Arey: Keep toads and frogs on a tight leash

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Alan McGuckin

Toads have warts and are more land oriented than frogs, which tend to have smooth skin and hang out in water. Whichever you choose to sling across beds of shallow water vegetation on your favorite bass fishery – just be sure to take a tip from Team Toyota’s Matt Arey – keep your favorite amphibian on a tight line.

“The biggest fishing lesson I can share with you from the Bassmaster Elite on Lake Guntersville is keep the slack out of your line when you’re working your frog across the surface, and you’ll lose a lot fewer fish!” exclaims Arey in a moment of self-evaluation.

Yes, the great ones like Arey, who has won $1 Million as pro, are always looking to improve their game, and on Guntersville he admitted he let a couple get away because there was too much slack in his line.

“It’s easy to get mesmerized watching your frog work across the surface, but in addition to watching your frog, you better be watching your line to make sure the wind or a long cast didn’t put too much slack in your line at any given moment,” warns the classy family man from Shelby, NC.

Arey will also tell you he’s not the world’s greatest frog fishermen, but when a dude who’s won a million bucks catching bass starts talking, it pays to listen. In addition to not letting slack get between you and your frog, he says to make sure you’re throwing a frog with a soft, easily collapsible body, that’s anchored by long stout hooks.

“When it comes to colors, let’s be honest, the only thing that really matters is the color of the belly. I tend to throw dark-bellied frogs on cloudy days and white-bellied frogs on sunny days,” says Arey, a North Carolina State grad.

As far as his favorite froggin’ equipment goes, Arey spools 50-pound P-Line TCB braid on a speedy 8.1:1 Lew’s reel.

“As critical as it is to not have slack in your line, so is making sure you’re using a fast retrieve reel to get their butts to the boat as fast as possible. Don’t give up nuthin’ once they bite! The longer you take to reel them in – the greater your chances of losing them,” he emphasizes.

“The bottom line is, when you’re frog fishing you better have a tight connection to your lure and any fish that bites at all times. Slack line, and time wasted reeling them in, is when bad things happen,” concludes Arey.