The Frog Days Of Summer
Written By Dre Tyler
With rising water temperatures, the already aggressive Florida Strain Largemouth that exits in Texas, becomes a frog destroying demon that will stop at nothing to make sure your frog doesn’t ribbit, hop, or move again. It’s not uncommon to have a bass come completely out of the water with frog in mouth. Most anglers agree that froggin is one of the most exciting and fun ways to CPR bass. It can also be frustrating to a beginning frogger or even one who’s been doing it for years but is picking up the frog for the first time this season. Frog fishing is just as technical as it is awesome.
It’s my opinion that color is important. Not necessarily the top of the frog but the bottom. Most frogs, turtles or bait fish have white of light colored bellies. It only make sense to match that. However don’t get stuck on color. It’s works for me because I am confident with white bellied baits but any and all colors work since the bite is largely a reaction strike. The bass senses a potential meal and with no hesitation or investigation of the bait it strikes. Kind of like a bite first and ask questions later mentality.
First thing first, you got to have the right gear to have fun with the frog. I use a 7’3 Heavy Action Duckett Ghost with a Shimano Chronarch 200E7 (7.1 gear ratio) to really get that fish out of cover fast. It’s spooled up with 20lbs test P-line. Olive green in color sense most of the water near my home is pretty clear. Most guys like braid but since this rod and reel combo are not dedicated to frog fishing the P-line serves a dual purpose with other lures.
The places I love to fish the frog vary as well. Some lakes are built for the frog. Others, not so much. There is a very popular lake in Austin that has the perfect combo of surface grass and submerge vegetation. This creates a scenario where casting just about anywhere can yield a strike. The shallow areas contain surface grass that bass nestle in and await prey items. Submerge grass allows bass to launch themselves toward the surface for a surprise attack on an unsuspecting passer-by. As ambush hunters, bass purposely stage themselves in these places. As anglers we can take advantage of this by placing the frog in that “sweet spot”.
If these conditions don’t exist, then weed lines, logs, docks or any form of cover or transition area will do. You just have to visualize the scenario of a predator pouncing on prey. If the spot looks like a likely ambush point, then cast to it and hold on tight! But there is a technique to it. When the frog hits the surface, I like to just let it sit until the ripples settle around it, then I imagine a frog making 2 hops then maybe 3 then pause. After the pause I speed it up. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. Maybe to simulate the frog running from the bass. I get my strikes on the pause or the quick take away most of the time. But experiment and see what works for you.
We all want to set that hook as soon as the water erupts around the bait. But about half of the strikes are misses. The frog is has been displaced but is not in the fishes mouth. Look closely and give it a small twitch. 9 times out of 10 the bass will hit it a second time usually with more conviction. Even then, you need to feel the weight of the bass before setting the hook. Some anglers do the 1, 2, 3, count. I don’t know about you but 3 seconds is a lifetime. As soon as I feel the weight of the fish I set the hook. This produces for me. Bass don’t need much encouragement to hit a frog so have fun with it and enjoy the frog days of summer!