Throwing Frogs For Big Fish
Frogs are one of the most productive baits when it comes to catching big fish. Bass, musky and a host of other predators will rush to the table when frogs are on the menu, but many anglers fail to realize their potential. This is most likely due to the difficulty of using live frogs, but with the wide assortment of frog lures on the market there should be at least one I your tackle box.
Obviously you will need a realistic frog lure but specific design and color is open to debate and personal preference. I prefer hollow body rubber versions, as they feel like a live frog when bitten and collapse for better hook set, but there are many excellent models available. Next you will need a long, stout rod with heavy line. Casting accurately deep into the weeds from a distance, the key to not spooking hidden fish, will be easier with a 7-8 ft. rod with a light tip. Pulling trophies from thick cover will need that same rod to have a stiff backbone and heavy line – 20 to 30 lb. mono or 50 lb. braid. Lesser weight line will likely break under the combined pressure of tangles and a large fish and braid is better a cutting through tough cover.
Frogs and the fish looking to ambush them are both found in heavy weed cover or around other debris, which offer cover and protection both species are seeking. Ideally this cover will be near shore, allowing frogs to jump in when threatened, and have water deep enough to hide waiting fish. Although thick cover is often best do not overlook isolated patches of grass as a frog looking to escape danger will use anything available and fish looking to eat will go where the food is.
How to do it
Once you’ve found a likely location it’s time to get your frog into play. There are two ways to do this; you can cast directly into the weeds or onto the shore followed by walking the lure into the water. The latter is good when deep water a buttes the shoreline. The lure should be hopped, or jerked, in short bursts and paused periodically. Bet ready for a strike as soon as the lure hits the water, this action along will often trigger predators, but an attack may take place at any time – during initial contact, as frog passes open pockets or even while sitting on the thickest lily pads. Once a bite is detected, usually by an explosion of water, avoid the temptation to set the hook immediately. Wait a moment and make sure the fish has taken the lure then set the hook with a strong, forceful motion. Keep the pressure on, even if the fish becomes tangled in the weeds or grass, until you hit open water. Then it’s a simple matter of reeling her in.
Using a frog is a simple matter of imitating nature, providing the fish what they really desire. A good frog topwater is something every angler should consider a potential go to lure.
Good luck, good fishing!