Using frog lures or baits is one of the more exciting aspects of fishing for bass. It’s an entirely visual thing, especially when using topwater frog baits. Bass go after them with a vengeance, often creating some pretty wild and explosive results when they hit the water’s surface at breakneck speeds.
Frog baits are one of the more popular setups for bass fishing. Whether you are using a popping frog in heavy cover or a walking frog over open water, it’s one of the most exciting ways to catch bass.
Plus, frog baits just look awesome. There are a ton of colors and sizes to choose from, with several intuitive actions frog baits allow for. It provides anglers with an innovative and exciting approach to bass fishing. However, to catch bass on frog baits, you need to learn the when, where, and how.
Tips for Topwater Frog Fishing
The popping and walking adjectives for frog baits refer to their actions on the water. Walking frog baits use side-to-side action via carefully controlled movements from the angler. Poppers make a distinct popping sound, thanks to the design of the mouth, which comes into play below.
1. The right bait for the right place
Walking frogs are best on open water, where you don’t have to deal with a lot of lily pads, and other surface vegetation. Creating a distinct and alluring side-to-side action is best when there is nothing there to interrupt the movements.
Mid-range and small walking frogs are best if you just want to bring home dinner. Much larger ones, like the MonsterBass Patriot 3.0, are for those who want to bring home a giant trophy or set records.
Popper frogs are great for areas with more obstructions and topwater vegetation, but that’s not the only reason—it’s not even the main reason to pull out a popper. Poppers may a clear popping sound as you work the bait. The popping sound is designed to imitate Blue Gill feasting on surface insects.
It lures the bass in by tricking it into instinctively going after something that isn’t there, except for your frog bait, of course. Some anglers make a distinction between a “popping” frog and a “popper” frog. Poppers are a little more difficult to skip across the surface than popping frogs.
Also, a popping frog does a much better job of imitating a wounded baitfish or one in distress.
2. Use vegetation to your advantage
Bass simply can’t help themselves. If you are good enough to create a hopping action with a popping frog, you need to use that whenever heavy vegetation is present. To the bass, it’s completely natural to instinctively go after a frog hopping from lily pad to lily pad.
Alternatively, whenever weeds are present, work a walking frog bait through them in a “skimming” action.
3. Areas with overhanging trees or sunken driftwood
If you are an accurate caster, working a popping frog around lay-downs and overhanging trees should be a cinch. Mimic the hopping frog over and around the obstacles. Frog bait doesn’t sink quickly, so give it a rest between jumps.
4. Cut your walking frog bait
If you cut one leg shorter on a walking frog bait, leaving the other leg as is, it creates a more natural side-to-side action in the water, especially if you are already good at working your bait.
What Color Frog Works Best for Bass
The state of the water is a big determining factor when you choose the color of your frog bait. When the water is dark and muddy, go with bright and vibrant colors. When the water is crystal clear, stick with something more subtle and dark.
Now, some anglers would suggest you do the exact opposite. The vegetation and your choice of frog bait action matter as well. White frogs are excellent when you are trying to imitate an injured shad amongst the surface vegetation. It’s also the go-to choice when bass are hitting the shad frequently.
Black seems to work very well as an effective bluegill imitator, especially when you’re in the vegetation. Dark, flashy green, and brown are just as effective for this type of action. The best thing to do is collect several frog baits in different colors and sizes for any occasion.
When is Best to Throw a Frog for Bass
In terms of the time of day, most anglers say it’s best to stick with the early morning hours and late afternoon. Overcast days are great for frog baits as well. On a bright and sunny day, use a popping frog on the lily pads. Bass swim underneath them when the sun is glaring down pretty hard.
Only reach for frog baits when the weather is warmer than 60°F. In the middle of the summer months, night fishing with frog baits is a good option as well. You’re not limited to frogs only in the summertime, as it would seem to be the logical timeframe.
You can use them all year long since many frog baits imitate other actions besides ones that are inherently frog. Of course, once the temp drops too low, it’s time to hang them up for the season, unless you are using it to imitate distressed shad or bluegill.
Frog baits are very versatile because you don’t just have to use them to imitate frog action on the surface. There are sinking frogs out there, but topwater fishing is the best use of them for now, at least until someone comes up with something new.
Any seasoned angler will tell you that you can throw frog lures any time and any day. There is a high level of versatility with them, and you will find some use for these baits, regardless of the weather.
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