I've been telling myself for a few years that I'd start tinkering with miniature frogs for bass fishing. You'll never convince me that bass don't get conditioned to certain baits, sounds and profiles. I've seen multiple baits dominate on my home lakes for years at a time and once the word gets out, you can hardly get bit on 'em.
In my opinion, that's what has happened around here with popping-style topwater frogs. They were all the rage several years ago until everyone and their cousin started bombing every single grass bed with them. That bite completely turned off for me and now I only seem to get bit on pointed-nose frogs.
Either way, the fish around here see hundreds of frogs each weekend it seems. With the frog bite getting steadily worse for me the past year or so, I started ordering some miniature frogs in order to show the bass something they don't see so often.
This was the first one I tried… and now I have an entire tackle tray dedicated to several different colors of it. Hang with me and I'll tell you why I've liked it so much.
It walks different than most frogs
I haven't fished this brand very often, so I went into testing the Scum Frog Small Dog fairly blind and with no preconceived notions. I was expecting a pretty stereotypical action and posture in the water but was quickly surpised.
This frog has a very vertical stance to it when it's sitting on the surface; it doesn't sit horizontal like the large majority of frogs out there. As you twitch your rod tip, this unique stance makes the nose bob up and down. If you've ever seen a real frog swim in the water before, this is almost a dead-on representation of that movement. It looks incredibly lifelike throughout the retrieve.
Most importantly, in my opinion, is that this unique bobbing action gives this frog an entirely different look than the frogs most other guys are throwing around here. I'm a huge believer in doing things differently than others and this has given the local bass something totally new to look at.
Whenever I find a new bait like this, I can kind of tell if the fish have seen it or not by the verocity of the strikes. Remember when the Whopper Plopper first came out? The dang bass were hitting it like Free Willy jumping over those rocks. It has been the same way with the Small Dog so far. The bites are insane so don't let its small stature fool you.
For a 2 1/4-inch frog that only weighs 1/2 ounce, the Small Dog casts like a dream. I like to keep plenty of distance between my boat and the cover whenever I'm frog fishing and I'm able to do that quite easily with this frog.
I've been using a 7-foot, medium-heavy casting rod with 50-pound braided line throughout my testing. I think a heavier rod may hinder casting distance a bit too much for my liking.
Another great thing about the Small Dog is that you could put this sucker on a spinning rod with 20- or 30-pound braid and let a beginner angler have an absolute ball with it. I will certainly be incorporating this into my spring and summer guide trips. It would be super easy to novice anglers to skip underneath cover and what not.
I was skeptical about this at first. I can't really explain it in technical terms because... I guess I'm not smart enough. But I just figured something this small would be really tough to walk effectively. I'm sure you get what I'm talking about.
After the first cast, I was proven wrong yet again. The V-shaped bottom of the Scum Frog Small Dog allows it to walk side-to-side with minimal effort. It doesn't just lackadaisically walk, either. It's a hard, darting action that, as we discussed earlier, also incorporates that very unique bobbing action as well.
You'll also notice a split ring attached to what would normally be the line tie. This addition certainly caught me off guard, but I've learned that it allows the frog to walk even easier. So far, the split ring has held up wonderfully to the rigors of heavy-cover frog fishing.
If they bite, they get in the boat
There are several factors that give the Small Dog one of the best hookup ratios I've ever experienced in a frog: Size, leg length, eye size, collapsibility and straight-up meat hooks.
The size might be the most obvious factor of the three. It's a small frog and even though I gave you the measurements, you still might be surprised when you take it out of the pack. There isn't any room for short-striking this frog, especially with the much shorter-than-normal leg length. It's the perfect size imitation of small bluegill a bass would eat, so not only is it a natural size for a bass, but when they bite it, they absolutely inhale it. You will have very few short-strikes fishing the Small Dog.
The eyes on this frog are huge which, in my mind, give the bass something that's easy to hone-in on. I think some frog manufacturers get way too carried away with the aesthetics of a frog. The fish can't see the back of the frog so I don't really care what it looks like. I care about the belly color and the eye size and while this isn't the sexiest frog on the market, it sure gets a bunch of bites and I think those big ol' eyes have something to do with it.
It's also one of the softest frogs you're going to run across which will benefit anyone who uses it. I can see it being especially beneficial to anglers who put it on spinning gear. Those spinning rods don't have a whole lot of "pop" on the hookset but I think the impressive collapsibility of this frog will almost make that a non-factor.
Lastly, the hooks aren't some cheap, flimsy bargain bin hooks. The Small Dog is equipped with a meaty 4/0 Owner Double Frog Hook. You can set the hook as hard as you want and you won't bend 'em or break 'em.
If you like to go froggin', I really think the Small Dog is one that you need to keep stocked up. Even if you don't want to throw a tiny frog all of the time, it sure is nice to have when the fish start getting bombarded with fishing pressure. It's a little over $5 and catches a pile of fish... I can't ask for much more than that.