87 frog tips for bassin'

Bassmaster Magazine readers' best frog tips

71. Fill 'er up

One day my frog got filled with water and it sank. I discovered that sometimes fish just like the frog submerged, especially after the sun gets up higher in the sky or when fishing slightly submerged grass. Rather than change baits to other plastic frogs that sink, just intentionally fill your frog with water or put a small bullet weight in front of it. An erratic style of retrieve enables the frog to tick the top of the grass and provoke strikes. When you come to slop or emergent vegetation it's simple to squeeze the water out and work it on top again.

Ted Warren, Yantis, Texas

72. More shoreline action

When fishing down a bank with a frog, try throwing it onto the bank. Then hop it into the water and retrieve. One day I found that from the back of the boat this resulted in more strikes than my partner got just casting his frog to the grass away from the bank. I believe casting it onto the bank and hopping it out looks more natural to a bass scanning the shoreline for some action. I've seen bass hit the frog in less than 6 inches of water and flop in the shallow water trying to get it.

Ted Warren, Yantis, Texas

73. Be creative

You can fish a frog virtually anywhere. Of course you can fish the slop, but try fishing about 10 to 20 feet from the cover and you will be rewarded with a heart-thumping hit that you will remember. Also, my fishing buddy and I were fishing for fun and fishing open water with a frog when a boat came by and someone said "You can't catch fish out here with that lure." Well, we had a double hit — a 5-pounder and a 6 1/2-pounder. Those guys took off after they saw that. (I always wondered if they tried the same way.)

Victor E. Toscano, Billerica, Mass.

74. Slow pop

I was fishing pads using a topwater frog and every time I threw the frog, a bass followed it but never took it. I changed frogs and put on a Spro, and started popping it up and down slowly. The bass took it right away. Sometimes you have to slow down.

John Brodkorb, Orange City, Fla.

75. Scent appeal

I use a frog quite often. One day I noticed a bass come up to my frog and nudge it, then swim away. I thought maybe she smelled the plastic and didn't like it. I then took a cotton ball soaked with Baitmate classic scent and stuffed it inside the frog. I fished this way for another hour and caught three nice bass.

Al Smith, Quincy, Ill.

76. Let them run with it

My grandpa and I were fishing along the Ohio River and while he was catfishing, I was bass fishing, throwing a frog around riprap and along the bank. Bass kept hitting the frog but I kept missing them because I kept setting the hook too fast. My grandpa kept yelling at me, saying, "You have to let them run. You have to let the run." After being frustrated and resting, I started throwing the frog again, and right as I was going to bring it up out of the water to make another cast I noticed a bass was right underneath it. I let the frog sit, barely moving it, when all of a sudden the bass smashed my bait. I reared back as hard as I could and the frog came flying out of its mouth and smacked my grandpa right in his mouth! Luckily, it didn't hook him but I learned a good lesson (and had a good laugh): Let the fish run for a second before setting the hook!

Christian Smith, Vicksburg, Mich.

77. Hang-ups aren't always bad

I was fishing with my dad about 10 years ago when he got his frog lure hung up on a stump. He told me to turn the boat around because he was snagged on a stump. The lure was about 8 inches above the water. He was shaking the fishing rod, trying to free the lure from the stump, when suddenly a bass leaped from the water, grabbed the lure and fell to the lake. My dad set the hook and caught a nice 2-pound bass.

Ed Kohl, Waterford, Conn.

78. Flying frogs

Throw the frog across to the opposite bank. Slowly drag it toward the water. Give it a quick, short jerk and let it "hop" into the water. Sounds too simple, but I have caught a lot of bass when it is airborne, and then plops on the water. Watch out for the neighborhood cat lurking on the bank!

Richard Adams, Shoreacres, Texas

79. Water-logged frog

Squeeze the body of the frog while dipping it in the water, then stop squeezing so it fills with water. Adding this extra water weight makes the frog slowly sink down from the surface, attracting hungry bass.

Shawn Mullen, Barrington, R.I.

80. Snell something fishy

Getting short strikes on your topwater frogs, no mater what you try? Try snelling them together with steel wire typically used for pike/muskie fishing. About 6 to 8 inches works best. Heavy diameter superline works fine if you don't have wire. Secure them from the base of the double hook to the eyelet of the second frog. The outcome is amazing even if the bite isn't short!

Mike Burke, Quakertown, Pa.