Topwater bass bites are so much fun! There is nothing more exciting than watching a bass come up out of the water to slam your bait silly. No matter what time of year, you’ll catch fish on a topwater bite. My favorite topwater bait is a frog – the plastic lure version, of course. Let’s explore the many ways to fish with a frog.
Where to Fish with a Frog
We’ll start with the obvious one – a weed mat. Frogs are wonderful to explore all parts of the weed mat. Pitch it just to the edge and walk it off the weeds to find bass hanging out waiting to ambush food. Cast it deep into the weed mat to find those big ones lurking under the thick. A frog lets you dissect the weeds thoroughly without hanging up or dragging them along with you.
Frogs work equally as well over top of submerged weeds. Walk your frog at various speeds to see what makes the fish react. You can try fishing the frog as quietly as you can, with no splash, or sometimes with as much bubbling and splashing as possible. With submerged weeds, you can work your frog from different angles, too. Cast parallel to the weed line to cover as much of the edge as possible. Work both the inside and outside edges with various speeds ands splashes to entice the fish to come to the top.
Shallow, still water just begs you to fish with a frog. Cast to shore and walk your frog back to you to find bass. Cast between lay downs, to the edge of shoreline vegetation. or against a wall. You can cover a lot of ground with a frog, so this is a good way to use it as a search bait. You can cast comfortable and confidently, too! Frogs rarely get hung up or stuck since they float on top.
Splash, Bubble, Walk and Pop
Frogs can be worked many ways. Aside from varying the speed at which you retrieve it, you can fish frogs stealthy and silent, or splashy and turbulent. I sometimes even like to walk my frog in place – just twitch the rod without reeling to coax any lazy bass to the top. I found that the warmer and clearer the water, the more silent and faster I get with the frog. Some frogs are designed with a cupped front to create a splash as you pop it along, some will make a “bloop” sound. Some have two “legs” and some have one. Either way, they all walk – that is, swim side to side with the rhythmic twitch of your rod. How slowly or quickly is up to you. Try to vary your retrieve each few casts to see what triggers the fish to bite.
Another way to fish a frog that is worth mentioning is to keep it still. I have a friend who swears by not moving her frog until all the ripples from it landing have disappeared. Then, she will start her retrieve, but quite often, she gets a bite before she ever begins to retrieve it. Another good time to just stop your frog is right before you pull it out of the water by the boat. Stop and just let it sit there. Be ready to set the hook, though – A fish that was following may smash it!
Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall
Frogs are multi-seasonal. You can catch bass with them all year long. In the Spring, I tend to walk my frog slower, with more side to side action. As the water warms up, I speed up my retrieve and twitch my rod quicker, so the frog makes quick little tight turns. If the water is dirty, I make the frog “noisy” by creating splashes and twitching the rod harder. In the Fall, I borrow my friend’s stop technique. Sometimes reeling and stopping will trigger a bass bite, too.
Just for the FUN of It!
In my humble opinion, you should ALWAYS have a frog tied on your rod for bass fishing! Its a great weedless option, and tons of fun when the bite comes. There are so many frog options out there – find a style or two that you can work easily and play with your technique. There’s no right or wrong way, just get to it and experience the thrill of a big bass smashing down on it. There’s nothing quite like a topwater bite!