LIZARDS AND LIVINGSTON

There is something about a lizard that Lake Livingston Black Bass cannot resist. Whether you are fishing upper lake, lower lake, the river channel or one of Lake Livingston's feeder creeks, Black Bass all over Lake Livingston will aggressively attack and eat a lizard, Spring, Summer or Fall. The 6 inch Texas-rigged lizard is a top producing lure for Lake Livingston Black Bass.

Lake Livingston has often been referred to as a spinner bait lake. Also, the fire tiger crank bait is a well known fish producer here. While these baits have produced more than their share of fish, the Texas-rigged lizard is in my book the "go to bait". I usually start fishing with lizards in early Spring for spawning Bass. As water temperature rises in late Spring and Summer, I key on grass, wood or rocks near 4 - 10 feet of water. In mid-Summer and Fall, fish the river channel with plastic lizards and key on log jams.

Black Bass are conditioned to eating lizards as they are a natural prey just like crawfish or perch. Lizards or "chameleons" will come down to the water edge in search of insects. Here, an unexpected swim could be fatal.

I tie a 6 inch Texas-rigged lizard on a #2 owner power hook with a 3/16 oz bullet weight. Peg the inside of the bullet weight with a toothpick to keep it from sliding down the line. Lizards are Chameleons, they change colors to blend in with their natural surroundings. Keep this in mind when choosing what color lizard to fish with. I look at two things, water quality or visibility and shoreline cover. Considering water quality, basically use darker lizards in water with less visibility and lighter color lizards in clearer water. Considering shoreline cover, choose a lizard that matches the color of the surrounding vegetation, rocks or wood. A green or watermelon lizard would be a good choice for clear water with cattails or grass. Pumpkinseed is good for fishing around rocks and June bug is good for fishing around wood and stained water. Some of my favorite lizards are manufactured by Berkley, V&M, Riverside and Regal Lure Companies. Black/Chartreuse, Black/Blue, Watermelon, Pumpkinseed and June bug are all great colors for Lake Livingston.

Also, I like to use a good fish attractant such as Kick-N-Bass. This not only attracts the fishes sense of smell, but allows the lizard to slither through grass and limbs without sticking. Lizard fishing takes technique and focus. I enjoy fishing plastic lizards because I can get into it mentally concentrating on the movement of the bait.

Recently, while guiding a fishing trip, I had the great pleasure to witness a young woman catch her first ever Black Bass while fishing with plastic lizards. Sara, diligently and patiently pitched and flipped a 6 inch lizard with a Abu-Garcia Abumatic reel and Falcon Rod. After several missed strikes and much coaching, Sara finally nailed a hook set with the Falcon rod into a solid fish. The water boiled and Sara fell back into the boat. The maddened fish made a run for a nearby brush pile. I jumped on the trolling motor button and steered to open water. Now, as we regained our composure, the Bass suddenly blasted the surface and did a tail dance. "Oh my gosh! He is huge" Sara exclaimed as a white froth of foaming water hit us in the face. We tightened the drag on the Garcia and Sara played the fish down. The hook set stayed true as the fish was lipped and brought aboard. Sara has decided to have her "trophy" mounted. I sighed a heavy breath of relief looking at the smiles. I thought to myself, another successful guide trip thanks to a 6 inch plastic lizard and a hungry Lake Livingston Black Bass. www.palmettoguideservice.com

Dave Cox of Palmetto Guide Service is a regular contributor to the Lake Livingston edition of the Texas Sportsguide.  This article has previously appeared in that publication.


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