Search Bait: Prior to committing to the beds, hefty prespawn bass progress along a series of staging areas. Shallow vegetation is one of the common scenarios and whether it’s sparse reeds, tules, emergent grass or lily pads, bass could be holding just about anywhere.
Flipping worms and creature baits to likely spots such as points, wood, and isolated weed clumps often works, but it’s a time-consuming technique best applied to verified zones of high probability. Frogs offer an ideal tool for covering large areas to find active fish.
Obviously, one of those show-stopping surface bites offers crystal clear evidence, but also watch for boils, pushes and swirls. Prespawners are typically aggressive feeders, as they’re looking to pack on as much weight as they can before the spawn; however, fishing pressure and unfavorable weather conditions can bring an indecisive mood.
That’s one of the frog’s greatest attributes — the ability to pause over potential trouble spots to tease, taunt and irritate prespawners until they commit.
Targeting: Certainly, frogs are not your only search bait option. Texas-rigged swimming worms, swimbaits, buzzbaits and swim jigs also fit this duty; but not can float motionless over a sweet spot. Maybe it’s a hole in the emergent vegetation, a gap in a laydown’s limbs or the shadow line on a dock’s perimeter; in any case, the “vulnerable” look of a hovering frog often closes the sale.
Go-Anywhere: Treble hook lures have their limitations, as open points simply cannot consistently navigate snag-prone areas such as emergent vegetation. Also, trying to zip a bait under overhanging limbs or into lanes amid vertical vegetation temps a frustrating entanglement.
A frog is a more forgiving bait, so don’t hesitate to send it into the tightest of confines or the gnarliest of cover. Remember, the popping frog performs best in open water, while the standard narrow nose model is your choice for close quarters navigation.
Big Profile: For prespawn bass approaching the spawn-related fast, their priority is eating as much as they can catch. Frogs represent the perfect little protein bar, so picking off amphibian snacks fits well in their wheelhouse.
Once bass settle on the beds, they become highly territorial, often brutally attacking invaders. Suffice it to say that the threatening form of a frog hovering overhead is enough to flip the aggression switch.
Violent strikes are common, but sometimes bedding bass would rather shoo away intruders, rather than engage. Similar to the prespawn search, blind casting a frog across likely bedding zones may yield the telltale signs of a defensive spawner.
Color Code: LIVETARGET has excelled in creating incredibly realistic baits that artfully mimic the colors of various frogs. Matching the locals never hurts, but when fishing heavy cover, a white frog is easy to spot. Not all strikes are vicious — bed fish may simply slurp a frog from the surface. So, if you’re working your bait and that spot of white disappears, set the hook.