The more I watch anglers of all levels, I’m convinced that one of the reasons people don’t catch more big fish is that they don’t really fish for them. Of course we all want to catch big fish, but the truth is that we spend so much time fishing with baits that produce average bites, that we miss big fish opportunities.
From now through summer, one of the best places to find larger bass is around cover, and one of the best ways to make those larger bass bite is to appeal to them. Around heavy cover, one of the best tools for doing that jobis a hollow bodied topwater frog.
When bass are in cover, they appear to feel very comfortable, and they also appear to get very territorial. What that means is that when something crowds their areas, they seem to attack with extreme prejudice.
The hollow bodied frog is a floating lure that has a double hook setup in a way that keeps the hook points resting atop the body to help keep the lure weedless. The construction helps the lure ride atop cover and go where other more traditional lures cannot go. Big bass will bury up in the weeds and wait for something to come into their little area that they can eat. While most anglers present lures to the outside edges of the cover, a frog allows an angler to present the lure to the fish where they live.
To make the most of frog fishing, an angler first needs to find the type of cover that can be fished. The best types of cover are aquatic vegetation that creates a canopy or dense area that bass can move around, under and through. Those kinds of areas that have cover and proximity to water that forage lives in are the best. On the lake or river, look for pads, reeds or matted grasses to find the best areas; if there is any current near the cover, then you’ve found a really good area.
Once you’ve found that type of area, select the proper gear and begin making presentations. The right rod is a medium-heavy to heavy action baitcasting rod that is 7’ to 7’6” in length, and is paired with a baitcasting reel that is 6.4:1 to 7.3:1 retrieve speed. Fill that reel with 65 to 80-pound-test braided line to allow yourself the chance to set the hook in cover and drag fish out when they bite.
Present the lure on top of the cover and twitch it back to the edge. Once it gets to the edge, let it rest for a second and twitch it again. Sometimes a big bass will follow the lure under the mat and then blast it when it breaks free from the cover. Most of the time, however, they will erupt through the canopy and try to maim the lure.
Once the fish strikes – and you don’t see the lure on the surface - drop your rod and set the hook sharply so that you can try and drive the heavy wire hooks through their bony mouths. Once the hook is set, hold the rod tip up and grind the reel handles until you have the fish at arm’s length so you can grab it.
Frog fishing can be one of the most exciting ways to get a strike, and it can be one of the best ways to catch abig bass. Give it a try, and I bet the average size of your fish increases.