So I will start off with an experience I had recently. It was early in the morning, the air temps were warm, the water was cool to the touch and there was a misty fog in the air. I was sitting on an edge of early spring lily pads, there where frogs peeping in the reeds on the water line. I was tying on a senko, my go to bait, when I heard a splash in the water. I looked up to see one of the frogs moving through the water. He was tiny, only about the size of a half dollar with lanky legs trailing behind.
He was moving slowly, almost from the shock from the cold water, but he was moving with kicks that propelled him 3 to 5 inches at a time with pauses of up to 5 seconds, when suddenly the water exploded around the frog and he disappeared in a flash of water and mossy back angry flesh. With my jaw hitting the deck of my kayak, I had a realization, not saying I didn’t know that bass eat frogs, but that the frog wasn’t tearing across the water like I had thought. But that the frog looked like he didn’t have a care in the world and it led to his ultimate demise. So I grabbed my top water rod and tied on a hollow body frog, threw it in the same spot and retrieved it with the same movements and pauses as the now gone peeper, and in the same general area I watched as my frog disappeared in the same fashion as before. I subsequently missed the hook set and as I started thinking about the many days I went out with a frog and didn’t get a single bass screaming it across the water but I did catch bass when I slowed down, usually when I was distracted by something else or when I was “snagged” on a lily pad. So in this article I will go in depth about the different types of frogs out there, the pros and cons.
My introduction to frogs was last year when I started freshwater fishing, I was lucky enough to fish with Chad Hoover, a self professed frog fanatic, and someone who I feel is not only a good friend but a mentor in my freshwater obsession. We were on a lake that was lined with lily pads, at this point I mostly watched as Chad moved this weird looking bait across the surface with a smoothness that made it look like the peeper I fore mentioned but with a little more of a sense of urgency. One after the other he was having blow ups and hooking into bass. Ever since then I have tried to model that technique, the bait that he was using was the hollow bodied frog.
Know there are many hollow body frogs out there; they come in all different sizes, shapes, colors and techniques to make fish go nuts. What you should look for in buying a hollow body frog is the plastic. Does it have enough strength to keep its shape when pulled through thickest pads, are the hooks sharp, and does the bait have a good silhouette? “What color isn’t as important?” my answer is that it is, but bass when looking up will see the silhouette first at a distance then when they get almost on top of it will see the color. If you have blue bird skies the bass will only see the silhouette. But if you don’t have a clear day, anything with a white belly, due to the fact that 90% of the frogs in my area have white or cream colored bellies.
The pros; they are typically very weed less giving you the opportunity to throw them into the thickest of vegetation and fall downs. They float, so you can let them sit on top for awhile. You can fill the bodies with water to get extra distance if needed.
The cons; the cadence or rhythm to make many of these baits effective is a little difficult for beginners to learn. The double hooks on some will get caught on structure when the body becomes with time. Also many of these baits are painted, and after some extreme use over time the nose will start to become bare from the paint getting rubbed off on structure. I am not going to say who makes the best hollow body frog, that’s for you to test out.
The second type of frog out there is the solid body frog. Many of these have paddle style feet, twister legs, and are typically rigged with an offset hook much like the ones you would use for worm fishing. There are many out there, and this is another type you would need to try several types to find the one that works best for you. Rip this across the surface, or for bass on beds. Rig them Texas style, and drop it onto the bed [WARNING: This technique is not for those with heart conditions or those who don‘t want to catch big monster bass. Side effects are; racing heart, personal best fish, and loss of rods if you don’t have a gorilla grip on your rod.]
The pros; they are simple to use, cast, retrieve, repeat. They are effective even in open water. You can fish them just under the surface to make it a wake style bait with a few nails into the body. They are easier to use when you are just starting off.
The cons; there a solid body, so when you have a hookup you basically tear the hook from the back of the bait to get a solid hookup, so you go through a lot of baits typically.
With all of these baits it is recommended to use braided line, many fisherman use heavy braid up to 50lb braid at times with a heavy fluorocarbon leader. Also use a heavy to med. heavy rod, go no shorter than 7’ and the lowest geared reel you can find. The reason is that many times you need to pull the bass out of thick cover, so the length of the rod and the heavy torque of the reel will help you get the bass of a lifetime from some nasty areas. I hope I have answered many questions out there but I want you to go out and try them all out and make conclusions on your own. Take a kid fishing; you will change their life forever.
Help support YakAngler.com check out our gear in the YakShop!