87 frog tips for bassin'

Bassmaster Magazine readers' best frog tips

31. Take it to the bank

Casting the frog directly onto the bank (on dry ground) is a great way to get bass to bite. I think it's more realistic and subtle to cast the frog onto the shore and then pop it into the water as if it was hiding from a shore predator, and the bait doesn't make the noise of a lure hitting the water.

Brian Barnett, Santa Maria, Calif.

32. Use the moss to your advantage

Cast the frog high and let it hit the moss with a loud plop. Then just let it sit there. With the rod tip held high, don't move the frog but just plop it several times, moving the moss. Then hop it once and hang on.

Brad Clark, Danville, Ind.

33. Father knows best

I've been fishing on Lake Texoma for quite some time and my mother of all people purchased some weedless frogs out of an Outdoor Life magazine that at the time were the big buzz for catching bass. My fishing buddies and I decided to liberate these miracle frogs and put them to the test! It was early spring 1972 when Lake Texoma was still a fisherman's lake, and we proceeded to fish the coves of Mill Creek. When we began casting we expected to catch fish close to the shoreline, but as we slowly retrieved and paused the frog we did not get any hits until the lure was relatively close to the boat. I was still a novice it took me several missed fish before I remembered fishing on a pond in Rhode Island where my dad told me to count to 10 before setting the hook. I was using a bobber and live shad on that occasion, but the minute I started following that technique using the frogs I did not miss a fish, and we all caught fish from that point on! Presentation and patience pay off, as well as remembering what your dad taught you.

Wes Travis, Richardson, Texas

34. Silent but deadly

For a completely silent but deadly lure presentation, cast your frog onto the shore and pull it into the water. I find this to work more times than not. It doesn't matter if there is cover or just open water if you find a spot that is consistently under shade, causing the water temps to stay a little lower than the rest of the pond/lake. Try "walking" your frog right where the shade and sun meet; you can find some monsters just waiting to gulp down that frog!

Dillon Creason, New Castle, Ind.

35. Let the frog be

My best frog fishing was done last summer with my two children, Tyler and Kayla, at their grandparents' old pond. We would cast our frogs out over the moss that stretched out over the edge of the pond approximately 20 or so feet. We would cast out as far as we could, then walk the frog in to the edge of the moss. If we didn't get a bite on the way in, we would let the frog sit at the outer edge of the moss and then wiggle the tip of our poles to make the frog shake. This would generally cause an explosion when the bass took the frog. Talk about thrilling!

Stan Gibson, Brookfield, Mo.

36. Give it some slack

While fishing one day I saw a huge bass come out from under a log at the edge of some lily pads to look at the buzzbait I was pitching at the time. Over the next several days, I came down and fished that spot at least once a day with different lures and tactics to try to bring this bass to strike. I saw the fish twice more but could not get her to do more than look at my lures. Finally, I snuck up to within casting distance of the log early one morning and tied on a frog. I pitched the frog well behind the log into the lily pads and slowly swam it to the log through the weeds. I pulled it onto the log and let it rest there for at least two minutes. Then I gently hopped the frog off of the log, taking care to leave the line slack when the lure hit the water so the frog would float freely. I let the frog sit until the ripples died down, then I twitched it and the water erupted. Several minutes later, I landed a 24 1/2-inch largemouth that I estimate weighed between 6 and 7 pounds. In my part of the country, that is an exceptional bass. I have only seen a couple in my life to top that one. Since then I have used this technique many times. When you walk the frog with slack in the line, the motion is very realistic and will fool those old fish that ignore everything else.

Allan Wright, Erie, Pa.

37. Dress your frog in a skirt

I add a spinnerbait skirt to increase the action of my frogs. I believe the added movement helps the fish zero in on the lure. This can be accomplished by removing the frog body, adding the spinnerbait skirt in the desired color, and then replacing the body. Make sure to put the skirt on in the proper direction. I prefer straight back (the reverse of how it is on a spinnerbait).

My experience with these frog lures is roughly a 50 percent hookup rate. I add a stinger hook to increase the hookup odds and eliminate short strikes. This can be accomplished by using a three-way swivel. Remove the body of the frog. Carefully squeeze the double hook together so you can slip a loop of the three-way swivel over each hook leg. Next, add a weedguard to the stinger hook. A piece of 20-pound mono tied onto the hook works well, or you can purchase stinger hooks with metal spring wire guards. Lastly I add a split ring to the third loop of the three-way swivel and attach the hook to the split ring so the hook lies upright like the frog hooks. You can then replace the frog body. Prior to replacing the frog body, I prefer to add a spinnerbait skirt to the assembly, which further helps hide the stinger hook and keep the weeds off.

Robert J. Hennick, Cayuga, N.Y.

38. Twitch it

Just outside of town we have two little reservoirs. They are not very good fisheries, but they are also young. My story starts at about 4:45 p.m., Jan. 6, 2008. It was about 45 degrees in 4 to 6 feet of water. Because it was winter I knew that I didn't have much daylight left, however I was dying to go fishing and this was the warmest day we had had in a long time. I knew from prior experience that a topwater frog was the best thing to use, so I tied on a Harrison-Hoge Poison Holographic Superior Frog. It only took me about six casts twitching the bait slowly past a patch of sloppy vegetation stretching 1/2 to 1 foot around before one blew up on it. Being as cold as it was, I never expected how this one hit it. When I finally got it in and weighed it, it was just shy of 6 pounds. It was by far the biggest fish caught out of that little reservoir.

Trevor Birdsell, Ashland, Ill.

39. Get a leg-up on lazy bass

When I can't get a strike no mater how I fish my frog (slow, fast, walking it in the open or in the slop), I one leg most of the way off my Spro frog and stick a storm dot on the side with the long leg. Then I throw it where I would fish it in the open and just twitch it like an injured frog trying to swim. The bass in the clear water can't stand it and blow up on it, but you have to be patient — sometimes it takes a while.

Timothy Freeman, Fayetteville, Ark.

40. Keep the rod high

I've been using rubber frogs a lot for about seven to eight years. When I first started, I missed a ton of strikes with the rod tip pointed at the water. Then I raised the rod tip to 10 to 12 o'clock. When you get a strike, your first reaction is to pull or jerk the bait. If you hold the rod tip up, you won't pull the bait right out of the bass' mouth. Arm movement with the rod tip up is minimized to inches instead of feet, so your reaction to the strike isn't so dramatic. Then you can reel down to the bait, then set the hook, giving the fish time to eat the frog. My percentage of misses went way down using this technique.

James F. Cullen, Canastota, N.Y.

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