Fishing with Frogs

fishing with frogs

Every summer my family and friends get together to go fishing with frogs.  When it is cooler in the early months, we use plastic worms to go after monster bass.  When the summer rolls around, the bullfrog hatch causes a change in the food source for bass.  At the same time, moss and lily pads take over much of our fishable water from the shore.  This is the time when fishing with frogs makes sense.

We enjoy going out at dusk and catching a bucket of smaller frogs.  We then spend the night in the boat catching fish with our bait.  There are lots of plusses to fishing with frogs, but there is a technique.  Today we will discuss why frog fishing might help you catch more bass during the heat of the summer. summer long.

Fishing With Frogs: The Top Three Lure Options

While there is some fun to be found in catching frogs and using them for bait, it is not always an ideal situation for those involved. You will need a way to keep the frogs alive, and that is not always possible. Besides, there is one more thing to consider 

What if you cannot find any frogs?

When there is a definite lack of frogs to be found for bait, do not get discouraged. There are plenty of excellent frog fishing lures that mimic the frog to everything but the croak. We assure you that getting one or more of these fine lures in your tackle gear will certainly help you land more fish, and, because the frog is a huge bait, you will likely land much bigger fish to boot.

Frog fishing lures

There are plenty of frog lures on the market. All are designed to catch fish, but most of them catch the angler by the pocket moreso than the fish targeted. However, a bit of selective hunting will help you find the perfect frog lure to meet your specific needs.

Best frog lure

1. Croch Hollow Body Frog Lure Weedless Topwater Kit (18 PCS) –

This is the best frog lure set at Amazon.com and for excellent reason. The angler picks up 18 different colors of frog patterns for less than $20.00. This comes out to a little over $1.00 a lure, and that is an amazing price.

These frogs feature a dual hook system that is turned up and onto the frog’s body, making the lure virtually weedless yet with enough weight for a decent cast, flip or pitch into heavy cover — where the frog is most likely to reside. If one color does not work, switch out for another.

2. Double Propellers Frogs Soft Bait 

This frog imitation is a bit on the pricey side, so fishing it with heavy tackle is highly recommended. While it does not come in a variety of colors, this frog lure makes up for it with realistic leg action.

The bait is also super soft, so a fish is much more likely to bite and hold on for the angler to set the hook. Often with frog lures, it is best to allow the fish to mouth the lure for a moment or two before setting the hook.

3. Lunkerhunt Lunker Frog

This frog is quite possibly the best single lure available. The price is certainly steep, but the frog’s look, function and action mimics the real thing almost flawlessly. Flawlessly enough to tempt the angler’s specific quarry, anyway.

The only drawback is the cost — almost $8.00 per color, but the price should take a back seat to the effectiveness of the lure. If you are looking for the best frog lure on the market, you may be hard pressed to find better.

Frog Bait

frogs as bait

Frogs can be ideal bait for several different species, but largemouth bass seem to respond the best.  They are natural hunters, and they react largely on movement.  Anything moving on the surface or dragged across vegetation can bring a strike.

Many people think you can only have success with frogs in water where frogs live.  To understand this misconception, you must understand the nature of a bass.  They often misidentify one food source for another but cannot help themselves.  When there is movement in the water, it could be baitfish, rodents, or snakes.  Bass do not discriminate.  The other benefit with this type of fishing is the use of a weedless hook.  Whether artificial or live, fishing with frogs will get you into areas where no other rigs can go. 

Fishing Spots and Key Times

As is with any fishing, many factors affect when bass will bite on frogs.  The season does make a difference.  Normally we hear the bullfrogs start signing at dusk in May.  This is when we normally start having better luck with this bait type.  It will continue through August or September.

You will find that bass like to hide out in vegetation when it is hot.  With bass being cold blooded, the shade provided by lily pads or other vegetation can keep the bass cool.  They also tend to be more active at dawn and dusk for this same reason.  In addition, the shade or lower light gives them cover to hunt their prey.  My group likes night fishing with frogs as well.

Most anglers think that frogs will only work around vegetation.  These are not your only options.  Pollen lines are also good areas to fish with frogs. The wind blows pollen onto the water, and it accumulates to provides its own kind of thin cover.  There is shade from the sun, cover from their prey, and it is easier for bass to attack through a layer of pollen. Just be sure to stick to the shallows.  That is where you will typically find bass.

Frogs Rigging and Technique

The process of fishing with frogs takes some getting used to.  Lots of fishermen try working with frogs as bait and quit after one or two tries.  The motion of the frog is essential to its success.  Live frogs must move freely, so they should be hooked in the jaw or in one of the back legs.  This also extends the life of your bait.

As for the rig, braided line is a must.  Monofilament lines are not as forgiving and will snap.  There is a great deal of debris involved in fishing frogs, so you need the strength to pull your bait through the muck. 

Braided line is also going to last longer.  A 65 pound braided line treated properly can last a long time with frogs.  The rod should be a long medium to heavy rod to handle the weight.  Add a bait caster reel and you have the ideal setup.

When casting, try to keep your casts low to the water.  Long, high casts will smack the frog around as they hit the water.  Once the bait is in the water, wait for a few second.  Lots of times the bass will strike in that first few seconds.  Then you can largely let the frog move on its own.  If the bait is not moving, you can use your rod to guide it into a different spot.

As you bring in your frog, bounce it across the top of any vegetation so it hops like a frog.  When in clear water, keep your rod tip down with choppy strokes to make it appear to swim.  Your frog should move about four or five inches per stroke.

This action is walking the frog on a slack line.  It imitates the movement of a hurt frog that could not swim quickly. Keep the frog in the same vicinity as long as you can.  If a particular spot is not working, move on. With all fishing, I never spend too much time in one area.

When you need to set the hook (Barbless Hooks for Fishing or barbed), take a breath.  Jerking the rod when you get action is the worst thing you can do.  When you see you line moving in a distinct direction, give it a firm pull upwards.  This should set the hook better, so you have a good chance of bringing in the fish.

Collecting and Keeping Forg Bait

You will have a hard time finding a bait shop that has frogs.  Usually, we go out just before dark and catch our own.  We either spear the frogs or catch them with a net.  Spearing them does more damage but works better than netting.

When netting frogs, a silicone crappie net works best. While the boat cruises the shore, we shine a flashlight or headlamp in the eyes of the frog.  This keeps them still while we round them up. 

If you want your frogs to last, handle them as little is as possible.  There is a mucus membrane on their skin to protect them from illness like fish. Their skin will absorb anything it comes in contact with, so chemicals and impurities can be an issue. Keep them in room temperature water or in flowing water nearby.  If you want your bait to last, feed them foods like crickets and earthworms.

Fishing with Artificial Frogs Baits

These days it is much easier to choose frog lures versus live frogs.  You will not get the realistic movement of a live frog, but lures can still work.  The best bet you have is to upgrade the frog to your needs.  Sometimes these baits will have a misplaced hook or the wrong type of hook. You might want to move the hook to the back leg of the frog, so fish are hooked even when they miss.

Another adjustment you can make is to cut the flowing rubber cords that flow behind, or sometimes to add more.  For night fishing you can bust a glow stick and add the liquid to the lure.  You can use this trick for life frogs too.  The light brings in the timid fish.  You can also add some spots on the underside of the lure and on the sides using colors like white, black, green, and yellow.

As is with most fishing, using frogs for bait can be tough.  You must get some practice and improve your skills.  Eventually you will enjoy those hot summer days and maybe come join us for some night fishing.

Frog fishing can be lots of fun.  Let the kids help with catching the frogs.  Those are the memories that will last forever.  Get everyone involved. After just a few seasons of fishing with frogs, you will be ready to guide your whole clan to fish fries all summer long.

Questions to consider

What fish can you catch with live frogs?

This is one of the great things about fishing with frogs. A frog lure is going to attract any predatory fish be it bass, pike, musky or any other ambush predatory fish. Largemouth bass in particular frequently target frogs for a quick meal. Anglers with ponds often will hear the croaks along the banks followed closely by the sound of splashing.

Pike are also ambush predators, and will certainly take a frog if presented correctly. The musky, “Fish of 10,000 casts” may or may not hit on a frog pattern.

Is it illegal to fish with live frogs?

It depends.

Some public fisheries may have strict rules on live baits and frogs in particular. The absolute best way to find out if using live frogs is acceptable is to contact the local branch of the state game and fisheries commission to ask. Chances are the staff will be able to direct you to the best place to determine the answer.

Googling the question, “Can I use live frogs in <state>?” may turn up your answers as well. It is always best to err on the side of caution and avoid a costly ticket.

How do you fish with a frog?

There are two things to do when fishing a frog of any sort – slow and variable retrieve. Frogs will not be on open water, for example, for too long, and they will be moving to safety and cover as quickly as they can. In this case, working the frog across the surface with a steady retrieve may entice a bit.

Conversely, reeling slack, two or three quick jerks and reeling slack again may also produce a strike in open water or around cover.

Fishing a frog is like fishing any lure — find what the fish like in terms of a presentation, and use it. There is no “magic retrieve” to entice bites every single time.

What fish do frog lures catch?

Hands down, the number one game fish that will hit a frog is the largemouth bass. For the larger ones, frogs are an ideal meal. Largemouth are ambush predators and do not want to waste energy on catching a meal.

Working your frog lure around cover, lily pads and even pulling it off of a bank is an ideal way to catch largemouth bass, and big largemouth bass, with a frog lure.

The frog lure will produce and again, produce larger fish because of the size of the lure. The angler may not take as many, but the quality will certainly be higher. Land the prize, take a few good pictures and release back into the water for the next time — what good Catch and Release Fishing is all about.

*We hope you find this article usefull, and we just want to remind that when you go fishing with frogs, you can still practice Catch and Release Fishing… That is what we do 🙂

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