One of the techniques that is really just a go to technique for big fish and also shallow water fish is frogging. There are all kinds of frogs. Techniques that are specific to shallow water sometimes work really well and you really need to look at the conditions.
We’ve got a bright bluebird day today and when you look at that you’re thinking, “How am I going to catch a fish on a frog?” A lot of people think I’ve got to go in the morning, the afternoon, and I can’t catch them during the day.
What we’re going to do today is go along a bank and try to catch some fish in the shade cover. That’s really critical. A frog is a great bait in skinny water particularly where you’ve got a lot of cover.
There are all kinds of different frogs to use. This is ZOOM Horny Toad and basically it is a bait you could throw like a buzzbait. It’s a fast moving bait, little legs kick, and it’s subtle because it doesn’t make a bunch of racket.
That’s a really good bait for that. Also the Snag Proof Poppin’ Frog is a neat frog to be able to throw. We’ve got two very different ones, which are both contrasting, a black one and a white one. I’m going to be throwing this in the shadows and hopefully I’m going to able to get it in some shade.
What I want to do is I’m going to start with the black one; but I may end up going to the white one because the shad spawn. I may look at that and say hey that’s really a good way to go. The other types of frogs are walking frogs.
This happens to be a Snag Proof as well, but it’s a walking frog. You can make it walk from side to side to be able to catch more fishing. It’s just one of those things where you’ve got to let the fish tell you what they’re doing.
But I’m going to get in some heavy cover today and throw this thing back in the shallow water. These fish are in pre spawn, post-spawn, and spawning, and we’re going to see if we can catch a few fish in that heavy cover.
The whole bottom line is that you’re looking for a way to be able to get those fish to react to something that they like, which is a frog. When it comes to rigging a frog I’ve got a couple little tips I would like to give you.
Honestly I think it makes a difference and makes you able to get more bites. What you do is you’re going to pick your frog. We’re going to pick the black frog because that’s the one we’re going to throw first.
Of course we’re going to just tie it on like you would. I like using the same knot on everything so I’m going to use the San Diego Jam Knot. I’m going to juts put that on, put it threw there, I’m going to cinch it down, and that’s my knot.
So I’ve got my knot done. But one of the things I do that I think is a huge advantage is I tie a permanent felt tip marker and I’m going to mark this line probably 3-4 feet. Just darken that line in so it becomes invisible.
You have to do this 2-3 times during the day typically. You may not have to go much more than that. But just darken that line so it becomes invisible to the fish and he doesn’t become line shy. It’s a big time advantage because when this frog is walking it’s thrown in there and it looks more natural and I think the fish will bite it better.
This frog box I carry a variety of colors. It really is indicative of what kind of conditions your fishing. You’ll have the browns, the darker colors, this is almost a shad color, and you’ve just got to carry a variety of colors and let the fish tell you what they want.
Shade lines are critical. If you look at these bushes it bright and sunny out here but back in these little tucked in areas like this spot right here it’s shady. So you’re looking to say okay if I was fish would he be out he cursing around or would he back in those bushes next to the shade.
Personally I believe they’re going to be back in the shade. So I’m going to get every bait as far as I can back in there and see if I can get one to bite. One of the things some people do is they work a frog too fast.
What I try to do always is give that frog a little time in the strike zone. You look for a piece of wood or something that may be something that will hold a fish; but on the same token a lot of times you don’t have to work it.
The action of frog a lot of times a frog doesn’t come skipping across the water. He may sit, move a little bit, sit, move a little bit, sit, move a little bit, and a lot of times dead sticking a frog can be huge.
You can catch a lot of fish just dead sticking it. What that means is you allow the frog just to sit there. For a guy that’s just getting into fishing you can come in here and probably make a few mistakes with other baits and you’re going to be aggravated with it.
The neat thing about this is this bait casts like a crankbait; casts like a jig, and you can put it in places you can’t with that other stuff. If you’re a guy just really starting out; this is a really good technique to do that with because you can’t really make a mistake that’s going to hurt you.
Your going to be able to put the bait exactly where you want to under a tree or bush and not be concerned that you’re going to get hung up. So it’s a really good starter technique. It’s one of those that I would recommend.
If you don’t fish and you’re just starting out; start out with a frog. You’ll be able to learn the flippin’ and pitching and all that will come afterwards. But this gets the bait in the right cover at the right time.
When you see that bait in the water it looks like so many living things. It’s just something that looks like a mouse maybe, in Illinois we have moles, and it looks like something they should be eating.
A little baby black bird for example. It just looks like something they can eat. The main reason you throw it is because you’re trying to imitate something natural. I think the coolest thing about frog fishing is you’re tricking a fish with a piece of plastic.
It doesn’t get any better than that. If you can trick a fish to get him in the boat and take a boat ride with you, there is nothing better than tricking him with a piece of plastic. You can take live bait up in there and you’re probably going to be able to catch fish because that’s what he is used to eating.
But if you’re able to trick him with a piece of plastic that’s the deal. That’s the best deal going in my opinion. This is a totally unique bait and the main reason is it’s collapsible and its got really good hooks in it.
But you can throw it up in a bush and not worry about it getting hung up because it’s sort of weedless. It’s not completely weedless because you can get stuff on it. But 99% of the stuff you throw it into you can get it out of the bush without a problem whatsoever.
When you make your cast one of the neat things about a frog is you’re able to throw it in some really heavy stuff and not get hung up. A Texas Rig, a jig, or some of that stuff you have to be more precise.
You can take a frog can take a frog a lot of the time and throw it way up in the tree and be able to pull that frog out. Even if you’ve made a bad cast you’ll be able to get that frog out. This is one of those techniques that allows you to do that.
With a frog you can throw it pretty much anywhere you want to up in a tree. I like to do a roll cast too because in this low hanging stuff you’re wanting to throw it underneath it. I also use braid typically all the time in this kind of cover because you don’t want him to run back underneath the tree.
You want to be able to get him out of the tree and be able to pull him out of there so he’s coming out towards you when he bites it. Probably something a lot of guys miss is the combination you use to frog fish.
I use braid all of the time. Typically I’ll go down as low as 30Ib test, but I like 65Ib. I also like to have a very stiff rod and a 6:4 or higher gear ratio. The reason for that is when that fish eats it, you want to be able to get him out of the cover and pull him as quick as you can back to the boat.
If you don’t have a high gear ratio reel you can’t do that. So you’re trying to make a good cast, lay it there, let it sit for a second, and then be able to have a gear ratio reel that allows you to be able to get it out of heavy cover if the fish gets in it.
It’s just really a cadence issue. It’s get the bait where it is supposed to be, have the right rod and reel, have the right line, and you’ll be able to catch them better. I’m going to look in here because one of the things I really like to do is scope out a dock.
The main reason for that is there’s little places positioned on the dock where a fish could be. I always want to try to get in the shade first. Get it underneath that dock and get it in the shade. Right there is a great spot for that.
A lot of times you don’t have to work the bait. You’ve juts got to let it sit there. I love it frog fishing! Nothing better! He ate it too. He stuck it right in the top his head, which is the way you want to catch them.
What a great hookup. This is the way this bait is engineered; it collapses, you’re able to get the hook right in the top of their mouth, and it won’t come off. What a great way to catch a fish with a frog!