Once you're sure the bass has the bait in his mouth, set the hook hard and try to get him up on top. This is where the braided line with no stretch is really critical. Not only does it provide a better hook set, the braid will cut through most of the pads keeping the bass from tying you up. If you do get hung up in the pads, just keep pressure on the fish and go to him. Most of the time, the fish will stay hooked up until you get there.
Most fishermen new to frog fishing complain about the number of fish that miss the frog, but more times than not a fish that misses a frog will come back and hit again. After the initial strike, stop your bait and let it sit for a few seconds, then twitch it. If that doesn't work, reel in the frog and throw it back to the same spot. Bring it up to the hole made in the pads by the strike and stop it in the hole. Often it will take multiple casts to the same area to get the fish to bite again, but bass tend to stay in a very small area, and it's just a matter of getting them aggravated enough to bite again.
On one of the best days that I ever had fishing a frog, my partner and I caught a 5-bass limit that weighed 30 pounds, 7 ounces, and every one of those fish hit five or six times before we caught it. None of them moved more than 5 feet from the spot of the initial strike, and all but one of them came out of the hole made in the pads by the first strike. So patience and persistence are the keys to this type of fishing.
When the thermometer reads above 90, load up the ice chest with water, grab some sunscreen, put on your Costas and head to the lake. Nothing beats catching bass on top, and the pads offer the best topwater bite around. Maybe they should be called the frog days of summer!
Originally published July 2009