By: Tom Branch, Jr.
Fishing hollow body frogs has become an incredible phenomenon all over the country. The neat thing about frog fishing is you must be able to creep them, walk them, chug them, pause them and you have to always be ready for a big fish to crush them. This article was created to educate you on the choosing the right gear, the correct baits, when to fish the frog, where to fish the frog, different techniques and styles to try the next time you head to the lake to go frog fishing.
To begin you must get your gear ready to go fishing. I would recommend getting a Bass Pro Shops Extreme XPS rod and reel combo. My choice for a rod length would be a 6’10” medium heavy action with an extra fast (X-FAST) tip. You have to have a soft tip on a frog rod so you can skip the bait under and around objects. If the rod is to stiff at the tip you can not make accurate casts and it is difficult to skip a bait. Accurate and precise casting is very important when fishing frogs. When choosing a reel go with a 7.1:1 gear ratio that retrieves line approximately 31” inches each time you turn the handle one complete rotation. The faster the line is picked up on the reel the faster you are able to pull Mr. Bass away from his house and put him in your live well and give a boat ride to the weigh in. Your choice of fishing line should be a no brainer – braided line, only. For a line choice I use 65lb braided line that has the diameter of 17lb monofilament. The Vicious braid provides unmatched strength, roundness, and handling. Vicious fishing line guarantees you a high quality and an excellent value on their braided lines. It is very smooth handling and helps you make longer casts. Cast after cast, it stays smooth and this braid will not flatten out. First mistake most people make is not using quality gear; frog fishing will test your gear and your patience. When Mr. Bass explodes on your frog, pause and count to 2 (two), then set the hook hard and reel him quickly to the boat.
So which frog bait is the best right now? I like one that has a soft plastic body so when Mr. Bass bites it the body collapses and exposes a mean, super sharp hook. The first thing you should do when you are shopping for a frog is to test the softness of the body before you purchase one. If I can’t touch the plastic body of a frog before I buy it, I will not pick up the package. Look at the Tru Tungsten Mad Maxx frog packaging as a good example; you can actually feel the body inside the package before you buy it. The sticker on the package does not lie –“New Softer Body!” Any hollow body frog must have a double hook that is super sharp, super strong and fits around the body tightly. A hollow body frogs needs to sit in the water with his rear end down in the water; this will allow you to walk the bait. If you are having trouble walking the bait I would advise to trim both legs on the bait approximately 1 inch. The other important features to look for in your plastic frog bait would be a rattle inside the bait and a frog that does not fill up with water after every cast. I again would recommend the Tru Tungsten Mad Maxx frog that has a rattle and will not fill up with water. Mad Maxx has a built in tungsten rattle inside the bait; no one else on the market is using a tungsten rattle. So the slightest movement this bait will make a noise trying to attack Mr. Bass. The pro drain hole on the Mad Maxx frog is the only soft body frog that naturally drains water out of the rear of the bait. A consistent problem with all soft plastic frogs is they fill with water while fishing them. With the Mad Maxx frog this is not a concern. Would you rather be draining your frog of water or casting it into Mr. Bass kitchen for him to eat it?
The main frog activity in the southeastern United States takes place when the water warms to 60 degrees. Why 60 degrees? As the sun warms the lake water the little insects and bugs beginning moving around in the water. All this does is make frogs interested in eating and moving around. When Mr. Bass sees the frogs feeding on bugs he knows he should be eating at the same time! I know it is frog time around my house when at night I start hearing croaking frogs in my neighborhood. Pre dawn and early evening fishing with a soft hollow body frog is prime time for frog season. Night fishing with a frog along a weed line, thick mat line or around lily pads can be an explosion experience you will never forget. If it is low light conditions and the water temperature is greater than 60 degrees you can bet the farm I will be throwing or skipping a frog.
Where should I be throwing this frog? When the water starts warming Mr. Bass is tired of living in his deep water winter home and he is ready to move into his spring home. That means moving into the shallow waters (2-4 feet depth) on your home lake. Once Mr. Bass goes shallow he is going to stay shallow and look for some kind of cover; that could be lily pads, grass, exposed wood, riprap and even boat docks. If the sun is high, look for the thickness cover or best shad where Mr. Bass is not straining his eyes. This could be something as simple as a tree leaning over the lake in a pocket. Take that frog and skip it right under that overhanging tree.
There are a few different techniques to try when fishing the Tru Tungsten Mad Maxx frog for Mr. Bass. You must learn how to creep it, walk it, chug it and be able to pause it. It sounds like of work, but it is rather simple. Once you have casted the bait to the right location move it slightly as soon as it hits the water. You want the frog to act scared because Mr. Bass is right underneath him and ready to eat at a moments notice. After a one (1) second pause start by walking the bait with a side to side motion. I know sometimes this is not the easiest technique, but I am going to try to explain it a little better. After the frogs original splashdown, hold the rod low with the rod-tip about 1foot above the water. The lure can be activated strictly with wrist-action that pivots from your arm. Due to slack in the line, the rod-tip must move considerably farther than the lure. With an eye on the lure, keep the pulls short, about 6 inches at the frog bait. At the end of each down-stroke the rod-tip is almost touching the water. Then without any pause, the rod is immediately returns to its original position, then repeat. The left hand operates the reel and takes up slack line as it becomes available, while always keeping a small amount of slack in the line.
Mr. Bass is known to eat many critters from frogs, minnows and bugs in lakes all over this great country. He loves to hunt his prey down and destroy it. First, he must find an ambush point that he can chase down a frog and eat it. Be patience and be prepared for an incredible strike that can happen at any moment. Frog fishing is not for the faint of heart. Don’t make frog fishing to complex; get the best equipment, the right tools and go catch’em!
About Tom Branch, Jr:
Tom, Jr. is a full time Lieutenant/Paramedic for 25 years with the Gwinnett County, GA Fire and Emergency Services in Georgia and an inspiring outdoor writer. He has fished all over the country. He and his wife Kim live outside of Braselton, GA with there yellow lab- Scout. Tom, Jr. fishing sponsors include Bass Pro Shops-Outdoor World in Atlanta GA, Tru Tungsten, Picasso Lures, MiHatchii hooks, Nitro Boats, Mercury Marine, Lowrance Electronics, Vicious fishing line, Strike King sunglasses, Navionics, Keel Shield, Tuff Skinz, and Pro Line shoes.