Author: RiverCrawler (Hunter King) ….
“I like to break out the frog on many occasions: weeds, no weeds, morning, and night. The frog is just a versatile lure that can be used at anytime of the day and any time of the year. But the great thing about a frog is that frogs are big fish lures! It is that simple; it is a big fish lure because it is a large profile lure that takes a big mouth to eat. So this tip is going to focus on many aspects of the frog, including: type, action, color, rigging, and fishing.
First, I would like to talk about the types. There are a few types of frogs to choose from, but the two I am going to talk about are ‘Soft Bodied frogs’ (the ones you rig) and ‘Weed-less Frogs’ (pre-rigged frogs). My favorite is the soft bodied frog; the reason is simply because there is more action in the kicking legs and you have more options when fishing it. But the weed-less frog is also a good bait to use if the soft bodied is not your style. One advantage of the weed-less frog is that it floats for when the fish are sluggish.
Second, comes the action. Action is always important when fishing top water frogs. Action comes from leg selection. The two legs that I like to use are paddle legs like those on the Rage Tail Toad. These legs make a large splash and lots of noise for when the bass are deep, but they do not work well in thick weeds. My favorite leg style is straight legs like those on the Yum Money Frog. These legs create a lot of visual action but not much splash and are really good when worked in thick weeds. Action from weed-less frogs really depends on how you want to use them. Weed-less frogs come with really long strings as legs and you trim the legs to fit your action requirements. Long legs are for the Kick-Glide-Rest Technique, and you trim them to short legs for Walking-the-dog. I will discuss these techniques and the reason in the legs later.
Now color may not seem important but it is REALLY important yet simple to make the decision. In clear water you want to go with natural frog colors because they will be able to pick it up based on action and then identify it as a frog, then bam! Fish On! But when you move to the weeds is when the color must change. When fishing weeds you want to always go with black. Reason is when the fish see the lure coming across thick weeds they are not going to see the bait just the silhouette of the lure so you want a dark lure to show through the weeds, not to match the weeds. And when the sun is high and bright blue black really stands out in open water, because again you do not want the lure to blend with the sky.
Rigging is important. But there are a few simple ways to rig a soft bodied frog and rig it right. Actually just one, use this hook! The Owner Beast with Screw Lock, in the 4/0 size. The rest is self explanatory. But the reason you want to use this hook is because it gives you the widest gap between frog body when the fish bites. But if you don’t want to spend $10 for 3 hooks just play with different hooks. When selecting the hook compare it to the frog, and remember to look for the ‘when the fish bites, and the fog slides down, will I have enough hook exposed to hook the fish?’ Well I have found that a hook giving a 1/2 inch to ¾ above the body is right, anything more and you will loose him, anything less and you won’t set the hook.
Now comes to the retrieval techniques. First I’ll start with the Weed-less frog. There are two techniques I use. #1 is the Kick- Glide-Rest, it is that simple, Give it a pop or twitch, reel it a few feet and then let it rest. #2 is walking-the-dog, it’s a hard technique to learn but deadly once you’ve got it down. And there are also two techniques I use for the soft-bodied frog. #1 is a simple steady retrieve at varying speeds. And #2 is just a simple but every 3 or 4 ft give it a jerk to ad some action. Most frog techniques are very simple but very very effective.
And the last tip I can give you on frogs is the ‘Give a little, take a lot’ technique. When using a frog the lure is so large that the fish has to have time to actually get the frog in his mouth or otherwise you will just keep pulling it out of his mouth. But it is against me to let a fish eat a soft plastic but the technique I have settled on is not necessarily letting the fish eat it, just giving it to the fish. It takes practice to get used to this but basically hold the rod higher than normal, almost a 60 degree angle to the water, when the fish strikes give the fish a foot or two, and when you do set the hook. This gives the fish the slack and time to eat it without it hurting the fish.
So put all this together and you have a great bait for all times of the year.”
Soft Bodied Frog, with Paddle legs
Soft Bodied Frog, with straight legs.
Owner Beast, with Screw Lock.