I don't think you can find a red-blooded bass angler who doesn't like a big topwater bite; even writing about it gives me goosebumps. Thankfully, I think much of the country is coming towards the end of a hot and quite honestly, weird summer. With the pandemic shutting so many things down, lakes have been absolutely packed with party boats and the extra traffic has made fishing downright tough for the past several months.
Now that Labor Day has passed and the kids are starting back to school, I'm hoping the crowds thin out and the fishing somewhat returns to normal. As the nights slowly begin to get a little cooler and days become a bit shorter, lots of bass are going to start moving shallow and the fall frog bite will be fast approaching.
Honestly, I can't remember a fall I've been so excited about. Maybe it's the want for change after such a bizarre year or maybe it's the relief from oppressive heat and lethargic bass. Either way, I'll be in my bass boat a lot more than my deer stand this year.
… and I have plans to test a bunch of topwater frogs. I've been throwing the same few frogs for years and I'm ready to switch things up a little bit. Not for any other reason than to simply experiment and try some different stuff.
So I went into my shop and rounded up the frogs I'm most excited to try this fall. Let me know your thoughts and if I need to try any additional frogs not on this list.
Megabass Big Gabot Hollow Bodied Frog
If this one sounds familiar, it's because I've written a review about it before. But when I was initially testing it, I didn't get to fish too much grass with it. The bass were underneath boat docks and I was skipping this oversized under walkways and platforms. I caught some really nice bass on the Big Gabot, but I never really got to beat the heck out of it around thick, matted grass.
My home lake is now full of hydrilla and it wasn't like that when I initially tested this frog. I threw it around some willow grass just a handful of times and had one of the biggest bass I had ever seen explode on it-but I screwed up and set the hook too quickly. So I know it'll get bites, but I'm anxious to see what the hookup ratio is like when I'm in the slop.
The size of this frog is very intriguing to me. It's much larger than other frogs in my collection, so I'm interested to see if throwing a completely different size than other anglers will help me get a few more bites. It's a pricey frog, but it's hard to resist grabbing a few when you look through the available color schemes.
LIVETARGET 45T Hollow Body Frog
Yeah, I know this series has been out for a long time by now. I've fished the larger models with decent success, but I really want to try the 45T model which measures just 1 3/4 inches. When I say this frog is small, that is an understatement. It's about one-third of the size of what most folks would consider a "normal" frog.
The larger models caught a bunch of bass for me, but to be honest, I started having a few problems with the hooks bending after a hard hookset. But man, they sure caught some fish. I'm curious, however, to see if that issue has been resolved or addressed with the 45T model.
Of course, I have no earthly idea what I'm going to throw this little dude on. I'm tempted to think that a spinning rod is about the only option; I don't think a baitcaster will cast it far enough. I've always said I wanted to experiment with tiny frogs on fun-fishing trips and guide trips, so this is going to be the year when I finally do it.
I'm guessing I'll put some 20-pound braided line on a medium-heavy spinning rod and start from there. This isn't something I'm willing to throw around particularly heavy cover, but maybe I can get away with the light tackle around sparse bank grass or underneath boat docks. There will definitely be a pucker factor to it, but I think it's going to be fun to try.
Scum Frog Trophy Series Frog
I haven't thrown a Scum Frog in years and after I ran across one in my shop last weekend, I have no idea why. I took the Trophy Series Frog out of the package and felt like an idiot for not fishing it sooner. I'm crazy about the profile; it's fairly small and the legs are much shorter than most of the other frogs I've tried.
Although I haven't tried it yet, I've heard from some buddies that it actually sits vertically in the water after the cast and has a very naturally hopping/swimming action when you walk it across the surface. The body is also incredibly soft, so I'm expecting a solid hookup ratio this fall once I try it. Due to the soft body, I'm curious to see how it resists snags in stringy bank grass.
The colors won't really blow you away, but I that's part of the allure for me. They keep it very simple and I assume that's because they believe in their product and believe it works.
By the way, did I mention that they cost $5.40? That's an insane deal on a topwater frog and if it performs like I hope it will this fall, I'll buy the whole stock of 'em from Tackle Warehouse.
Stanley Ribbit Poppin' Toad
Even though it looks like a soft-plastic toad, I'd consider the Stanley Ribbit Poppin' Toad to be a hollow body frog. The body is hollow of course and it floats on the surface while at rest. Instead of the traditional silicone legs that most frogs have, this particular frog has the popular fluttering feet that are found throughout the Stanley Ribbit line.
It's not the "sexiest" frog I have in my shop, but what grabbed my attention was the hook and collapsibility of the body. This hook is intense, to say the least. Couple that with a super-soft body and I think I'll be able to absolutely jack some fish with it this fall.
It will be interesting to see how well, or if, this frog walks on the surface. I'm wondering if the paddle feet will create too much drag in the water and inhibit its ability to sashay from side to side. I'm also going to see if I can fish this frog with a continuous retrieve like a traditional soft-plastic toad. I feel like the cupped mouth might not be conducive to that method, but hey, it's definitely worth a shot.
Savage Gear Hop Popper Frog
You'd think that the Wired2fish guys would take a little break talking about fishing tackle from time to time, but that's definitely not the case. Sealock and I talk nearly every single day about our different experiences with fishing gear. We're constantly comparing notes and sharing stories from our days on the water. If he says something is good, I undoubtedly trust him.
He recently went to Arkansas to see some family and he got a chance to test the Savage Gear Hop Popper Frog while fishing with his brother-in-law. I kept getting text message after text message of all the nice bass he was catching on this dang thing. Jealous would be a gross understatement.
I can't wait to give it a try this fall. Sealock was saying that he was super impressed by how well it walked in place and how easy it was to fish. Although I haven't fished it yet, I'm anxious to see what the hookup ratio is like. The hook points don't sit as flat across the back as many other frog hooks do, so I'm expecting them to have a pretty big bite when it's time to set the hook. Will this creative hook angle cause a few more snags? I have no idea, but I'm sure going to find out. The guys at Savage normally take everything into consideration, so admittedly, I have incredibly high expectations.
So if you want to know what's going to be on my front deck for the next two or three months, there it is. I wanted to have a more conversational tone with this article and express my thoughts and potential pros and cons about each frog. I don't know how they'll turn out, but you can bet you'll be seeing a good many frog reviews this fall on Wired2fish. I'm going to take 'em out, beat the crap out of them, catch some fish, come back to my office and give you honest, unfiltered opinions about each one. I'm looking forward to it!