If you are looking for a fast-paced sight fishing experience with a hefty amount of entertainment, then try bass fishing with frog lures.
There is nothing quite like seeing a largemouth bass blow up on a frog.
When it comes to finding the best bass frog lures for frog fishing, there are a variety of shapes and styles suited to various conditions. Hopping a frog lure across the top of the pond is just the beginning; here are a few tricks and tips to help you catch bass with frogs.
Bass Frogs Buying Guide
When you’re ready to buy a frog lure, it’s important to know what to look for, what to avoid, and what will work best for your particular needs. Here, we break down everything you need to know to make the best bass frog lure purchase.
What Is a Frog Lure?
In general, frog lures are topwater bait intended to mimic the natural movements of live frog prey to entice a reaction strike.
More specifically, frog lures come in four main different styles that are lightweight, naturally and attractively colored, and with a hookset within the body.
Frog lures typically have leg-like appendages, whether that be natural-looking rubber legs or spindly silicone skirts. The bodies of frogs are often hollowed or weighted to help with buoyancy and help them stay on their bellies.
Some of the most dramatic catches come from frog lures or other top water baits. The realistic size and shape of the bait tricks the bass into alerting prey as you hop and tick it along the tops of lily pads and mats.
Targeting bass by skimming that bait right along the surface can cause the predatory instinct to wait for the best moment to strike or even blow up through the mat and snap.
Why a Frog Lure Over Other Lures?
In warmer weather, bass tend to circulate more readily near the surface, oftentimes in a weedy, grassy mat along the shoreline.
Because bass and frogs naturally coexist in those spaces, using a frog lure to mimic the natural behaviors of a bass’s main form of prey can lead to a great catch.
Frog lures also have the added benefit of hidden hooks and softer, lighter weight bodies, leading to less snagging in these highly populated areas.
Other types of lures tend to have more exposed hooks, which can be more obvious to the bass, especially in a highly fished area. Additionally, exposed hooks can get snagged and bogged down among the grass and weeds, causing tangling and slowing down the whole process.
Other types of lures tend to get bogged down in the murkier waters and it can be harder to generate a reaction strike to something more obviously manmade.
Types of Frogs
Hollow Body Frogs
Hollow body frog lures have a soft, rubbery outer shell with two upward hooks encased in the hollow body, often with two silicone skirts trailing off the end like legs.
The hollow, rubber body gives the realistic appearance of a live frog as it is able to float along the water. This weedless option is often used in areas of thicker vegetation where you can hop it along the mat, mimicking a real frog with its skirt bouncing along for added effect.
While hollow body frog lures tend to have a more angular shaped head for poking through thick mats, popping frogs are designed for more open water environments with more sparse vegetation.
Popping frogs are specifically designed with a curved head that allows them to, quite literally, pop through the water. Chugging lets the fish know there is something nearby. This popping causes splashes and sounds that lure the bass into striking distance.
Hard Body Frogs
Another open water option is hard body frog lures. These are generally made of plastic and are not weedless, so they are generally better mimicking a frog’s swimming style.
These topwater lures do not have as much flexibility as other models, but they tend to appear more sturdy and allow for a bit more bobbing. The style of hard body frogs includes a very lifelike appearance of colorings and patterns.
Soft Body Frogs
Soft body frog lures are generally made of soft plastic materials in a frog-like shape. Soft body frogs are weedless and intended for areas with grasses and weeds, though unlike hollow frogs they are intended to slightly sink or dip below the surface.
With less buoyancy than a hollow frog, a soft body frog mimics life-like swimming motions amongst the vegetation. This allows for a fisher to tempt the bass further by dipping below the surface before bobbing back up and teasing among the grasses.
Frog Lure Options
Colors of frog lures generally range from natural hues to more vivid, attention-grabbing options. It can be helpful to know the type of water you will be fishing in when selecting colors for frog lures.
With darker, murkier waters, you may want to use brighter, more vibrant colorings to attract bass. In clearer, brighter waters, you may opt for more subtle, natural tones.
Patterned lures tend to mimic those patterns of real frog species, with spotting and stripes depending on the type.
Frog lures will either have realistically shaped legs or flashy synthetic skirts attached. The more realistic frog lures include two synthetic skirts to match two real frog legs.
Bass are used to living in the same waters as frogs, so they are well aware of the natural movements of frog legs. While realistic legs may seem like the most obvious choice, it is important to note that these can often be made of and attached with more fragile materials.
Tassel-like synthetics to mimic legs with generally tougher materials. Plan for the bass to strike the legs and you can select your lures accordingly.
The best frog lures are those designed with the frog’s body and motions in mind.
Hollow body frogs are intentionally designed with hollow bodies to increase buoyancy, and other frog lures include some type of hollow space and buoyant materials.
The lure must be able to float on its belly in the water, just as a live frog would do. While soft body frogs are designed to dip below the surface, they still maintain a level of buoyancy you would want instead of a sinking bait.
The size of the bass frog lure you select may depend on the area of water you are fishing in. Many have found greater success with smaller sized bait in open waters where the visibility is higher and lifelike imitations matter more.
Plus, larger bait may splash and startle fish away from striking in open water. However, in really heavy cover, larger lures might provide the right amount of splash and sound to convince those bass to bite. Larger bait is still successful, but don’t discount the value of a small frog and a big catch.
Pairing Frog Lures with Other Gear
Rods that work best for frog fishing are generally medium-heavy power and fast action.
These rods are also built with the strength and finesse needed to collapse the frog and hook the bass and pull them in fast. It is also durable for multiple fast casts. Many fishermen specifically interested in frog fishing rely on baitcasters for maximum results.
Frog fishing is a fast-paced sport and multiple casts call for high-speed baitcasting reels. When frog fishing, you primarily use the tip of the rod to guide the frog along the top of the water and mat.
Generally, a more lightweight reel with a higher gear ratio works best with frogging techniques in order to retrieve the frog fast and cast again.
A frog fishing baitcasting reel also needs a strong brake system and a decent drag to avoid backlash and tangling.
When it comes to selecting a fishing line for frog fishing, braided lines are a must.
A braided line can handle the drag through more tangled weeds and grassy areas, cutting through instead of catching or tangling.
This type of line also floats along the top of the water where line visibility is not as much of a concern with other vegetation and distractions in the water. Braided line also has less of a stretch, making it easier to set the hook.
How to Fish for Bass with a Frog Lure
Gear up for frog fishing at the peak of summer when the waters are warm, the grasses are thickened, and the bass are more likely to linger near the surface hiding in the shade of the foliage.
Fishing with frog lures can be a true sight fishing experience as you see the bass lurking under the protection of grass canopies and lily pads ready to explode onto a frog and stun it before snagging it for a meal.
When fishing with frog lures, the idea is to mimic the natural behaviors of a frog to trick the bass into biting. Cast a weedless lure along the scrum and hop it from side to side, pausing a few seconds at a time to pique the interest of waiting bass.
Depending on the type, you can glide and pop the frog along the surface of the water, enacting a swimming style. You can cover a lot of water with a cast and faster hops and pops, or allow the frog to sit longer on the mat with light twitches to encourage an explosion.
Frog fishing requires patience and finesse as you learn the feel for the bite and when to collapse the body so the hooks become exposed and are able to snag the bass.
The trick with frog lures are the hidden hooks along the sides of the frog body, which only become visible when the body is compressed, thus allowing the fish to actually get hooked. It can take trial and error to get a feel for the technique, but know that getting bites on the frog is a great first step, even if it doesn’t always lead to a catch.
While the goal with fishing is always a great catch, with frog lures you are specifically aiming to trick the bass into biting at lifelike prey before hooking and reeling them in. This can take a combination of pops, hops, and ticks to get the attention of the bass.
Frogs are designed to stay on their bellies and the legs or tassels to flair out behind them. Use that natural momentum to glide and hop along the surface and the bass will come out to play.
Tips & Techniques
- Because a frog’s habitat is among the vegetation, sometimes the best first spots to hit are the thicker grassy mats. Hop a frog along the top of the mat to see what type of action you can stir up before moving into more open waters.
- Try out your frog lures during the post-spawn when the bass are feeling more protective and might strike out at a perceived threat.
- Practice patience on the hookset. Pause for a few seconds in the shock of a blow up and wait for the bass to circle back on the bait they think they’ve stunned into submission.
- Select lures with two tassels or skirts for the most realistic version of a frog with two legs. If you find the bass are latching onto the skirt and not getting the whole body, try trimming the skirts for less drag.
- If you are fishing from the shore and have relatively clear visibility for sight fishing, try casting your frog onto the bank and hopping it into the water, just as a real frog would do. Remember, bass and frogs live together and know what each other’s movements look like. If a real-life frog would do it, then there’s a good chance your lure could too.
Best Bass Frog Lures
The weedless design of this hollow body frog comes in a variety of color options for maximum results. It works particularly well in weedy areas as its smooth body and tassel legs slide right through the brack.
The lure will take on a little water, but it’s easy to squeeze out. Even with a bit of water in the body, it was still light and high on mat and cast just as well.
This popper is popular among even pro fishermen due to its lightweight body and how it is designed for maximum authenticity walking across the water.
It emits a loud popping sound that can lure bass out from even the thickest of vegetation and comes in over ten colors and pattern options to help you find the right fit for even the murkiest of waters.
Here’s another popper with a design to create a dramatic bubble trail from the cupped mouth bubble jets to the underside of the body.
The mouth is shaped for maximum popping sounds and chugs to catch the attention of even the most stubborn bass. The sleek body comes in a variety of bright, vivid color combinations to draw out even the most reluctant bass. The body holds up well after multiple catches and always lands on its belly after a cast.
This multipack of frogs includes five color combos and styles of soft topwater frogs so you can have a variety of options in your tackle box. There tends to be more success with the tassel legged four in the thicker weeds and along the bank, while the legged option truly looks like a live frog in action out on the open water.
These frogs are designed to drain the water so there is very little build up or drag on the line. All five are double hooked and lightweight for smaller to medium bass fishing spots.
The Lunker frog was clearly designed with lifelikeness in mind, as this frog looks realistic as you hop it from one spot to the other, its legs naturally extending out underneath. In a warm summer pond, the more lifelike the frog the more explosions you’re likely to see on the open water or in more sparse vegetation.