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franklin county times

Frogs, rats and toads produce June bass

By By Mike Giles / outdoors writer
June 6, 2003
June is a time many topwater anglers live for. Now for those new to bass fishing, we're not talking about buzz baits, as some are prone to think. No sir, we are talking pure topwater fishing with floating baits that mimic frogs.
For those lakes that have plenty of moss and grass such as Gainesville Lake on the Tombigbee River, June can only mean one thing frogs.
Recent reports on frogging from area fishermen have been good.
Local angler David Kinard reported that the bass are really tearing up frogs on Gainesville Lake. On sunny days the bass will attack the frogs with a vengeance, until the sun gets up above the horizon. Once that happens, the bass will bury up and anglers will have to change tactics.
Cloudy overcast days may produce a frog bite all day long however. If there is a light drizzle, the bass will be even more active.
When it comes to frog fishing, anglers should first and foremost find areas with plenty of grass or moss spread out over the water.
In some lakes that also includes the old faithful lily pads. Areas such as this that are adjacent to deep water are pure dynamite!
Rod, reel and line
When it comes to frog fishing for bass, anglers must have the right tackle or face constant disappointment. If the rod is too limber, then proper hook sets are almost impossible.
There's not any worse feeling in fishing than having bass after bass attack the frog and then come up and spit it out in your face! But that is exactly what can and does happen many times.
The proper rod should have just enough tip action to accurately cast the light frogs. At the same time they must have enough backbone to drive the point of the hook deep into the bass's jaw. Although any reel will be sufficient when casting frogs, I prefer a high-speed reel that lets me retrieve the frog at a fast pace. Once I cast a frog out into the pads or grass, I will retrieve it back in a fast, constant hopping motion.
Several excellent bass fishermen have long used braided line when fishing frogs. Frank Sullivan is one of the first expert anglers that I know of who touted the use of braided line when fishing frogs.
According to Sullivan, hook sets are just about as close to a sure thing as you can get when fishing the frogs on braided line.
Timing the strike
After you have the proper equipment, there is still a little thing called timing. Or should I say a big thing! It's kind of like hitting a baseball. Everybody might have their own way of doing it, but if their timing is off, they will miss the ball. So it goes with bass fishing as well.
I prefer using white Scum Frogs because the bass really like em and I can see them on the water if the bass miss them.
Once a bass smashes the frog, I will drop my rod, reel up the slack and set the hook with everything that I have.
Of course I will make sure that they didn't miss it before dropping the hammer. Some fishermen will count to three before setting the hook. Whatever works is okay, as long as you are successful!
On a recent trip to the water, I utilized a graphite rod, white frog and 12-24 pound test Spiderwire Fusion line. My success ratio on strikes to catch was probably better than it has ever been. While catching and releasing approximately 20 bass on the frogs, I only missed a couple that buried up in the moss. On numerous occasions, I brought up bass along with a wad of moss so thick that you couldn't see the bass. Monofilament line would never have been so forgiving.
If you're looking for some fast and furious action then get a handful of frogs and head to the nearest grassy lake that you can find. You just might be glad you did.