BassWestUSA - July/August, 2009, Page 71

pro file

Grass is great, but not required


that time of year again when every angler gets out their “frog box” and throws it in the boat. The emergent grass and warm water helps to give bass fisher- men confidence to fish the frog throughout the hot days of summer. I used to be one of these guys. During the four years of fishing on the Bassmaster Elite Series Tour, I have learned that the frog is a deadly bait any time of the year. Big Largemouth Bass have a tenden- cy to get very shallow throughout certain times of the day no matter what time of year it is and the frog is a perfect bait to entice these opportunistic creatures. One of my favorite ways to fish a frog is around lay-downs and under docks where big bass tend to suspend. With practice, an angler can skip or pitch these baits into areas that most other baits could not be fished; thus, resulting in some explosive bites. With the right rod, you can make the frog “walk the dog” which every fisherman knows is something that big bass love. Whether I’m fishing grass or open water, the best rod I have found to fish a frog is the Powell Max 735. This rod has the perfect tip and a great backbone to deliver solid hooksets on mon- ster bass. Line is a very important factor when fishing frogs properly. I use Spider- wire Ultracast 65# to 80#, no matter where I’m throwing a frog. The braided line not only helps in landing fish, it also allows you to fish the bait properly because it has no stretch. Now, let’s talk about the frog itself. Hollow Body and Soft Body frogs have dif- ferent purposes. It is up to the angler to figure out which bait the bass want. In my experiences, the soft body frogs (such as a Horny Toad or a Ribbit) seem to work bet- ter in or around sparse vegetation when fish are active. There are times when bass are in “chase mode” in the grass. A soft body frog is ideal because it can be fished very quickly across the surface and will still remain weedless. Hollow Body frogs are more of a natural presentation due to the profile and “frog” type action an angler tries

Frogs: any Time, any Where


to give the bait. In open water or on mats a small quick snap of the rod tip followed by a pause is generally the most effective technique. One of the most important fac- tors when fishing either type of frog is to try different speeds and retrieves in order to draw a strike. Pay close attention to what you were doing to get that first bite. Many times attention to small detail will pay big dividends. Over the past several years, it seems that there were only three major frog manu- factures that most anglers fished. The Snag Proof Frog, Spro Bronzeye, and the original Scum Frog were the major players until now. Tru-Tungsten will soon release one of the deadliest frogs on the market towards the end of 2009. I have had the advantage of testing this frog out long before anyone had heard of it. I will tell you it is the best I have used at this point. The Tru-Tungsten Mad Maxx frog in- corporates the best features of all the cur- rent frogs into one “super” frog. The bait de- signer at Tru-Tungsten created small ski’s on the bottom of the bait to help walk the

dog almost effortlessly. The Mad Maxx also features tungsten rattle, life like 3-D eyes and a genuine Mihatchi super strong, su- per sharp hook. Remember when your frog fills up with water every other cast and you are forced to squeeze it out, not any more. The Tru-Tungsten frog has a pro drain hole at the back of the bait. This allows water to drain out at all times resulting in more cast- ing, less squeezing. The Mad Maxx is avail- able in seven realistic colors, which have been field-tested by myself. I can tell you that color on frogs DOES make a difference. The natural looking colors, coupled with the “frog” pattern and the living rubber legs make the Mad Maxx an irresistible meal for any bass lurking in shallow water. Anyone that has ever fished a frog has had huge bites that either miss the bait or come off half way to the boat. Although it is inevitable, there are a couple of things to do to help minimize this situation. The first thing I do when I get a new frog, is put it on the dash in my truck. The intense sunlight and heat that is created on the dash, helps to soften the plastic of the frog resulting in better hookups. When fishing in open water, simply bend the hooks slightly up and out to give the hook a bigger gap, obviously this won’t work in mat fishing. When a big one misses the bait the first thing everyone does is reel in and cast right back. The best method I have found is to simply let it sit there. The fish knows he missed his mark and will continue to search for the bait. They are very aware and protective of their territory. Most times leaving that frog sitting there for a matter of minutes drives them to the point of no return. It is a painful way to fish, but it is certainly one of my favorite tech- niques to utilize. You have to go into a day of frog fishing knowing that sometimes the fish will win the battle, but you are in it to win the war. Remember that the frog is a bait for all seasons, grass or not. Think like a fish, not a fishermen and you will be surprised at the amount of action a frog can produce throughout the year! BW

July/August 2009

Photo by BASS Communications - Seigo Saito