Frogs and the Mississippi River

About the author

Chris Lane

Chris Lane

Chris Lane is a four-time winner on the Bassmaster Tournament Trail and the 2012 Bassmaster Classic champion.

The Mississippi River Elite Series tournament is right around the corner. Am I ever excited! This event will give me the opportunity to fish one of my favorite baits, a frog, in some of my favorite locations, weeds in and around shallow water.

The river should be right for my style of bass fishing, although it will be a lot different than when we were there last time. I know it’s almost the same exact date but the conditions are different. Actually, that doesn’t break my heart. I finished 44th up there last year so any changes are OK with me. I really need to do better than that this time.

I’m figuring that there should be some good grass available. Finding it will be my first task when we start prefishing next Monday. That doesn’t mean I’ll be spending all my time in the backwaters, though. I’ll be running and looking at everything all over the place.

I say that because a lot of bass fishermen think that all the productive grass is found in backwater sloughs and oxbows. It isn’t. Grass is grass. As long as it’s growing thick and nasty it’ll hold bass. I don’t care where it is at. So, if you see me out in the main river don’t think I’ve given up on my frog plan. I haven’t.

I’ll be throwing Snag Proof’s, The Guntersville Frog, in brown. I know you hear a lot about white and black, as well as natural, and I have to say they catch their fair share of big bass. But for my money the best color for the Mississippi River in Wisconsin in late June is brown.

Their brown looks a lot like a bluegill. That’s one of the reasons they’re in the grass — they like to eat bluegills. And, the Mississippi River where we’ll be fishing her is full of them. It’s really nothing more than matching the hatch.

I don’t like to make bass fishing any more complicated than it needs to be. Matching the hatch is one of the easiest, and best, ways to attract the fish. You don’t have to get real technical about it, either. Pick a size, action and color lure that resembles what they’re already eating and start fishing. It’ll work more often than not.

Another simple way I try to help myself is by letting the bass tell me how they want the bait worked. I’ll try darn near anything until they start biting. That means fast and slow, hopping and bouncing, walking, quiet or noisy. It doesn’t matter to me. If the bass are happy, I’m happy.

If my frog doesn’t work, or if I can’t find enough good grass, or if conditions change I have another plan. I’ll hunt smallmouth in deep water with a Luck “E” Strike Fast Lane Tube. So, if you see me somewhere away from the bank, over deep water, I have abandoned by frog plan.

Other than what I’ve just been talking about nothing much is happening in my world. I’ve been working on a business deal with my brothers and our sister but we’re not ready to make any announcements right now. Maybe we’ll be able to do that next week or the week after. I hope so anyway. I’m ready to get back on the water and catch some bass.

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