BASS Signature Series: Dean Rojas on Topwater Frogs

Dean Rojas on Topwater Frogs

 
Name: Dean Rojas
Hometown: Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
Technique: "Frogging" — working a soft bodied, floating frog imitation bait.
History: Rojas believes that frog baits are nearly as old as minnow imitations. They are popular bass forage and very effective baits when used properly.
Highlights: "Kermit" has netted Rojas many Top 10 finishes in recent years, including fourth place finishes in the 2008 Tennessee Triumph at Old Hickory Lake, the 2007 Bassmaster Legends at Lake Dardanelle and the 2007 Bassmaster Memorial at Oneida Lake.
When to Use: Depending on your location in the country, Rojas believes frogging can be done almost year-round. In the South, Rojas believes that you can throw a frog 12 months out of the year, whereas it works best in Northern lakes when the water temperature is at or above 65 degrees.
Where to Use: Rojas says the best frogging is in and around any shoreline cover, particularly matted grass, docks and laydown logs. He will also throw it in very heavy cover, as most frogs are extremely weedless.
Tackle: A 7-foot Quantum PT Dean Rojas Signature Series medium-heavy rod gets the nod for his frog duties, and is paired with a Quantum PT 7:1 Burner reel spooled with 55-pound Izorline braid. He says a fast tip is necessary to skip the frog and help work it through the water, and a fast reel is preferred because he says you're only fishing three to five feet of a cast, meaning you spend a lot of time reeling in. It also allows him to gain control of a fish when it is coming at him.
Lure: The SPRO Dean Rojas Signature Bronzeye frog is his frog of choice. It was designed around the Gamakatsu hooks to collapse better than any other frog. There are two sizes and two formats of Bronzeye frogs. The model 55 is the larger frog which Rojas throws eighty percent of the time. He uses the Bronzeye Jr. where the frogs or fish are smaller. A popping frog was debuted at ICAST 2008.
Basics: Rojas uses the fast tip of his rod to skip the frog to the cover he's fishing. He then utilizes one of three retrieves. He will either (1) twitch-and-kill, where he shakes the rod two or three times then lets it sit for several seconds, (2) steadily retrieve it across or around the cover, or (3) walk it. He says the fish will tell you which one is best. Rojas also says that the frog demands a commitment in order to be successful. Thirty minutes is the least amount of time he will spend frogging. When a fish hits, it is important to wait one to two seconds until you feel the weight of the fish before setting the hook — hard. It is easy to pull a frog out of a bass' mouth.
One More Thing: The number one mistake anglers make when frogging is working the bait too fast. Rojas says you can't work it too slow, but a fast-moving frog will likely be short-struck by the fish.

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