We are well into summer and, in most parts of the country, the water temperature has climbed above 75 degrees. That tells me it’s froggin’ season.
Most people reserve weedless frogs for lily pads, matted grass and other visible vegetation. While frogs are absolutely great baits for plucking bass from the greenery, I strongly suggest that you consider casting them to other targets as well.
Big bass and the baitfish they feed on are drawn to a current because it injects the water with oxygen. Bass also feed in a current because they can lie in ambush behind objects that break the flow.
I concentrate on the upper, shallower ends of reservoirs when I want to take advantage of a current. I’m not talking about the swift flows you often get in a tailrace after a heavy rain. What you want is slow, steadily moving water.
The current break could be an eddy at the mouth of a creek, a log, boulder or some type of manmade structure. While I could fish a topwater bait with treble hooks in the same places, I prefer a frog because it catches bigger bass.
Bass love to hang under matted grass for several reasons. High on that list is the shade vegetation provides. But shade anywhere I find it has me reaching for my frog rod. Here again, the reason is I’m likely to tempt a bigger bass with a frog.
The shad could be under overhanging limbs, a dock, a pontoon boat or any number of things that block the sun.
I grew up fishing the California Delta. I learned long ago that big bass there love to eat blackbirds. In the Southeast and in Texas where I live now, bass target baby swallows that fall from their nests into the water.
This is inevitable because swallows typically build their nests over or near the water on things like docks, bridges and cypress trees. Big bass know when the swallows are nesting, and they return to these places year after year.
I believe a frog represents a baby swallow to a T. Googan Squad’s Filthy Hollow Body Frog is my go-to. I fish a dark frog in stained water and in low light conditions. In clear water and on bright days I opt for white or something with chartreuse in it.
Casting accurately isn’t as critical when you’re froggin’ matted grass or some other vegetation. But you need to put the bait on the money when casting to a shade pocket, current break or under a swallow’s nest.
Miss the mark and you’ve probably blown your chances at what might be your biggest bite of the day. You have to practice casting a frog so you can make pinpoint casts.
That includes the skip cast. You can’t beat it for getting a frog far up under docks, overhangs and pontoon boats. Bear in mind that a frog with the hardest possible body is easier to skip. However, it may not be the best bait for a high hooking percentage.
When I’m froggin’ I have one outfit on my deck. It’s a 7-foot, 2-inch, heavy action 13 Fishing Envy Jig/Frog rod. I match it with a 13 Fishing Concept A2 reel that has an 8.3:1 gear ratio and 50-pound Seaguar Smackdown braid.
My basic presentation is to let the rings die after the cast. Then I walk the bait three times and let it pause. I do that sequence three times and then walk the frog out of the strike zone.