The first frog

I often tell people there are no new ideas in fishing … at least not within the confines of lure development. Obviously this statement isn’t true – there are some new ideas, but far fewer than you might think.

I love studying the history of our sport, and more specifically, the history of lure making. It’s remarkable how many of today’s self-proclaimed innovations are nothing more than modified, reintroduced ideas from the past.

Take hollow-bodied frogs, for instance. Care to wager whose was the first?

Was it the SPRO Bronzeye Frog? Not hardly. These may be among the most popular of today’s artificial amphibians, but they hardly date back far enough to be the first.

What about the Scum Frog? Nope! Not that one either. It predates SPRO’s frog by a couple of decades, but it too is far from being the first.

Oh, and what about Bill Plummer’s Frog of the 1960s? Wrong again. In fact, his wasn’t even hollow-bodied. It was foam-filled.

None of these frogs are even close to being the oldest hollow-bodied model – not by a longshot. But more on that in a moment. First a little bass and frog history.

Leaping back in time

Since the very beginning of angling in this country, frogs have been a favorite bait among bass enthusiasts … and for good reason. Bass love frogs!

Anyone who’s tried it knows frog fishing is fun. It’s visual and sometimes incredibly productive, and I’m certain it was these same virtues that drove our forefathers to develop the first artificial frogs.

Back then, though, it was more about putting meat on the table. Realizing frogs were a staple for bass, resourceful types used them as live bait. Frogs were tough and easier to keep alive than baitfish, and more than one fish could be caught using the same frog.