’t tell you how many muskies this system has accounted for, and some of my biggest walleyes were caught “by accident” on the 1/2-ounce standup with a 7-inch Lizard. To rig this one, cut off the head of the Lizard and let the jig become the head.

Do I say that fish love lizards, or fish hate lizards?

I’m not sure, but in either case, they attack them. For largemouth bass, pike, walleyes and muskies, for this spring and summer, and fall, this is a lure that every angler should have in his or her arsenal. With the Do-it Essential Series 7-inch Lizard mold, you can save money and make all the color creations that you can dream of. Plus, it’s always so much fun to catch a fish on a lure you made yourself.