Article Written by Justin Jones. Learn More About the author below
Article Read Time: 4 Minutes
My Firsthand Experience with Frog Fishing
Frog fishing has increasingly become the dominant winning pattern on my local lakes over the past decade. It is also a fantastic way to catch a new personal best bass because I assure you 10-pounds will eat it. Guiding and fishing on primarily grass fisheries and in an area where topwater fishing is almost 365 days a year I’ve put in countless hours fishing various types of frog-style baits. I personally always have 4 frog rods in the boat with different colors and types for different conditions. That being said it’s not always the lures you’re throwing. Most of the time, it’s what you do with them that’s key. The technique with which you use the lure is what is most important and color is secondary in most cases. This year my tournament partner and I have had multiple top finishes while relying on the frog.
Tip 1: Speed is you Friend
One of the first things to remember regarding frog fishing is “Speed is your friend”! I mean that on both sides of the spectrum fast and slow. Every day is different so I tend to start with two different types of retrieves based on how things are around me.
If you hear a lot of commotion and see fish move or bust in the grass/cover, I tend to work the frog really fast with very short pauses. Those fish are active so capitalize on it by making them chase the bait which tends to trigger better than average fish in that scenario because they are competitive. If it is a still morning, late in the day, and/or hot let that bait stay in the strike zone longer with a slower retrieve. Move it once or twice and let all the rings go away. Really let that bait hang there. I’ve seen it so many times where the biggest fish, especially in southern grass lakes, love a long pause. There is something about it that triggers bigger-than-average fish when the bite is tuff.
Frog Lures of Choice
The frog I like most for fishing fast is the Teckle Honker. It is a great bait when the fish are active or in thick grass and you need to call them up. Fast twitches and short pauses with this frog result in amazing blow-ups. A good all-purpose frog would be the SPRO bronze 60 popping frog. In my opinion, it’s probably won more money than any other frog out there, especially around my area. The key to this frog though is to work it like you would a popper, mixing up your cadence 1-2 1-2-3 1-2 with long pauses in between. I never walk this frog. The beauty of it is though, if you want to you can walk it. Now this is the frog that catches the giants when they want that long pause. Remember patience pays off. Making long accurate casts and letting the bait sit once it lands before you start your retrieve is also a key factor... Pauses are huge. Both frogs I have thrown on 50 lb Master Braid Moss Green for the last 8 years with excellent results. It casts far, floats, and is super strong. I have had zero issues with it. For applications around heavy cover or if bigger fish are present a little extra strength from the 65 lb Master Braid Moss Green would be my recommendation.
Tip 2: Bait Size and Type
The second tip I have for you is to pay attention to the size and type of bait the fish are eating in your area. Too many times I’ve been on the lake in the summer and the fish are feeding on very small or very big bait. You can have a wide range of bait profiles in the water during different times of the year. Some key ones to keep in mind would be the shad spawn, fry from the bass spawn, and Panfish spawns. Depending on what is happening in the water with bait, fish will get keyed into that particular size profile. If you are fishing something larger or smaller it will likely result in fewer bites. Once the size is dialed in you can mimic the colors of the bait you are seeing in the water. Downsizing is also a great way to get some unexpected big bites in the heat of the summer or if there’s a lot of fishing pressure. If the water is super clear I would recommend even throwing a clear frog at times. Frogs that are great for when you want to downsize are the SPRO Bronzeye 50 baby popping frog and the Strike King Pipsqueak popping perch. Both are low-key killer frog patterns. Also for the northern bodies of water, downsized frogs can be used on smallies with great results. If you are seeing a lot of bluegill or shell crackers you can upsize your bait to try and get that bigger fish to commit. Often when it’s hot out those big fish just want one big easy meal so going big can pay off. Frogs for when you want a larger profile are the SPRO Bronzeye Popping 70, Megabass Big Gabot, and the Strike King Popping Perch. All have a really large presence in the water and tend to call up the big girls. The line I use for the smaller frogs is 30 to 40lb Master Braid Moss Green. For the larger frogs, I still use 50 lb Master Briad unless I am fishing heavy cover which I will size up to the 65 lb test. I fish them using the same techniques as mentioned above mixing it up depending on the day and conditions I am experiencing. The rod set I utilize is the Scenko Stix 7’2 heavy fast Royal Flush for the regular and large size frogs and a custom Scenko Stix 6’10 heavy fast for the smaller frogs.
I have caught some of the biggest fish of my life on topwater baits, specifically the frogs I mentioned above. Remember speed is your friend. Let the conditions and fish tell you what to do. Don’t forget to be patient and pauses are huge. Do not be afraid to let that bait sit for a long time. Be aware of what is happening and adjust from there. Deciding to change your retrieve style is key to getting bites. Once you get the bite, pay attention to how you were fishing the bait and try to do that same thing until it no longer works then adjust your retrieve again. Let the size and type of bait you see dictate the size and color of the bait you choose to throw. I am sure if you implement these tactics it will help you catch more and give you a chance at a bass of a lifetime.
About the Author
My name is Justin Jones and I was born and raised in South Florida. Growing up my father was a tournament fisherman and guide on Lake Okeechobee, so my entire life has revolved around that lifestyle. I first fished tournaments with him when I was 10 years old and fell in love with it. Currently, I am a full-time guide on Lake Okeechobee and fish at local and national events having success throwing the frog.
If you would like to find out more about Justin Jones or book a trip to chase some Okeechobee Monsters, be sure to follow him on Instagram @capt.justinjones or contact him at (772)-475-1992.