For big bass, nothing satisfies the appetite quite like a mouthful of fresh frog. Frogs and other amphibians are dietary staples for both largemouth and smallmouth. As a result, fishing with soft plastic frog lures is one of the best ways to catch monster bass, along with pike and other freshwater predators.
There are several types of frog lures out there, from sinking soft plastics to crankbaits. The remainder of this article will focus on the most popular choice- soft plastic topwater frogs. If you’re a bass fisherman who wants to step up their “frogging” game, here’s how to use a topwater frog lure to put more trophy-worthy bass in your live well.
How Do Topwater Frog Lures Work?
A topwater frog lure has a hollow, collapsible soft plastic body that allows you to cast it into the thickest of weeds without getting snagged. The hooks face upwards and are protected by the frog’s legs and body, which helps prevent you from becoming caught up in weeds or lily pads.
When a hungry bass strikes your frog, the soft body collapses, exposing the sharp hooks so that they will set in the fish’s mouth. To accommodate most all fishing environments, frog lures are available in a wide range of sizes, colors, and patterns.
How to Fish a Topwater Frog
Fishing a frog lure takes patience, practice, and perseverance. Since real frogs don’t constantly move like baitfish or insects, neither should your bait.
Start by casting into thick weed patches or right on top of lily pads. If you want to fish like a pro, cast directly onto the shore, logs, or rocks and slowly retrieve your frog lure by loudly flopping it into the water. The commotion this creates imitates a frog’s natural behavior, thus attracting the attention of nearby fish.
Once the lure is in the water, use a slow retrieve with frequent pauses to mimic the action of a frog hopping from one lily pad to another. Since bass tend to strike on the pause, be sure to hesitate for several seconds between each jerking movement. When pausing, try to position your lure in open areas between vegetation patches. Doing so will allow any bass in the vicinity to see your frog, increasing your chances for a reaction strike.
When you do get a strike, don’t panic and try to set the hook immediately. The average bass will initially strike to stun the frog, allowing them to swallow their prey whole once it’s been immobilized. Wait to set the hook until you can feel the line begin to move, signaling that the bass has fully swallowed your lure.
Selecting the Right Tackle
In addition to using the right lure and technique, frogging success also relies on having the best tackle for the job. Find a robust rod with enough stiffness to extract fish out of thick vegetation. A good choice would be a heavy-duty rod in the 7 to 7 1/2-foot range from the Bulldawg Rods Trophy Series. Then, pair your rod with a high-quality baitcasting reel and some braided, 20 to 30-pound test line.
Best Topwater Lures for Frogging
When selecting the best soft plastic lures for your next frogging excursion, look for qualities like durability, hook concealment, and realistic color patterns.
These tried-and-true, topwater frog lures are tackle box essentials when it comes to attracting the attention of stealthy predators and inducing reaction strikes:
Additional Frog Fishing Tips
When you’re a beginner, fishing with frog lures can sometimes be frustrating. Whether you are new to frogging or not, these tips should help put more monster bass in your boat:
- Remember to reel the lure all the way back to your boat. Bass will often follow a frog away from cover and strike once it’s in open water.
- Experiment with different lure colors, starting with at least three go-to color options. Green, white, and black lures work well, as they will allow you to fish in different weather and weed cover environments.
- In general, frogs with legs work better than legless lures. Legs make your frog look more lifelike, increasing the number of strikes and your hookup ratio.
- Try out various leg lengths. If needed, trim the legs shorter, as this will make it easier for the fish to strike the body of the frog.
- If the legs on your favorite topwater frog get damaged, you can replace them by gluing on streamers or plastic tubing. Be sure to attach the fake legs in such a way that water won’t leak into the frog’s body.