Frog Fishing for Bass: Everything You Need to Know
Jump ahead to:
- A Look at Frog Lures
- How to Effectively Fish Frog Lures for Bass
- Five Top Tips for Using Frog Lures
One of the most exciting and visual ways to fish for bass is using a frog lure. Seeing bass bust through the surface and destroy your lure creates unrivaled adrenaline. So, what is the most fun lure to catch largemouth bass on? The frog takes the cake.
Frog fishing can be difficult for beginners, as there is a level of skill and intuition needed to increase bites. As with working any lure, this learning curve requires knowledge and practice. In this article, we’ll run through everything you need to know on how to fish a frog lure for bass and how you can take advantage of the fun topwater opportunities out there.
Booyah’s signature frog is the Pad Crasher – a hollow bodied frog (the most common type of frog lure). Lunkerhunt, on the other hand, specializes in traditional soft bodied and higher realism frogs that are unique.
There are tons of other frog brands out there, some older and some newer, but these two produce several of the most respected frogs of all time. Check out our list of top frog lures here.
My Pad Crasher frog lure from Booyah
How Do Frog Lures Work?
Working a soft bodied frog like the Pad Crasher is all about pace and motion. Frog lures “walk” along the water’s surface to imitate the action of a real frog swimming. You shoot the frog side-to-side as you retrieve the lure and twitch your rod. While walking the frog, bass become interested in the disturbance and take a bite. Different frogs will have different action, but the principle behind them is very similar.
An awesome largemouth bass falling to a frog lure
When to Use Frog Lures
As with any bass fishing presentation, certain conditions lend themselves well to certain approaches. Frogs, in particular, require specific situations and circumstances. If those stars do not align, you could be in for a long day of frogging.
Bass bursting out of the water’s surface unprompted is one of the most promising signs that frogging success is ahead. This happens when the bass are feeding, with early mornings and evenings being the best times. Tap into natural feeding times and habits on your local water to increase blow-ups on your frog.
Go frog fishing for bass when there are thick pads or other features that would naturally harbor frogs. This includes lily pads, floating algae, or other natural features. Targeting these areas and the areas around them will help you tap into the natural feeding patterns of bass.
When to Avoid Using Frog Lures
Although frog fishing is gratifying, it is not always the most effective presentation. Generally, topwater fishing dies down around the middle of the day. This is especially true in the summer, as temperatures soar and bass are often found deeper down in the water column, enjoying those lower water temperatures.
There are some opportunities to use frogs in open water, but these are generally rare. This is because open water is usually deeper and, by definition, is in the middle of a body of water. Bass and frogs prefer to sit in or near structures, so trying to harbor a topwater bite in open, deep water is tricky. Instead, target shorelines and structures, or switch to a different topwater lure with more action.
One of my favorite brown frog lures
How to Effectively Fish Frog Lures for Bass
The first step to effectively frog fish for bass is to assemble the right gear. Casting setups beat out spinning setups when it comes to rods and reels. This is due to the drag locking systems that allow for better twitching and action.
Braided line is the best line for frog fishing because there is no stretch. If you use monofilament or fluorocarbon, they will stretch out and weaken over time.
Once you rig up your frog and have assembled all your gear, you should find a spot that makes for good frog fishing. Key aspects to look for include floating structures like algae and lily pads, as this is where frogs naturally live.Frogs are excellent for targeting largemouth bass. They will bank smallmouths too, but if smallmouth bass are what you’re after, small poppers and other topwater lures are generally more effective.
The time of year matters. If you can sight fish, look to hit bedding bass during the spawn and pre-spawn periods with your frog. If you frog fish too late in the year, bass will be too lazy to hit topwater.
Nothing quite beats a violent surface take
Five Top Tips for Using Frog Lures
1. Find a Cadence
The number one topwater frog bass fishing tip that you must consider is simple – pace is everything. When you find a consistent and successful cadence, stick with it. We mentioned pace and cadence in the previous section, but getting it right is our biggest tip for effectively using frog lures.
To contrast this a little bit, break up the cadence slightly once you get comfortable with it. When you have the frog walking, you can throw in a couple of breaks and stops to add a natural flow to the presentation.
Find Out! describes the specific way in which frogs swim. The hind legs extend out to propel the frog forward. Good lures imitate the legs and this movement.
2. Use a Popping Frog
As the name suggests, a popping frog is the combination of a frog with a popper. Essentially, it is a hollow bodied frog with a cupped mouth. The result is a frog lure that shoots water forward when jerked, creating an exciting disturbance in the water.
Popping frogs are great to switch to if your standard frog lure turns stale. They create more displacement, so if bites start to fade away, that extra action can be the deciding factor. They are also great in low visibility conditions, where extra commotion and noise help bring in bites.
A popping frog lure from Booyah
3. Employ Sight Fishing Tactics
Simply put, you cannot see under mats and structures, so sight fishing when you can is super beneficial. Especially during the spawn, look out for bass under beds and in certain areas; this will help you target your lure in a more specific way. The best way to do this is from a boat when fishing in clear water, but you may have to play the cards you are dealt. Look for breaks in structure and points on the bank.
4. Longer Casts Are Better
Fishing is all about patience, and frog fishing for bass is no exception. Even compared to other lure types, such as crankbaits, frogs are slow and require a lot of patience to get the most from.
Long casts are advisable, as they maximize the chance of getting a bite. As long as you can maintain a steady cadence through the whole retrieve, get the frog as far away as possible. The more water you can cover, the more bites that can come.
5. Use a Heavier Rod
Casting gear is optimal for frog fishing, providing excellent drag control and strength for setting the hook and working the frog. When it comes to your rod, many anglers tend to beef up the backbone and use a heavier one. A medium-heavy or heavy rod gives the frog good action and enough power for a strong hook set.
If you use a rod that is not heavy enough, the hooksets will be weak, and the cadence will not be as consistent.
Frog fishing for bass is a super fun and visual way to spend an afternoon. Using a frog lure to take advantage of a feeding window leads to nonstop action that will create lifelong fishing memories. Hopefully, the information we’ve provided on how to fish a frog for bass has convinced you to get out there. Good luck and tight lines!