Frog Fishing 101

By Pete Ponds

May 26, 2017

There are many, many frogs available to anglers these days. Learn about what frog to use and when.

People often ask me about what frog I use and when. It’s a good question, because there are many, many frogs available to anglers these days. The answer depends on the situation you expect to encounter.

Scattered-Cover Frogs
Most of the time I throw a frog that has a very soft body – one with the hooks already in the correct position so you don't have to bend them out or in as you do with many others. Both of these factors are very important when it comes to strike-to-catch ratio.

I use these lures to fish brush, milfoil, hydrilla, coontail, lily pads, boat docks, riprap … you get the idea. I use them almost anywhere that there is scattered shallow cover where a normal topwater can’t go.
One of the keys to this bait is the cadence you use when you work it. I like to let the fish tell me whether a twitch-twitch-pause or a twitch-pause-twitch-pause works best. If you pay attention, the fish will let you know.

Heavy-Cover Frogs
The Chugger seems to catch bigger fish than a standard topwater lure. That being said, it is not the “solve-all” for hollow-body frogs. It’s not the best choice when you have thick lily pads or heavy matted grass. For those situations, I like to use a larger, heavier frog with a rattle. I can make longer casts to places that I can't get close to with the boat, and the weight helps make the mat or lily pads move as the frog goes across the top. Otherwise, the fish won’t know it's there.

Choose a frog lure with a smooth bottom. This helps them come through the heavy cover or thick mats with ease. I like to hold my rod down with a steady, heavy twitch as I work it, just waiting for that explosion. Most of the time I cover water fast here until I get that key bite. 

Walk-the-Frog Choices
When the cover is starting to die in the fall, or as it is just coming in during spring and early summer, the frogs I like best have V-shaped bottoms and split rings that make walking the dog easy – just twitch, twitch, twitch, pause and again.

*Editor’s Note: Here is a short video explaining How to walk a frog

As far as colors, I have to giggle a little here. Most of the modern-day “real-looking frogs” have solid colors on the bottom, and the top is designed to lure us fishermen in the store. I like to pay attention to the bait the bass are eating. When shad are present I like to use white or a light color. When I hear frogs doing their thing black is the color. When I hear bream sucking I use green, yellow and other colors. Yet, I also say that if a particular color gives you confidence then more power to you. Confidence is a huge part of our game.

Four More Keys to Success
Some very important keys to frog fishing are:

1.    Pay close attention to any type of movement in a mat, near a piece of cover or along the bank. Many times a fish will give away her location.
2.    Be sure to hesitate after the strike, and don't set the hook too fast. A good policy is to wait until you see your line moving to swing. It can be challenging, but many times the fish will miss in heavy cover and come back two or three times to get the frog.
3.    Where you get one strike there are usually more fish in the area. Slow down, and work the area well.
4.    Pay close attention to the bait. Where you don’t see bait balls or hear bream feeding on bugs, you can quickly eliminate “dead water.”

I hope this has given you some insight on the many choices we have when it comes to “catching a toad” on a hollow-body frog.

To learn more about fishing tackle and techniques firsthand from expert FLW anglers, check out the #ReelFun fishing events taking place at Walmart stores across the U.S. June 2-4, 2017. Find dates and times at

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Pete Ponds
Pete Ponds
Pete Ponds of Madison, Mississippi, has spent four years fishing as a professional on the FLW Tour. Ponds is a consistent angler on Tour, finishing in the top half of the 160-angler field for the past two consecutive seasons.