A Hot Technique for the Hot Weather

By Dave Duwe - August 1, 2010
During the heat of August, you may hear the term, the "dog days" of summer. However, I believe it should really be called the frog days of summer. Late summer is the best time to fish Largemouth bass on plastic frogs. Avid bass anglers have known about frog fishing for years.

There are two types of frogs. There is the old type, like Snag-Proof or Spro Bronzeye and these are the top choice for many anglers. They are typically hollow plastic with a couple of hooks and tentacles to imitate frog legs. These frogs are usually fished in a "slop" area of the lake. Slop is a vegetative mat, comprised of grass, moss and duck weed.

Over time there are always improvements and there are now new lures to help catch more fish. With innovation, Tackle companies produced a new wave of frogs, the "buzz frogs." Buzz frogs are a more versatile lure, with the ability to fish slop and open water. The buzz frogs are soft plastic with paddles or wings for legs, that create a lot of their own action. To rig the buzz frog the best way is a Texas rig. It requires the use of a #4/0 wide gap hook. You want to push the tip of the hook about 1/4 inch down the nose and bring it through burying the hook into the frog. My choice of buzz frogs are Berkley Bat Wing Frogs or Yum's Money frogs. They come in a myriad of colors. All will work under certain conditions, however I usually choose black. It is the color I have the most confidence in.

The equipment needed to fish frogs is critical. A bait caster spooled with at least a 50 lb super braid like Berkeley's Fireline or Spiderwire. The Fireline will have a better ability to cut through weeds while allowing a much better hook set. The most appropriate pole will be a 7 ft heavy action rod.

The best location for buzz frogs are the "edges" within a lake, such as the edges of lily pads or the edge of bullrushes. Don't neglect fishing around boat docks. They are simple to fish. My preferred retrieve is a slow steady retrieve with an occasional pause. You are trying to mimic the swimming of a frog. One of the most important keys in fishing frogs near shore structure is banging the frog off the bank or vegetative mat. You are trying to imitate a real frog entering the water from shore. The slapping sound on the water or slop mat sounds like a jumping frog.

The hardest part of fishing frogs is the hook set. Typically the excitement of a bass exploding onto the surface makes you react with an instant hook set. This is typical, but it is still the wrong move. The right thing to do is wait until the fish eats it - make sure you wait until you can feel the fish on the line. This gives you an opportunity to take in the slack line before setting the hook. Also, if the fish misses the frog the first time, many times they will come back and try again.

Whether fishing heavy vegetative mats or lily pad coves, the bass are waiting for you. Try either the buzz frog or the old stand by. Enjoy the frog days of summer.

Author Dave Duwe
Dave Duwe
Full-time guide Dave Duwe owns and operates Dave Duwe's Guide Service, featuring the lakes of Walworth County, WI. Dave has been guiding for over 20 years and is one of Southeastern Wisconsin's best multi-species anglers. Dave is an accomplished outdoor writer and seminar speaker. He is a member of the Great Lakes Outdoor Writers Association and Walworth County Visitor Bureau. Sponsors include: Lund Boats(Jerry's Sport Service Inc.), Mercury Marine, Arkie Jigs, and Vexilar Marine Electronics, a pro-staff member of Minn-Kota trolling motors,Hummingbird graphs, Cannon downriggers, Lindy, Pure Fishing and All Terrain Tackle. For more information, please check out Dave's website www.fishlakegeneva.com .