Ron's Catch: Frog Fishing 101


At a recent National Professional Fishing League event in Wisconsin on Lake Winnebago, Ron relied on a topwater frog almost exclusively for a top finish and payday. When it comes to topwater frogs there is a wide variety of colors and styles to choose from. Ron breaks down his setup and how to choose the right frog.

Frog fishing is not only exciting and explosive but throwing a topwater frog can be the best way to catch giant bass in the summer months and it can be more versatile than most people think. For many, the only time they pick up a topwater frog is when they see heavy pads or slop, but often overlook other situations where the frog can excel over just about any other lure in your tackle box. The Frog can be a year-round player when it comes to catching bass if you have open water.

Frogs can be a viable option for slow lethargic bass to even the most aggressive bass. Years ago, Ron learned that frogs can catch fish in cold 52-degree water when a slow pop and long pause can trigger those lethargic fish into striking, especially if next to wood or rocks when you need a bait to sit in the strike zone for a long period of time. The frog can also be deadly during the spawn as bass defend their spawning area and protect their offspring from other predators. Summer tends to be the best time of year when most anglers pick up the frog. The hot summer days provide lots of cover for fish as most aquatic vegetation is at its peak. Bass often seek out shade for cooler temperatures that pads, duckweed, and other vegetation provide, but don’t forget to skip that frog under a dock or next to that laydown tree. One of the biggest misconceptions of frog fishing is that it is only to be used in or around heavy cover. Yes, it is one of the best fishing techniques around heavy cover, but open water frogging can also produce very well. When most anglers just work the vegetation during the retrieve, Ron likes to work the edges and then continues to work his frog into the open water 2 to 6 feet past the vegetation edge instead of burning it back to the boat. Bass will follow your frog out from cover many times or can be patrolling the outer areas of the vegetation which has led to many additional fish catches that may normally be missed.

3 Frog Categories

1). Conventional Weedless Topwater Hollow Belly Floating Frog

First, there are conventional weedless topwater hollow belly floating frog which comes through thick vegetation with ease when other techniques become less efficient. These frogs can be worked with a slow or steady “pop and pause”, or a slow to faster side to side walking motion. Varying your retrieve to figure out the best way to trigger strikes will always be something to explore each time you take to the water. Some of the most popular frogs on the market today include Spro Bronzeye, Booyah Pad Crasher, Scum Frog, or Snag Proof to name a few. Like most other lures on the market today, frogs will come in a vast array of colors, sizes, and styles. Experimenting with different frogs over time will usually lead you to a few personal favorites.

2). Popping Style Frog

The second category is the popping-style frog. Much like a hard popper, this soft floating popping frog will spit water and create a little more commotion on the surface to mimic a baitfish or frog in distress without the treble hooks of a conventional popper snagging everything in its’ path.

This style of frog is great for scattered or light surface pads, duckweed, submerged vegetation, or lightly topped out weeds and perfect choice around flooded timber, brush or laydowns.

3). Buzz Style Frog

The third style of grog is a soft plastic buzz style frog such as a Stanley Ribbit Frog, Strike King Rage Toad, or perhaps a frog with Spinners or tail props. These frogs can be excellent for covering water quickly and can be a set up for both heavy vegetation or open water. This is a good option when fishing vast areas of vegetation that just take too long to pick apart with the other 2 options mentioned.

Tackle Set-Up for Frog Fishing

7:6 Heavy Duckett Micro Magic or Pro Series Rod, Duckett Cri200 Paradigm Baitcasting reel in 8:3:1 gear ration, 50-65lb Seaguar Smackdown Braid.

 This is the ideal setup for frogging as the longer 7” 6 rod allows for better casting distance and line recovery on the hook set. The Heavy Power is necessary for pulling fish out of the thickest of cover paired with a higher speed reel in 8:3:1. Braid line is a must and only option for frog fishing. Braided line is extremely abrasion-resistant and will cut thru grass, weeds, pads and will also hold up against most cover you need to pull your catch away from. The zero-stretch, braided line will also give you a higher percentage of hook sets under these conditions.

Follow these few tips and keep an open mind when you give frog fishing a try. Like most techniques, patience and time learning to perfect will ultimately help you become a better frog fisherman. Learning to identify when and how to use a frog will then increase your confidence and fishing success.

You can find a variety of frogs, rods, reels, fishing line, and much more at Shoppers Supply Stores Arizona. Be sure to stop by our Apache Junction or Chandler store for the largest variety on your way to the lake.

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