Much like the French, bass love a mouthful of fresh frog! In fact, frogs and other amphibians make up a large proportion of both largemouth and smallmouth bass’s diet in many bodies of water. Because of this, soft plastic frog lures may be the most exhilarating way to fish for bass and pike.
There are few things more exciting than slowly retrieving your lure in anticipation of a big topwater blowout.
There are several types of frog lures available, from sinking soft plastics to crankbaits, but this post will focus on the most popular type – soft plastic topwater lures. These have been around for years, and are increasingly popular among all types of freshwater anglers.
Read on for a detailed explanation on how to fish a frog lure, and some of the best frog lures for bass fishing.
Quick Answer: 4 Best Frog Lures for Bass Fishing
Fishing with a topwater frog lure (or “frogging” as it’s often called) involves casting floating soft plastic frogs over heavy weeds, lily pads, and vegetation. Frog lures imitate the silhouette of a frog on the surface of the water, presenting an irresistible target to bass, pike, muskie and other freshwater fish.
When it comes to frogging, the name of the game is patience. Frogs don’t hop around constantly in nature, so neither should your lure. A long slow retrieve with periodic jerks will imitate the natural movement of a frog.
Topwater frog lures utilize a collapsible soft plastic hollow body, allowing you to cast them into the thickest of weeds without getting snagged. The hooks face upwards and are shielded by the legs and body of the frog, preventing your lure from getting caught up in weeds or lily pads. When a bass strikes your lure, the soft plastic body collapses, exposing the hooks and allowing you to hook the fish.
4 Best Frog Lures for Bass Fishing
How to fish a frog lure?
Fishing a frog lure is all about patience. Unlike fish or insects, frogs aren’t constantly moving in nature, so neither should your lure.
Start out by casting into thick weedy areas or on top of lily pads. Many anglers like to cast directly onto the shore or nearby logs/rocks, and then begin retrieving by loudly flopping the lure into the water. The loud flop will act to attract nearby fish – imitating a frog’s natural behavior.
Your retrieve should be slow – with frequent pauses to imitate the motion of a frog hopping from one lily pad to another.
Bass will generally strike on the pause, so make sure to pause for several seconds between each jerking motion. Try to place the lure in open spaces in between vegetation when you’re pausing. This will allow any nearby bass to clearly see your lure and hopefully entice a strike.
When you do get a strike, don’t try to set the hook immediately. The initial strike is typically used to stun the frog – which the bass will fully swallow after it’s confident the bait is stunned. You’ll want to wait until you can feel the line begin to move, indicating the bass has fully swallowed your lure.
Keep in mind that frog lures have lower hookup ratios than other lures. Don’t get frustrated if you’re not hooking bass right away – it often takes a little trial and error until you get the technique down.
While you might not catch as many bass as you would with Senko worms, the excitement of a bass absolutely blowing up your lure more than makes up for the lower hookup ratio. In fact, if I had to pick just one style of bass fishing, I’d probably go with topwater frogging!
Frog Lure Tackle
When fishing frog lures it’s important to use the right tackle. Many anglers will blame their lure when they can’t hook any bass, but in reality, they should be blaming their tackle.
You’ll want a fairly beefy rod with enough stiffness to muscle fish out of thick weeds and vegetation. A good choice would be the KastKing Royale Legend Medium Heavy 7’3”. Lengthwise, you’ll want to go with a 7-foot rod or longer. The added length will give you more leverage and allow you to cast your lure further.
Pair the rod with a decent baitcasting reel and you’ll have a pretty stout setup capable of long casts – allowing you to cover more surface area.
As far as line is concerned, heavier braid is the way to go. Whenever you’re fishing around heavy cover and vegetation you’ll want to use a line with good durability and abrasion resistance. Braids lack of stretch also helps with driving the hook into the fish’s jaw.
50-pound test should suffice for most environments, but if you’re fishing some serious slop then you may want to up it to 65 lb test. Power Pro Spectra 50 LB is an excellent overall option.
Fishing with frog lures can be a little challenging for beginners – these tips should help you get started catching more bass!
- Reel the lure all the way back to your boat. Often times, bass will follow your lure away from cover and strike once you’re in open water.
- Frogs with legs work better than those without. The legs make your lure look more lifelike, increasing the number of strikes and hookup ratio.
- If your frog’s legs get destroyed (as will inevitably happen with enough use), you can replace them by gluing plastic tubing or streamers. Make sure to glue it well so no water can leak into the body of the frog.
- Experiment with a few different colors. Generally, you’ll want at least three main colors to test out. White, brown/black, and green should give you enough variety to entice bass in different weather and cover environments.
- Play around with different leg lengths. You can easily modify the legs by trimming them shorter. This can increase you’re hookup ratio, as the fish will be more likely to strike the body of the frog, rather than just the legs.
Check out this video for an in-depth look at topwater frog fishing:
I’ve loved being in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. I grew up fishing, canoeing, and camping throughout the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. It’s what lead me to start this site and share my passions for fishing, diving, kayaking and more. Nowadays you can find me writing about my passions or (preferably!) preparing for my next outdoor adventure.