John Crews’ frog tacklebox

Back in the day, you’d never think of filling an entire tacklebox with different sizes, shapes and actions of topwater frogs. Their one-dimensional, simplistic design relegated them to the dog days of summer for scooting across the top of heavily matted vegetation, or skipped across the pads. 
That narrow timeframe of productivity has now expanded to the spawn, postspawn summer. Frogs are now considered hybrid topwaters that are productive in open water, due in part to their varied designs. Take a look inside Bassmaster Elite Series pro John Crews’ frog box to find out what you may have been missing with this fun lure that produces explosive strikes. 
(Left hand): SPRO Bronzeye Pop 60 (Midnight Walker); 1/2-ounce/60mm. Gamakatsu 3/0 Superline EWG Double Hook. (Right hand): SPRO Bronzeye Frog 65 (Midnight Walker); 5/8-ounce/65mm. Gamakatsu 4/0 Superline EWG Double Hook. 
Why he likes it: “Those are my number one and two top all-around choices for their versatility,” Crews said. He chooses the Pop 60 for bringing bass to the lure from afar, and in slightly choppy, open water scenarios. The Bronzeye Frog 65 is best for calmer water around undercut banks and shallow backwaters, where a more subtle approach matches the lifelike movement of a live frog. 
(Left hand): SPRO Bronzeye Pop 40; 1/4-ounce/40mm (Nasty Shad). Gamakatsu 1/0 EWG Double Hook. This is the smaller version of the Pop 50, designed with a more subtle popping sound. (Right hand): SPRO Bronzeye Frog 65 in Clear Chartreuse. 
Why he likes it: “In early postspawn, largemouth will hang around in shallow water for the shad spawn and feed on that bait,” Crews said, and thus, the reason why he’ll always have one tied on. He uses the Bronzeye Frog 65 for calm water for a subtle presentation, and the Pop 40 in the wind. “I use these baits early in the morning, during low light, when the shad and bass are most active.”  
(Left hand): SPRO Bronzeye Pop 60 (Red Ear); 1/2-ounce/60mm. Gamakatsu 3/0 Superline EWG Double Hook. (Right hand): SPRO Bronzeye Frog 65 (Green Pumpkin). 
Why he likes it: “Bluegill spawn after shad, and a frog is natural predator for the fry of both fish,” Crews said. During late postspawn he switches from shad patterns to bluegill colors, always keeping the frog at the ready in the presence of spawning bluegill. Strike zones include backs of pockets, isolated laydowns and vegetation, undercut banks, all of it in stained water favored by spawning bluegill. “This lineup and colors are ideal for late spring,” he said. 
(Both hands): SPRO Flappin Frog 65 (Midnight Walker, Albino); 5/8-ounce/65mm. Gamakatsu 4/0 Nano Smooth Coating. Do not store with other plastics. 
Why he likes it: “The kicking action and surface disruption makes them perfect for covering water, when you want to draw bass in for a reaction strike,” Crews said. His preferred strike zones are big flats and/or other shallow breaks near deep water where bass come up to feed. Crews uses Midnight Walker in low light and Albino for brighter conditions. 
SPRO Bronzeye Pop 40 (Killer Gill); 1/4-ounce/40mm. Gamakatsu 1/0 EWG Double Hook. 
Why he likes it: “It’s a tiny, sneaky bait for pressured fish and especially in ponds for fun fishing,” Crews said. He fishes it on lightweight braid spooled for spinning tackle.