Frog fishing for bass can be heart stopping.
Having a toad come up and inhale my lure definitely gets the blood going and is the best way to start the day. It however require a little bit more than just casting and retrieving your lure.
In this post we are going to discuss everything you need to know about fishing for bass with frogs.
Frog Fishing For Bass – Everything You Need To Know
Choosing the right equipment is essential when frog fishing for bass. For that reason, let’s talk equipment…
Rod: Fishing 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 your frog through the pads I would recommend a Moderate to Moderate Action Rod. A favorite amongst many is theSt. Croix Mojo Bass Topwater Series. For more on fishing rods when froggin check out the following post:Best Frogging Rod
Reel: Just as important to 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. I would recommend a fishing reel with gear ratio of no less than 7.1:1. A reel such as the Lew’s Super Duty Speed Reel should get the job done.
Line: Since you will be fishing around heavy cover and need the extra strength to get the fish out when you get the hook up I would recommend a braided fishing line. Braid also has less stretch and will also be helpful in setting the hook. My favorite is Suffix 832 Braid. Depending on the cover you want to have 50 to 60lb braid. If you fish a lighter line you risk the chance of a bass taking the lure under the cover and snapping your line.
Lure: There are so many different topwater frogs on the market and they are all designed a little bit different. So it is important not only to choose a good one, but learn how to use it. Also, there are many modifications you can do to your lures to make the presentation better for the fish. The best thing to do is to get out on the water and start practicing. See what works for your style of fishing. Learn more about what I think is the best topwater frog in the following post: Best Hollow Body Frog
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 topwater frog and what techniques work best?
You can just about throw topwater 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 slow. Popping frogs work very well in the spring time 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 you fish it just about anyway you would like.
For example, you can fish it very quickly across the top of the water coming across the water. Another way to fish it is really slowly 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. A few approaches that generate strikes might be walking the dog in open water where you know fish are present or fishing in heavy, heavy cover. remember, heavy cover means big bass.
Additional tips for frog fishing for bass…
Start on the shoreline. Another 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.
Downsize you lure. If you find yourself missing a lot of bits 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 inhale the bait/hooks and better your chances of landing a 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 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. Sometimes the bass might blow up and completely miss the frog. You know that by throwing a frog back in that direction it probably isn’t going to land you the fish. However, by having a second rod ready with, let’s say a senko, and quickly flipping it in that direction could land you a fish.
Lastly, let’s talk about hookset. Without a doubt one of the most difficult things about frog fishing for bass is the hookset. Let’s face it we all have been there. We get really excited because we 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 is fight the urge to set the hook immediately. The reason this approach is going to fail is because there is slack in your line. That slack is not going to give you enough power to fully expose those hooks in your hollow body frog and you are going to literally pull the lure right out of the fish’s mouth.
The best thing to do after a blow up is to point the tip of your rod at the bass. As you are doing this quickly reel up the slack in your line. Then and only then give it a strong pull. This will give you enough power to really drive the hooks into the fish’s mouth.
Yes! Frog fishing for bass is fun. Hopefully the above tips will help you to catch more fish.