First Published September 9, 2016
In writing the “Fishing Hollow Body Frogs” article, I quickly became aware how diverse the hollow body frog has been for me and I needed to write a continuation, Fishing a hollow body frog - advanced. I felt like I just scratched the surface about fishing a hollow body frog in the first article; quickly skimming through ideas to help beginning anglers fish a hollow body frog. The following information is geared towards anglers with more experience fishing a hollow body frog. There is a strong possibility anglers reading these tips have heard them before; they are important and deserve restating. These thoughts may also bring new ideas to the table for advanced frog anglers.
An angler’s ability to recognize the type of cover and the action being applied to the frog when a strike occurs is the key to establishing a successful pattern. Before I continue, let me preface by saying, the points covered are for a committed angler. This isn’t about fishing a hollow body frog for thirty minutes and putting the frog away because the “bite” wasn’t there. This information is for anglers who really want to become avid frog anglers and are willing to put in the time to improve their skillset.
In my first article, Fishing Hollow Body Frogs, I mentioned the different ways to work a hollow body frog on the surface. As a recap, a frog can be walked, chugged, pulsed, twitched, etc. What determines how a frog should be worked? The simple answer, listen to the bass. The following is an attempt to explain how bass talk to us.Fishing a Hollow Body Frog – When Active
When approaching an area, I feel a frog will perform well, I take a minute and observe. The power of observation is a critical skillset to possess while fishing; even more so when fishing a hollow body frog. Let me get more specific. When I approach a beautiful pad field, hydrilla patch, or fallen timber, the first thing I’m scanning for are signs of life.
I look for clues both above and below the water. When looking at the surface clues, I am looking for birds actively feeding, bait fish scattering or swimming around, as well as bass busting on the surface. When looking for clues under the water, I’m watching for movement within the cover I’m fishing. Let’s take the pad field as an example. When one or more stalks suddenly move or shutter, something moved the stalk. If pads begin to move in the direction of a frog, get ready, because a bass is coming full bore for it! A pad stalk moving, a bump on a submerged tree branch, or a swirl in hydrilla are all clues a bass are present and active. The point here is bass leave clues all the time, and by becoming finely tuned to these clues will help identify where a bass is hiding.
When bait fish are moving, birds are feeding, and cover is shuttering, are good indications the entire food chain in full swing. This is the time to use a walking, chugging, twitching, or pulsing type of action to draw strikes.Fishing a Hollow Body Frog – When Not Active
However, what about the opposite, when the food chain is not active. I realize not every outing is full of bass busting all over the place and chasing everything thrown at them. These next paragraphs of information are geared towards those days when the fishing is tough.
If there are signs of activity, yet the bass just don’t seem to be active, it’s time to become “spot specific”. Let’s take a hydrilla patch bordered by some pads and pieces of timber for example. Sounds like an awesome spot, right? Heck yeah, it is! This situation calls for finding the sweet spot. The sweet spot is the area inside the confluence of cover where I would believe a bass has the best chance of seeing and capturing a frog. After determining the best strike zone in the mix of cover, cast past it. Move the frog into the strike zone and don’t rush it out. This is where a light twitch and pop is perfect. If a bass is there, lightly twitching the frog a couple of times is usually all it takes to entice a strike.
Another example of a sweet spot is an ambush point. An ambush point is a place where the frog’s escape is obstructed by a solid piece of structure on one side and fish holding cover on the other. For example, having a line of pads in front of the boat, a patch of open water in the middle and the bank is the obstruction at the end of the cast. Casting to these spots and letting a frog sit, will illicit some unbelievable strikes. The key here is to make sure the frog is isolated and trapped in a spot.
On days when the strikes are few and far between, an inexperienced angler may believe the few strikes are random. I feel these are clues to an unforeseen pattern. Quickly figuring out the pattern can mean the difference between an average day and a very good day on the water.
The best advice I can provide when it comes to fishing a hollow body frog is patience and perseverance. This technique can be frustrating and rewarding from one second to the next. Frogging anglers become proficient at their craft because they have dedicated a lot of time to fishing the frog. Some days will be harder than others. Over the years my frog fishing really began to improve as I stumbled across the tips I’ve provided. The beauty of all of this is I am still a student and I am learning something new on each outing. I wish you the best of luck on your next frogging adventure.
Be sure to read my other article http://www.ultimatebass.com/bass-fishing-forum/index.php?topic=146100.msg1626713#msg1626713
by: Luis C. Lagrange