Going to The Creatures
By Scott M. Petersen
When you think of plastics and bass fishing you think of worms, grubs and soft plastic stick worms, but for some time coming, bass fishing has been going to the creatures. It all started many years ago when the first plastic lizards came busting onto the bass scene. I remember the black and yellow dotted creature in my tackle box and from time to time these guys would go for a swim but it wasn't until my carolina rigging days that these creatures earned a place in my heart and in my wallet as well. Like it or not creature baits are here to stay and should be a part of your plastic arsenal for catching bass. Lets take a look at a few of the most popular baits on the market now and how to fish them.
Lizards are a natural enemy of the bass and I have found through my years that bass will go out of their way to strike and take a lizard out at any cost. That in a nutshell is why this bait is popular and catches bass too. There are three different ways to rig and fish lizards. One is rig a 4" lizard on a jig head ranging in size of 1/16-ounce to 1/4-ounce. I generally fish this rig on open rocks or on the weed edges. I will fish this rig on a spinning setup with either 6-pound or 8-pound mono.
Texas rig is probably the most common way to rig and fish a plastic lizard. When Texas rigging a lizard I use a Bullet Weight Screw In Weigh to keep the sinker pegged to the rig. With the bulkier bait it comes through the weeds a little bit better if the sinker is pegged to the bait and helps keep the bait up on the hook. I will fish this on a 7' heavy action baitcaster with a matching reel spooled with 15-pound P-Line Fluroclear line. Fish the lizard just like you would a plastic worm with slight hops or drag the bait on the bottom.
Carolina rigs is the bread-and-butter of lizard fishing for bass. I will use either a 3/4-ounce or 1-ounce torpedo sinker, followed by a plastic bead than a swivel on my main line. The main line is 15-pound P-line Fluroclear, for the leader I will use 12-pound or 14-pound Fluroclear. Length of the leader will depend on the watercolor that I am fishing. If I am fishing in dirty water conditions I will use a 2- to 3-foot leader, and if I am fishing clear water conditions the leader length will be 3- to 6-feet. On the end of the leader I tie an Eagle Claw L098RG 3/0 hook and on that I will Texas rig a Bass Assassin 6" Pumpkin/Chartreuse Tail Lizard. I fish this on a 7 ½' flippin stick with a matching baitcaster reel. The beefed up rod gives me better casting distance and better control of the 1-ounce weight.
When it comes to doctored up plastic worms Outkasts Tackles Pigg gets my vote. This bait has creature written all over it with flaps and curly appendages that make this bait look like a creature from a horror movie. But the truth is it catches bass and big bass to boot. I will generally rig the Pigg in two different ways one is Texas rig and the other is on a Touchdown Jig Head.
Texas rigged Pigg are great baits when it comes to a flipping and pitching situations. When rigging a 6" Pigg, I prefer to peg the weight to the plastics, I will use a 1/4-ounce to 1/2-ounce Bullet Weight Screw In Sinker fished on a 7 ½' flippin stick spooled with 20-pound P-Line Fluorocarbon line. If the bite gets tough or I am fishing during tough cold front conditions I will down size to the 4" Pigg and use a 3/8-ounce screw in sinker to give the bait a slower fall. This tactic has saved the day more times than I can remember.
One more tactic I like to use the Pigg for is when the bass are on deepwater rock areas. In combination with using a carolina rig I will throw a Touchdown jig rigged with a Pigg into the mix. This presentation just seems to catch a few extra fish that will not take the carolina rig and many times this is the bigger, wiser bass of the school.
Yomama's the newest creature kid on the block. The Yomama comes in two sizes 4" and 3". I rig the Yomama in two ways that follow closely to the way I rig and fish the Pigg. Texas rigged is the most popular way that I fish the Yomama. Once again I will use a 1/4-ounce to 1/2-ounce Bullet Weight Screw In Sinker to keep both the sinker and bait locked in place. I have also started to use the Yomama as a trailer bait on a bullet head jigs with great results.
If I need to down size and go finesse I am rigging a 3" Yomama on a small weedless jig head with and without a skirt. I will fish this on a spinning setup with 8-pound mono. This is a great presentation on the outside weedline that is fast catching on and catching bass.
Creature baits are here to stay. If you are not making them part of your bass fishing you are missing out. The sample that I gave you is just a scratch of the surface of what is out there, it is your turn to see what your bass want in your area. Lizards, Piggs and Yomama's will catch bass day in and day out and are a big part of the plastics offering that I carry.
Please remember to practice CPR (Catch, Photo and Release). The future of fishing is in your hands. For more timely tips and tactics for bass please log onto fishinginsider.com