THE FROG GAME
As with anything, I'm not going to introduce something that has never been discussed. There is truly nothing new under the sun. I will however share with you what has worked for me personally. In this way you can get my unique twist on the following techniques, methods, and tackle. If we are going to as they say keep it " all the way 100" most of what I do had been tweaking what I have learned from others.
Ok, frog fishing. Where should I start? Well first off let me clarify that I am not fishing for frogs. Just in case you were hoping to get a frog legs recipe at the end of this, my apologies. Seriously, concerning bass fishing in particular frog fishing is a large category. Anyone who follows me knows I love to keep it simple. So for the purpose of this post I will only cover a very specific segment of a larger category.
Let's talk specifically about soft body plastic topwater frogs and toads. Some people call these buzzing roads or frogs. These are a very specific type of lure that can be extremely effective arguably year round. Which brings me to my next specification. We are talking specifically about using these in the fall. During the fall bass often are feeding up. This means they are generally aggressively feeding and chasing bait fish. They will often also be found close to the shore or bank chasing forage.
This is a prime time to bust out a buzzing frog or toad. I like to use a medium to medium heavy fast tip rod. I pair it with a semi fast reel at least a 6:1. I use straight braid for line at least 30lbs to 50lbs. I will use swimbait hooks. I rig the soft plastics like I would Texas rig a worm unless I'm using a twist lock style swimbait hook. I personally an offset or EWG style hook to increase the chance of hooking the fish.
There are many different types of buzzing frogs on the market. I would consider any soft plastic frog or toad that can be buzzed on surface a buzzing frogs. There are a few tips I will share to help you get to catching fish which are hitting topwater frogs in your area.
Get multiple Colors - I would say have at least 3 or 4 different colors. Must have colors are white,black, and green. An odd ball flashy color doesn't hurt to have on standby.
Get multiple Styles- in the featured photo I chose 4 baits that I use and have confidence in. I will leave links to these baits and others I have used with success. The styles can vary based on the leg action. You can also get frogs that are designed to float when paused. A floating style buzzing toad is a must have in your arsenal.
Get multiple hook sizes- Most of the frogs I use take a 4/O to 5/O hook. You want have some that are also belly weighted just in case you have some that keep rolling over when you retrieve.
Get a bait enhancer- I use a Megastrike fish attractant. A little dab on the bait and it can help to keep fish hanging on that extra second.
Get creative with retrieving- Varying your retrieval is crucial. A straight retrieval works. But you will need to vary the speed depending on the mood of the fish. Stopping around structure is a good way to get bit. Stopping in open holes in vegetation will also get big blow ups.
Get used to the "PAUSE" - If you swing as soon as they blow up on the bait you WILL strike out. Get use to waiting a second and letting the fishing get the bait. I like imagine seeing the the fish grab the bait and shake it like a dog does a rope. Then I set the hook when I feel the weight or pressure from the fish. If you're missing strikes delay your hook set as if you have slow reflexes.
In closing here are some things to remember. You may have throw different colors and styles until you find what frog they want. I usually start with a subtle kicking bait and get louder. If I'm in current or chop I start with a loud kicking frog. Don't be afraid to add stinger hooks or trailer hooks. I also use underpins sometimes for extra flash if it does not mess up the action. Most importantly, don't give up and keep throwing the frog. Throw to the same spot multiple times and from different angles. Vary your retrieval speed and stop over cover often. If they are aggressively hitting topwater you will eventually get that exciting blow up that bass are known for.
Bonus Tip: One day I was fishing and was getting bit on a specific type of toad. Other anglers started throwing the same bait. I started switching my toads after every catch. I would go from subtle to loud then back to subtle. It pays to have a good selection of topwater soft plastic buzzing frogs/toads. Try to get on or two that are odd ballish in style and color. It may help when the pressure turns up and others are dialing in on the same technique.