87 frog tips for bassin'

Bassmaster Magazine readers' best frog tips

Dean Rojas has hopped floating, hollow-bodied frogs to the forefront of topwater bassin' baits. The Texas pro has been seen throwing his Spro BronzeEye frog under trees, in open water, beside docks and around retaining walls all the while catching bass.

No longer are these fake amphibians used only in supersloppy conditions. It seems this bait type is far more versatile than most anglers could imagine.

Bassmaster Magazine wanted to know exactly how versatile, so it asked readers to submit their best frog tips. The response was overwhelming! Here are the best.

1. Don't get ripped off

If the legs on your frog get ripped up, they can be substituted with the skirt from a tube, and look even better (and taste saltier) than before. Just cut the head end off the tube and use Gorilla Glue to attach the tentacles to the frog body. Make sure the holes are sealed so your bait doesn't get waterlogged.

Justin Gillette, Delmar, Del.

2. Make a splash

A lot of people I know get frustrated fishing frogs in cover because they get hung up every other cast. I actually look for cover that I can get hung in every once in a while because I use it to my advantage. Tall grass I especially love because I can bring my frog right to a blade of grass that comes out of the water. If I can get my frog to catch on the blade and get up out of the water it will make a big splash when it falls back in. I think it mimics the natural action of a frog jumping off the bank. It takes some time to learn the "technique" but I have caught a lot of fish this way.

Neal Calhoun, Roanoke, Texas

3. Act stunned

One valuable tip while fishing with frogs that I have learned is to not jerk right away when a bass does its acrobatics. Many anglers, including myself, have missed trophy bass because of reacting too early. Most of the time when the bass jumps out of the water, it slaps the lure and tries to stun it. If you jerk right away, the bass will realize that it isn't real bait and won't bite. As you're retrieving and the bass jumps, stop and lower your rod. The bass will think that it has stunned the frog and come to bite it for an easy meal. Set your hook. Rinse and repeat.

Steve Baldassari Jr., East Boston, Mass.

4. Never give up

  1. If you tear your favorite frog and it is taking on water, grab a Senko and melt it onto the torn area — it is an instant patch.
  2. If you have been using the same frog for more than a couple of hours take the time to retie, as pitching into heavy cover will start to fray your braid and you will risk losing your frog and fish!
  3. Don't quit on your retrieve if the fish doesn't strike in the first couple of feet. Work the frog all the way to the boat; the fish will follow it out into open water and then decide to strike.
  4. When you pitch your frog into cover, pop it once and let it sit still for a second or two before you start to walk it out of the cover. This will entice a strike, as the fish will have the frog in the strike zone longer before you begin to walk it back to the boat.
  5. Anglers tend to stay away from the frog because they miss more then they set. Here are two tips to increase your hook set ratio:
    1. Don't set the hook the very second that the fish hits the frog. Give it a chance to take the frog down, and then set the hook. Otherwise, the fish will be sucking in water and you will pull the frog out of its mouth before it has a hold of the frog.
    2. Don't think that because you tried to set the hook and the frog flies into your boat that is the end of it. Pitch the frog right back to that spot and more than likely the fish will strike it again, as the first time it was just tail flashing your frog.

Alex Daicos, Surprise, Ariz.

5. Gitzit will get 'em

My best frog fishing tip is to modify the frog as follows:

  • Take the frog and remove the rubber strands from the frog body.
  • Pull the factory hook out of the frog. Insert a section of floating worm into a Gitzit.
  • Dip the Gitzit into anise. Run the hook through the Gitzit. Insert hook/Gitzit into the body of the frog.
  • Cast as close to the shoreline as possible to get the frog in the most natural presentation possible — coming from the shore onto the pads or from a fallen tree to the pads. Try to cast into an area where the pads are not too dense so that the frog can "hop" onto the water between the pads.

Gary E. Miller, Red Hook, N.Y.

6. Add a trailer to increase hookups

To increase my chances of hooking up when the fish are short striking my frog, I like to add a trailer hook to each of the factory hooks (the kind with rubber coating over the eye to keep the hook rigid).

Chris Schwass, McFarland, Wis.

7. Be the frog

When fishing the "floating frog" I always try to put it where I think a frog might be and make it act like one — flippin' it across lily pads or near high grass. Heavy cover such as lily pads has always been a winner for me with this lure. Last year while flippin' across the pads, on my second cast I nailed a 6-pounder! It got better as the afternoon went on. I was constantly pulling in great bass. I caught a total of 12 fish, none less than 4 pounds!

Tom Rowedder, Richlandtown, Pa.

8. Buy smart

When bass hit frogs, they tend to hit frogs with legs. There are plastic frogs made with one skirt on the end and frogs made with two skirts (one for each leg). To catch more fish, buy the frogs with two separate skirts, NOT a single one on its tail, so the presentation is more realistic. Or you can take a single-skirted frog and use a rubber band or glue to separate the full skirt into two smaller ones.

Sean A. MacGillis, Wauwatosa, Wis.

9. More hooks equals more hookups

My tip has to do with fishing plastic frogs like the Zoom Horny Toad. Rig it with a No. 4 treble hook attached to some stiff wire. Run the wire through the back of the toad so the treble hook is back by the legs. Then loop the wire in the front of the toad as a line tie. Using a treble hook greatly increases hookups. I use this kind of rig in light cover or open water. A toad rigged this way is a great wake bait.

Steven Faulkner, Rockford, Ill.

10. Let it sit

I went fishing in early summer on a body of water in Oklahoma that had lots of vegetation around the edges and in various other places. The vegetation could be seen near or on the top. The weather was partly cloudy, temps in the 80s and a normal Oklahoma wind in the 5- to 15-mph range. I decided that a Snag Proof frog would be a good lure to try. I fished it using a medium speed retrieve and tried to walk it. I was getting no takers, no matter how I varied the retrieve. I was about to give up on the frog when I cast it one last time.

This time, however, I fouled my line on the cast. While I was trying to remove the twists and knots from my line, I heard a loud splash where my frog was located. I looked up and saw a large bass flying through the air with my frog flying just above it. I was shocked because my frog was just sitting still in the water before the bass exploded through the vegetation to annihilate my frog. I did not catch that bass but thought this might be a clue as to how to fish the frog that day.

I went back to some of the spots that were not productive previously but this time I just let my frog sit motionless at least one minute before starting a retrieve. Well, before I got to retrieve on most of these casts a bass would explode on the frog, and I hooked up with many bass that day. In each case the frog was just sitting motionless for at least one minute before I started the retrieve, and I caught bass only while it was sitting still. This is a very different approach than I had ever used before and seems to be quite different than most frog users. So my tip is, let the frog sit for a while before retrieving. You never know what might surprise you!

G. Lee Willinger, Norman, Okla.