Why the frog?

Just about everyone is waiting for the fireworks to go off, as in the frog bite to turn on. Why use a frog in the fall, when shad are the meal of choice, based on meal size and availability? At least on Lake Chickamauga, and this week, here are five reasons why the frog might just be the ticket.

 1. A different look. Largemouth here favor the heavily matted vegetation as their primary ambush point and source of concealment. The bait of choice, all summer, has been the punch rig. By now, the fish have become wary and jaded watching 1-ounce tungsten weights punch through the mat and fall to the bottom, creature bait in tow.

2. Reflex strike. The frog gives the bass a different look, but it's splashing, sashaying and popping action triggers their predator instinct. They just can't resist slurping down that annoying creature coming through their turf.

3. Bigger bass. While the tiny threadfin shad saturate the entire water column, the imposing action of the frog garners the attention of the bigger bass (well, sort of). Here big is anything over 3 pounds.

4. Dying vegetation. The thick hydrilla is beginning to die off, creating trails, holes and other openings as it dissipates from the surface.

5. Better lure action. Less grass improves the swimming action of the frog, which won't get bogged down or snagged in the thick stuff. Better action, more realistic look, more fish.