THIS ONE ate the Bronze-eye

There are two things that particularly hamper the expansion of tools and methods to our arsenals. One is the prospect of adding new (and perhaps expensive) gear to our collection, and the other is trying to figure out if we’ll actually use the stuff the method requires.

We certainly saw this with swimbaits–especially the mega versions. Many of us looked at what rods we had that could handle those chunks and we sort of mentally excused ourselves. Specialty gear came on the scene, of course, but perhaps the best thing the lure makers did was produce more smaller baits–then we had no excuses.

I see a bit of a parallel in frog fishing. But instead of massive equipment adjustments or tackle additions (except for the braided line) the issue arises in the lower half of the state as to how much frog water do we have?

TYPICAL SOCAL frog water...

No one argues the hot beds of frog fishing are Upstate’s Delta and Clear Lake, and to the east, much of the lower Colorado River from Havasu southward. But in the smaller reservoirs, we don’t have “stretches,” we have little pockets. True, you can fish the frog in “semi open” water, but sorry, I already have $300 worth of topwaters for that–and they have better hooking qualitites.

Nonetheless, when we work our way back into “corners” or hidden nooks in many of our lakes, we see some pretty tempting targets. Those absolutely deserve a few casts. So what might be some helpful information?

San Diego’s John Wick, who’s been quite successful on DVL, and is in the upper tier of anglers in the Everstart Series, suggested, “You kind of need to know how your frog behaves in the water.”

The solid plastisol frogs (Horny Toad, Ribbitt, Sizmic, etc) that require rigging on a 4/0 or 5/0 wide gap (with or without a weight on the shank) may require some experimenting. Just the bulk of the plastic alone will affect how one of these works. For example, said Wick, “I don’t think the larger Stanley (Ribbitt) walks as well as the smaller one,” in that case, without a weighted hook.

That might be good to know.

JOHN WICK with a Lake Skinner frog fish...

Of course, due to the success of former San Diegan Dean Rojas and his signature frog from Spro, there has been quite surge in national sales with his as well as all the other top brands. But Dean’s bait does have some positive attributes of its own. As Wick noted on a recent trip to Lake Skinner, comparing a couple of brands of frogs, “The Spro comes over stuff a lot easier.”

When you see the bait move on a tight line, it’s apparent the head rises up and that’s what leads the bait over laydown reeds, flooded sticks, or flotsam commonly found in the out-of-the-way pockets.

The good news in all this is, you can probably set aside the price of Triple Trout and get yourself an array of hollow and solid baits, and a spool of 50/65-pound braid to kick-start your frog-fishing career. There are lots of experienced guys out there or on the web that can provide some helpful information.

In fact, I hope some will offer their comments here.


8 Responses to “Frog thoughts from not-so-frog waters”

Only $300 worth of topwaters? George, you’re slacking.

by George Kramer

Yeah, and I bought my Hula Poppers when they only cost two bucks! 🙂

George, why would you put a weighted hook on the frog(in reference to Horny Toad types)? I understand the purpose of getting longer casts from the weight but doesn’t it hang up in the slop? In Florida we fish a ton of frogs and Ultravibe Speed Worms. Gambler baits has a rubber core bullet weight called the Florida rig weight. The rubber pegs the weight in place and a 1/16oz or 1/8oz weight in front of a frog is the norm and they bait isn’t pulled below the surface when working it.

by George Kramer

Craig, that’s just the kind of input I was looking for. As for the weighted hooks, it may for stuff you can fish faster through or over as well. I’m sure not the authority…just looking for a few good ideas for my limited frogging. Thanks.

Or you can use the Sebile weight system.

by art bailey

I use a special 6/0 hook re bent to fit the Horney Toad. The hook is made by Ohio Pro Lure. The hook also has a keeper wire on the eye to hold the nose of the bait. I use a bobber stopper in front of a 1/8 oz tungsten bullet weight on 65 lb Diawa Samurai Braid. I use this method to fish the toad subsurface like a spinnerbait. You can also throw it on Mats and it will drop in the openings/holes. Fun way to catch them at the Delta.

by Jojo Norwood.

Same here in Up-State SC… frog’n But I keep a Kistler 7′-3″ Frog/Slop rod w/ 65# braid on a 4600C4 Rigged up in the box. We had really good luck w/ a Ribet @ Guntersville AL , but the Spro seems to work better here in our small frog spots. I treat the Ribbet like a very weedless Buzzbait where the Spro frog is like a “work-in-1-spot” topwater. Russell finally got full this spring and both types worked some. I use a 5/0 Owner spring type hook in the Ribbet and I cut 1.5 inches off the Spro Frogs rubber legs….makes it “walk” better

Love that Diawa Samurai, it’s very smooth