Last summer I was fishing my favorite bass lake and apparently, everyone else decided to also; the lake was heavy with anglers. Typically this lake has very good structure fishing and that's where all the anglers headed to first.
Not wanting to play follow the leader and also to give the bass a breather from the influx of anglers, I decided to fish other areas of the lake — grassbeds, points, and so on — but the fishing was sparse. I threw about everything I had in the tacklebox without success.
When the fishermen thinned out later in the day, I began to fish structure. I flipped jigs, tossed worms and bumped crankbaits but had no strikes, so I tied on a Berkley Power Frog, a lure I had done OK with in the past. I began to work the above-water structure.
I noticed the bass would sometimes come up and bump my frog but wouldn't take it. Just before I was going to change to another lure, I made a bad cast and my frog landed on a branch above the water. As I was shaking my frog off the branch, three bass rose to the surface and hovered, waiting for this frog to jump off the limb.
I retrieved my frog and went to the next treetop. I very carefully cast the frog onto a branch above the water and twitched it like the frog was ready to jump, then I would "jump" the frog into the water. On my third cast I connected with a nice bass that blasted the frog when it struck the water from its "jump."
I used this technique of "jumping" the frog from limbs and collected 13 nice bass that evening, the largest about 5 pounds. I did notice that I had to work the frog when it was on the branches above the water or it wouldn't draw the bass' attention. After allowing enough time for the frog to attract the bass, I would leap it into the water and that's when the strike came. I had two bass at one time attack my frog.
Randy Caldwell, Nettie, W.Va.
As soon as I get the Snag Proof frog out of the blister package, I shove a glass worm rattle into the body of the frog. I realize there is a factory rattle but this second one adds just enough additional weight to cause the frog to sit lower in the water and create additional noise. Mr. Bucket Mouth can't take much of that before he explodes. Also, the extra weight gives me the confidence to put that frog into places most people would not think to even try.
Jack Garrett, Wawaka, Ind.
When you see the bass eat your frog, it makes you feel like you have to set the hook. Do not set the hook until you feel the weight of the fish. If you do this you will not be as frustrated with yourself for missing a lot of frog bites.
Ryan Latinville, Plattsburgh, N.Y.
Trim one side of the "legs" slightly shorter than the other to help the frog walk better.
Cedric Wong, Folsom, Calif.
Use a three-way swivel to increase your hookup ratio in open water. Place two of the three swivels through each of the two hooks on the frog, then on the third attach a No. 1 treble hook, which will dangle down behind the frog.
Cedric Wong, Folsom, Calif.
For years, I have had my father-in-law, Jim, show me the proper way to fish with a worm. He'd find a twig standing up in the middle of a lake and work a worm around it, and end up pulling out about four or five fish, each bigger than the last, in a matter of a few casts. I had begun calling it "pulling a Jim" on someone.
Recently, we were out fishing on Otter Lake, and it was a quiet day. Nothing much was biting, so he was throwing his go-to bait (a jointed Rapala in bright orange) while I started tossing a frog in the shallows and in moderate cover. We came to a small island with a scum-covered point, and I dropped the frog on the inland side of the scum, and slowly walked it out.
Next thing I know, I had a 10-inch bass on the line. We moved around the point of the island, and three casts later, I brought in a 12-inch bass. By now, the comments started to fly, loaded with sarcasm from the rear of the boat. Four casts later, in the same 8-foot-diameter scum patch, the next 14-inch bass was reeled in. As we moved off the patch, I cast to its outskirt once more ... and a nice 18-inch tournament fish came to the boat!
My dad dropped his pole to the bottom of the boat, and without looking up said, "Gimme one of whatever that is you're throwing!" And this is how I got to "pull a Jim" for the first time!
Mark Tobola, Thorp, Wis.
Cast any frog or mouse imitation onto the shoreline. Hop the lure into the water and swim it back. This allows you to cover a lot of water quickly from shallow to deep. Make sure your lure acts like a frog; swim a few inches before pausing. Experiment with tempo, pause time, and how much you move the lure. You can also use this technique in open water if you have exposed cover such as islands, rocks, stumps or trees. Don't ignore isolated cover! I once caught a large bass by hopping a frog imitation off a rowboat tied to a dock. If you get missed strikes or refusals, switch to a slower subsurface lure such as a Floating Rapala, jig or unweighted plastic worm.
Bryce Althoff, Farley, Iowa
My wife likes using her frog lures along the banks. We were fishing in the St. Johns River in Florida a few years back, back in one the coves off the river, when she saw a big roll in the water. Thinking it was a big lunker feasting, she tossed her frog at it. I had the camera ready in case the big one hit her lure when suddenly a small gator broke the surface of the water and began chasing her frog. While quickly reeling in her lure I took a great picture of the chase. I hope this story tells you, not only do bass love frogs, so do their reptilian friends!
Steve and Nancy Bateman, Deltona, Fla.
After a day of fishing frogs, spray fish scent inside the frog body and set it asideyou're your next fishing trip, grab the frogs and leave the scent at home; each cast will slowly release scent.
Rob Hamilton, Dayton, Va.
Add glass beads into the hollow body cavity of the frog for added attraction. This allows you to use it in less clear water, as well. Use three or more beads, experimenting with the number for sound and also depth caused by the added weight. Match the conditions and what the bass tell you.
Michael E. Ulrich, West Columbia, S.C.