By Teddy Carr
I like hot sticky weather for a good froggin’ bite, but of course that has been in short supply in Virginia thus far, but we have a ways to go before we give way to autumn. This weather scenario is also not an absolute or a hard and fast rule for froggin’ either there are plenty of fish being caught on a frogg right now.
Seeing how I like to proclaim myself somewhat an expert on this style of fishing (note self proclamation) I want to pass on to you some of my knowledge and techniques. First it should be called Breamin’ instead of froggin’ because the bite has nothing to do with a bass eating a frog. A frog bite has everything to do with bass feeding on bream as it all relates to emergent vegetation. Any strike or blow-up on a frog in open water is nothing more than a topwater bite. I don’t think I’ve ever used a soft bodied frog in any other situation other than over heavy vegetation such as milfoil, coontail, or pads etc. Focusing in on that premise lets explore my philosophy on the gig a little. Because I fish the tidal Potomac more these days most of what I’m writing to you is how it relates to that particular body of water but I believe it carries over to other lakes and rivers as well. First bass have a lot to feed on during the summer but they have to make a choice on where they want to eat it or where they want to call home. Bass that want to feed on white perch and the soft bodied shad families will spend more time out in front of a grass bed or along the edge of a pad field. In other words they feel right at home in an open water environment. Bass that decide to call the confines of a weed bed it’s home feel right at home in the thick jungle of weeds and a menu of crayfish, yellow perch, small minnows, and bream is just fine by them.
Which frog, When?
I always start with a moving frog like a YUM Money Frog or a Bass Pro Humpin’ Toad, if I get bit I stay with it. The choice out of the gate is a simple one for me, I choose the moving frog because I’m a power fisherman and I like to cover as much water as I can as fast and efficiently as I can. The moving or swimming variety as some refer to it excels when the bass are on an active bream beat down. One of the tells that a beat down is happening or about to happen is when you hear that popping or sucking sound coming from the grass bed. That sound is coming from bream feeding on critters that are living on the under side of the vegetation. The preoccupied bream is an easy target for well concealed bass that is hungry. A moving frog taps into the reactionary nature of a bass in this situation, oh its a lovely thing! Also on a side note if the strike is violent probably means the bass was positioned under the bait on the bottom, if the strike is light or if the bass basically humps up on the lure means it was positioned just under the surface. I know I don’t have a life I just set around in my bass zone analyzing such things. If the bass are in a non aggressive mood then a popping frog or regular frog is probably the wiser choice. My favorite two are the Booyah Pad Crasher and the Booyah Pad Crasher Popper.
I always use darker colors like green-pumpkin, dark watermelon, or black. I like to accent them with some orange or yellow.
I use a 7′ 6″ med-hvy rod for all my frog presentations. The soft tip allows the fish to load up without detecting you and then you have the backbone to drive the hook home and the power to pull his head up and get the old boy coming your way. I use 65-pound Bass Pro braid as my fishing line of choice, heavy and no stretch attached to a 6/0 heavy off set shank hook if using a swimming frog. As for a reel you want one that has a real heavy duty drag system then lock that baby down so a freight train couldn’t pull line from it. Then go to work. We have begun our 4-hour frog trips if you’re interested contact us and we would be more than happy to show you up close and personal some breamin’