What a fun time of year to fish! In most parts of the country, bass are finishing up with spawning. This leads to awesome fishing as bass feed up after coming off the beds. You will find very aggressive fry guarders, often times a shad spawn, and also fish roaming the banks feeding on bluegill and other forage.
There are many ways to catch these hungry and aggressive bass, and a hollow-body frog is one of the most fun and effective techniques. A frog duplicates many different types of baitfish, it can be fished through a wide variety of cover, and it flat out puts big fish in the boat!
There are many different styles, sizes and colors of frogs on the market. When choosing, think about the forage, the type of cover and the size of fish you are targeting. My favorite frog is a 13 Fishing Trash Panda. It comes in a walking model and a popping model in a variety of colors.
A fry guarder is a bass guarding a big ball of tiny bass hatchlings. These bass are extremely aggressive and territorial and will chase and eat pretty much any fish that gets near the babies. In this scenario, I go down banks through areas where bass have recently spawned. I stay off the cover and cast a frog through it. I like a bluegill-colored walking frog in this scenario, which means the lure will have a yellow or orange belly. Bluegill are a common nemesis to the bass and their fry. This color pattern drives bass crazy when they spot it near their babies.
Often, you can find a shad spawn in the low light of early mornings and evenings. Look for birds lined up along the banks to find spawning shad. The shad often relate to hard cover (rocks and wood), grass lines and slow tapering points. A shad-colored popping frog in a white or silver color is an awesome lure to pick up bass feeding on shad. With the hollow-body frog being so weedless, it can be thrown where many other baits would get hung up. These are the places where shad spawns occur.
A hollow-body frog is an awesome way to cover a lot of water, and it can produce some extremely fun topwater strikes. Whether you’re targeting late spawners, fry guarders or fish that are on the feed, a frog puts fish in the boat this time of year.
Frog Fishing Gear: Typically, you will be fishing a frog around some type of heavy cover, which calls for some heavy gear.
I like to throw a 13 Fishing 7’4H Omen Black rod paired with a Concept A 8.3 reel spooled with Seaguar 50-pound Smackdown braid. This setup allows you to haul fish out of heavy cover and into the boat!
Tyler Woolcott is a professional tournament angler and guide. Check out his website at www.tylerwoolcottfishing.com.