Inside Ike’s frog box

Think about a topwater frog and what comes to mind is the heart-thumping expectation that your fake bait will get slammed by a largemouth hiding beneath the surface of thick, matted vegetation. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Michael Iaconelli lives for that moment, while also recognizing frogs offer other worthy applications. 
“The frog fits into three key summertime patterns, which are deep water, current or thick cover,” Iaconelli said. The frog covers the latter zone when largemouth get under cover for the cooler water. Matted vegetation, undercut banks, laydown trees and docks all fit the bill. 
“What is noteworthy about a frog is that many anglers only think of one style,” Iaconelli said. 
“My Molix frog box has three different styles for as many different applications.” Those three are a walking-style frog, a popping frog and a kicker-style frog. 
Walking frog: Molix Sneaky Frog EVO
“If you look at this frog, it closely resembles a topwater walking bait; it has that same elongated body,” Iaconelli said. “This is the bait that I am using to cover water and what I call push water. When I want to cover a lot of water, I actually give it a walking action because it moves left-to-right. The other great thing about this bait is because it’s elongated; it has weight in the back. That makes it push downward underneath the mat for more visibility to the bass.”
Popping frog: Molix Pop 
“I use this when fishing isolated targets. Where I’m covering water with the Sneaky Frog, I’m target fishing with the Pop,” Iaconelli said. “I use it when encountering an isolated stump, or a lone brushpile, or a single dock. Just like a popping or chugging topwater, I can keep this frog in place longer, and I can make it spit. The advantage is this frog stays longer in the strike zone.”
Kicking frog: Molix Supernato
This hybrid lure combines the strengths of a frog and topwater bait. “Of the three frogs, this is the one I use when trying to make a lot of surface noise and commotion,” Iaconelli said. “Low light, super dirty water or the same places where I’d fish a traditional buzzbait I can now fish a frog. I can reel it straight in, and it kicks and gurgles like a buzzbait, or I can make it spit like a prop bait.”
Ike’s tip: Sneaky Frog EVO
Iaconelli uses this frog to cover vast areas of matted vegetation. “You can walk it and cover a lot of water, and it’s pushing down on that matted vegetation so the fish can see it.”
Ike’s tip: Molix Pop
A specific application for this frog is one you wouldn’t think about. — docks. “Here’s the thing. If you think about docks, everyone is fishing soft plastics. Skipping a wacky rig, a jig and the fish see it over and over,” Iaconelli said. “The great thing about the popping frog is that I can put it under a dock and keep it in place a long time. Unlike a bait that I have to reel in, this popping frog floats, and all I do is pop it, make it spit in place.”
Ike’s tip: Supernato
The ideal scenario is dirty water and low light conditions. “I’ll just fish it like a buzzbait in the backs of the creeks where the water gets dirty from the runoff,” Iaconelli said. “Remember, in the summer that water is cooler, but also dirty enough that the fish have trouble finding a standard topwater frog. The noise this makes is like how a buzzbait draws them in. The great thing about this frog is unlike a buzzbait or prop bait, it’s completely snagless and weedless. I can throw it anywhere.”
“In my opinion, a topwater frog is one of the best baits you can fish around all of that varied cover for two key reasons. 
“The frog will not get hung up, and it’s an alternative to other lures seen daily by the fish,” Iaconelli said.