A soft-plastic lizard is one of the most effective bass fishing baits in existence. Although it shines brightest throughout the spring months as the bass move to the shallows to spawn, it's also an excellent choice throughout the entire year for Carolina rigging and generic pitching and flipping. Until recently, however, there hasn't been a whole lot of innovation with them. They pretty much all look the same.
I've had an opportunity to fish with the Culprit Water Dragon a lot recently. I've been testing it out for about two months and have made thousands of casts with it in just about every situation imaginable. It has become a major confidence bait for me, so I wanted to share what I've learned about it with everyone.
It's definitely not your grandpa's lizard.
The unique head isn't just for looks
The first thing you'll notice about the Culprit Water Dragon is the large flanges on either side of its head. While they certainly make it look mean, there's far more to 'em than just aesthetics.
These flanges create an excellent gliding action as it falls to the bottom; similar to a tube. While most lizard just fall to the bottom like a rock, the Water Dragon twists and glides each time it falls. I've found this to be very advantageous for both shallow-water and deep-water applications.
This time of year especially, bass see hundreds of soft-plastic lizards and in my opinion, become conditioned to 'em pretty quickly. The Water Dragon has a totally different action, however, which separates it from what everyone else is throwing. Whether you're flipping grass beds and docks or chucking a Carolina rig, you can bet you'll get a bunch of bites on this bait and I think it's primarily due to the unique head shape.
They eat it
In the past month, I have easily caught around 100 bass with this bait. That's no exaggeration either. Whether I'm in the front of my boat or in the back of a buddy's boat, I'm out-catching them 3 to 1 with the Water Dragon. I can assure you it's not because I'm a better fisherman.
It's also a bit heavier than most other lizards, which I really like. This allows you to make extremely easy and precise pitches and flips around shallow cover. Texas rigs can be tough to skip at times, but I've been able to skip this Water Dragon from the font of a dock almost to the seawall.
With these weird early season weather fronts constantly rolling in, it's been pretty windy out on the lake lately. Because of the heavier rear end of this bait, i can still make incredibly accurate casts to specific pieces of cover.
Different sizes for different applications
I love the fact that this bait comes in both 6- and 7-inch sizes. I've used both of them a bunch and have learned what each seems to be best for.
The 7-inch might some seem big at first, but once you put it on a hook you'll realize that it's a pretty monstrous lizard. It has been a great choice for pitching and flipping for prespawn bass and Carolina rigging for deep-water bass thus far. It's heavy and you can cast it a country mile. If you're bed fishing, however, you'll get more short strikes with this larger size.
The 6-inch size is probably what most folks will be most comfortable with. It pairs perfectly with a 5/0 hook and you'll hardly get any short strikes with it. I've caught 'em for months with this size in particular. While the 6-inch Water Dragon will catch a few more smaller buck bass, it'll still put big fish in the boat.
This is one of those baits that you just need to have; especially this time of year. I got 'em in the dead of winter and immediately put them in my boat because I was so excited to try 'em in the spring. I always have a few packs shoved up under my boat's windshield and if you know me, that's where the most frequently used plastics go. That's the good stuff.
If you try these out, you absolutely will not be disappointed.