Soft-plastic lizards were all the rage 20 years ago when the Carolina rig ruled the bass-fishing world, but over the past decade, you haven’t heard much about them. The creature bait has been the hot lure.

“A lot of people have forgotten about lizards with so many creature lures out there,” said bass pro Dustin Wilks of Rocky Mount, N.C., a six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier. “There haven’t been any very exciting changes in lizards in a long time.”

So Wilks got together with one of his sponsors, Culprit, and after six months of design, a new bait was born, the Culprit Water Dragon.

A 7-inch bait available in 12 colors, the Water Dragon debuted at the recent ICAST trade show.

“We wanted to see what we could do to a lizard to catch bigger fish,” said Wilks, who designed a bait with bigger, thicker rear legs and gills that come off the rear of the bait’s head.

“You’d think the gills would make the most difference, but the thing I like best is the bigger, thicker back legs,” he said. “That helps it float when you’re Texas-rigging it. The gills have a bigger effect on it when you Carolina rig; it helps keep it planing a little better.”

But Wilks likes two other, less noticeable features.

“The Water Dragon has a noticeable lateral line, which is perfect for guys who like to dye a bait’s tail with chartreuse,” he said. “And the back of the bait isn’t smooth; it’s got bumps. That makes it much easier to skin hook. If the bait was smooth, the tip of the hook would pop out more easily.”

Culprit Water Dragons come eight to a pack, with an MSRP of $5.29.

More Info: www.culprit.com