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walleye, walleyes, jigging, jig, jigs
Here Lizard Lizard Lizard!
 By Rick Olson
Walleye anglers have started borrowing a trick that bass anglers have been using for years. The plastic lizard on a Carolina rig takes a lot of bass and now it is starting to take a number of large walleyes especially in the spring and the fall.
A plastic lizard is a bait walleyes love to smash.  Drag one past a weedbed where walleyes are hiding and get ready for a battle. Plastic lizards are imitations of larval salamanders that inhabit many lakes, rivers and ponds in the United States.
Plastic lizards are molded by many bait companies throughout the country.  These lures vary broadly in design.  Some have thin bodies; others, thick.  Most have legs and a tail that ripple through the water at the slightest movement.  One thing that these companies have done is to add scent enhancements to the bait.  These may be enhanced by scent,
salt, or some secret concoction that makes the walleye, like the bass, hold onto the bait a little longer improving the detection and allowing the angler to set the hook.  Spring and summer are prime times to fish plastic lizards and anglers who don’t do so regularly, should get familiar with these lures.
A couple of things do have to change when you fish with a Carolina rig and a lizard.  First of all you are going to have to go to a longer rod.  These rods are probably going to be a 7’ 6" long so that you can flip or pitch your Carolina rig into cover.  I prefer to use the Walleye Angler Extreme rods that Norb Wallock and I designed for Bass Pro Shop.  These rods can be used with a baitcasting or spinning reel that is usually spooled up with a little heavier line than for normal walleye fishing. The line should be about 12 lb. test to get the walleyes out of cover and stumps and back to the boat.  Your leader line for the Carolina rig may not have to be as heavy, but you should use an abrasion resistant
line that will cut down on retying.  The object of the Carolina rig is that the sinker bumps and drags along the bottom, making noise and kicking up little clouds of mud.  This
disturbance draws walleyes attention and excites them, then here comes a target, so they jump on it. When Carolina rigging I adjust my leader length to around 36 inches.
In early spring and late fall I will use a leader as long as 7 to 8 feet.  Walleyes aren’t generally as active then, and the longer leader allows for a slower, freer fall of the bait down to the bottom. A long leader is also advisable in aquatic vegetation.  The heavy
sinker bores through the grass, and a long leader allows the bait to ride above the cover in the walleyes prime strike zone. Make long casts with Carolina rig.  Then, when the sinker contacts the bottom, take up slack and sweep the rig with the rod.  I want my sinker
to drag instead of hop.  The only exception to this is when I’m working grass.
Use aggressive rod-tip action to hop drop and pause the lure or fish them with a straight retrieve that relies on the inherent action of the tail to trigger fish. I use a glass bead between my sinker and barrel swivel to make noise as the Carolina rig scoots along the bottom.  I will also rig my lizards with a light 1/0 hook to reduce weight and make the bait more buoyant. This spring instead of using the old jig and minnow trick to try and
find some walleyes for the opener, why not try the lizard and I know
when you do you will be saying: "Here Lizard, Lizard, Lizard".

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