A common question that many people have is: Do bass eat frogs?
The answer: Yes, bass eat frogs. Frogs are an easy meal and thus bass won’t think twice about striking at any frog that passes by. Oftentimes bass will feed on them as they come across the lily pads, swim along the shore or when they hanging around structure.
Now that we know bass consider these amphibians a tasty treat, let’s talk about some tips to keep in mind when frog fishing for bass.
Frog Fishing For Bass – Everything You Need To Know
First and foremost it is essential that you have the right equipment. So let’s briefly talk about what type of rod, reel, and line work best when fishing with frogs.
Rod: Fishing with a topwater frog calls for a powerful rod, but having a fast action is also helpful for better hookups.
For that reason, I would recommend a 7 foot, Medium to Medium Heavy, Fast to Fast Action Rod.
If you are going to be punching through the lily pads or heavy cover, I would recommend using a rod with a Moderate to Moderate Action.
One such rod that meets this criteria is the St. Croix Mojo Bass Casting Series. This is a premium fishing rod made with high modulus SCIII graphite ensuring that it is both lightweight and sensitive.
In addition, the medium heavy power rating will help you to powerhouse the fish back to the boat and the fast action with allow for better hook sets.
For a more in-depth guide on choosing the best fishing rod for this situation, be sure to check out a previous post entitled: Landing More Bass With the Best Frogging Rod
Reel: Just as important as choosing the right rod is choosing the right reel.
Fishing a topwater frog means covering a lot of water and thus requires moving it quickly across the water.
For that reason, I would recommend a fishing reel with a gear ratio of no less than 7.1:1.
A reel such as the Lew’s Super Duty Wide Speed Spool should get the job done. It is equipped with a very quick 7.1:1 gear ratio and is able to bring in about 31 inches of line per crank.
If you want an even faster reel, Lew’s Super Duty Wide Speed Spool SDW2XH can bring in about 35 inches per crank and has an 8.0:1 gear ratio.
Line: Oftentimes when fishing with frogs calls for fishing around heavy cover. It is in these situations where fishing with a braided line is a must.
Braid is much more abrasion resistant than monofilament and fluorocarbon. In addition, because braid has no stretch, it will be easier to drive the hook into the fish’s mouth and should increase your hook up ratio.
My favorite braided line when fishing with frogs is Suffix 832 Braid. It is made with 8 different fibers making it one of the strongest braids on the market.
Depending on the cover you want to choose between a 50 to 60-pound test braid.
Fishing with anything lighter and you risk the chance of a bass taking the lure under the cover and snapping your line.
Now that we got the equipment out-of-the-way, let’s talk about some tips that are guaranteed to catch you more fish.
When to throw a frog
You can just about throw frogs all year-long, but each season calls for different techniques. Let’s talk a little bit about the best techniques for each season.
Spring: Many bass fishermen don’t like to throw topwater in the spring because the water is cold and bass are slow-moving. However, you can have success with frogs in the springtime.
The best technique is to fish the frog slowly.
Popping frogs work very well in the springtime because they make a long of noise. To work a popping frog, just pop it by giving your rod a twitch and then allow your lure to sit (just like a frog would do).
Keep in mind, sometimes the longer the pause the better chances of getting hit.
Summer: Summertime is the best time to fish a frog. When the water temperature is over 55 degrees and the bass are actively feeding, it is time to throw topwater.
The best part about throwing topwater in the summer is that you can fish it just about any way you like.
For example, you can fish it very quickly across the top of the water.
Another way to fish it is really slow in heavy lily pads with a pause and retrieve action. Keeping in mind as we mentioned early sometimes the longer the pause the better.
You can even walk the frog in heavy cover or open water near shallow waters.
It may sound obvious, but always throw a frog when you are within a reasonable distance from the shoreline. Bass are not used to seeing frogs in the middle of lake and thus you will not have any success there.
Autumn: Once again in the fall time things start to cool down and the fish aren’t feeding actively. So instead of trying to get the bass to come and get it, we may need to vary our approach and bring the bait to them.
One approach that can generate strikes in the fall is a technique called walking the dog. Most commonly this technique is used with a walking bait such as a jerkbait or stick bait, but you can also do it with a topwater frog.
At first, it may take a little practice to get your bait to glide across the water, but once you get down the technique, believe me, you are in for a ride. Keep in mind that in the fall a slower retrieve is going to produce better results than a faster retrieve.
Heavy cover is another place bass can be found in the fall. Be sure to choose a frog that is going to make a lot of commotion in order to draw the fish towards you.
Keep in mind, fishing heavy cover often resulting is catching big bass.
Additional tips for frog fishing for bass…
Start on the shoreline. One technique that can work in just about any season is to start by casting the frog up onto the shore. Once it is on the shore, slowly creep it into the water. Just like a natural frog. The more natural/lifelike you make it, the better.
Oftentimes bass will wait in shallow waters to ambush frugs entering the water.
Downsize your lure. If you find yourself missing a lot of bites it might be because your presentation is too big. Many hollow body frogs have a large version and small version. This might be a good opportunity to downsize to a smaller version.
Another option especially when working heavy cover is to cut the skirts. By cutting the skirts you are forcing the fish to inhale the bait/hooks and better your chances of landing more fish.
Lastly, if all else fails you can always add a trailer hook. Your lure won’t be weedless, but you will land more fish.
Keep the rod tip up. When fishing heavy cover especially lily pads it is important to keep the rod tip up.
By keeping the rod tip up you will, in turn, keep the head of the frog up as well. This will not only make it easy to retrieve over the lily pads but give it will also give it a more natural presentation as well.
Have a backup rod ready at all times. Sometimes bass will blow up on your frog and completely miss it. And you know that by throwing a frog back in that direction you probably won’t be able to entice him to bite again.
However, by having a second rod ready with a different lure, let’s say a senko, and you can quickly flip it in the direction where you missed the fish and be able to capitalize on the situation.
Lastly, let’s talk about hookset. Without a doubt, one of the most difficult things about fishing with frogs is setting the hook too soon or too late.
Let’s face it we all have been there. We get really excited because we just saw a bass blow up on our lure and we set the hook too early and lose the fish.
Here is one tip that is going to help improve your hookset ratio.
How to properly set the hook with a topwater frog?
The first thing to do when a fish takes your bait is to fight the urge to set the hook immediately.
The reason this approach is going to fail you every time is because there is still slack in the line.
If you set the hook with slack in the line you are not going to have enough power to expose the hooks in your hollow body frog and you are going to literally pull the lure right out of the fish’s mouth.
Instead, the best thing to do after a blow up is to point the tip of your rod at the lure. As you are doing this quickly reel up any slack in your line. Then and only then should you give it a strong pull.
This will give you enough power to really drive the hooks into the fish’s mouth.
Best Frog Lures For Bass Fishing
Because frogs are such a treat for bass that many different lures have come available all with the hopes of trying to entice a lunker. So, let’s take a moment and talk about a few of my favorite.
Hollow Body Frog. Probably one of the most popular frog lures is the hollow body frog. There are a ton of varieties of this one type of lure, but they all have a few similarities. Basically, they all have lifelike body design, something to resemble the legs that come and a hollow body.
Because the body is hollow, when it is compressed such as when a fish takes a bite, the hooks are exposed and the fish doesn’t stand a chance.
What makes a hollow body frog so effective?
The body design of these lures helps to protect the hooks basically making this lure 100% weedless. This allows it to be fish is some of the most difficult places to get a lure into.
Another great feature is the life like design. Some companies have gone all out into making these lure lifelike. A few examples,
The drawbacks of a hollow body frog?
The biggest drawback is also the body. If you don’t buy a quality lure or if the body gets pierce water can get into the body making it sink. At this point it will no longer work like it is intended and I usually chuck them at this point.
My Favorite Hollow Body Frog…
Soft Plastic/Swimming Frog
The next category of frog lures is the soft plastic or as I like to call them swimming frogs. Unlike hollow body frogs which are designed to float, swimming frogs are designed to sink and thus swim in the water.
They usually are equipped with two legs that give it that swimming motion.
What makes soft plastic frogs so effective?
The legs. These legs give off a lot of action and catch entice a bass to bite. Simply cast it out and allow a few seconds for it to slowly sink. Next, give it a quick jerk and quickly start reeling it it. When you do this the legs start kicking giving off a ton of action and can lure a bass to strike.
Drawbacks to swimming frogs?
One of the biggest drawbacks is that you are limited to wear you can fish them. Most of their designed are not weedless so it can be difficult to fish those heavy vegetion with these lures.
My favorite swimming frog..
This is the perfect combination of a popper and a frog lure.
Basically it has a frog like body design with a small concave area at the nose. When it is being brought across the surface of the water it makes a popping sound.
As we know, bass love comotion on the surface of the water and popping frogs do a great job in getting attention and drawing the big girls in.
What I like about fishing with popping frogs?
What I don’t like about popping frogs?
My favorite popping frog…