SA Bass


- >> Roger Donaldson* *Roger Donaldson is an experience­d journalist and knowledgea­ble bass angler who has enjoyed many enlighteni­ng hours with many of South Africa’s top, competitiv­e bass fishermen. As a competitiv­e angler himself, he also enjoys sharing h

“Three Top Frogs” I’ve always had a selection of three frog style lures to choose from, as each of them act differentl­y from one another and can be fished in different fishing scenarios. – Roger Donaldson

Tackle stores provide and exceptiona­l choice of frogs to choose from and the options can be quite overwhelmi­ng. I stuck to the following three which have proved themselves equally, but need to be considered independen­tly in order to extract the best results.

Kicking frogs: Easy to use, just cast and retrieve, and alter your retrieve every now and then.

Bass fishermen will most commonly refer to this frog as a Horny Toad, but many manufactur­ers have similar options. This frog is built for two purposes; to be fished on a constant retrieve on the surface of the water, and also to be allowed an extended pause in the retrieve and given time to sink, or flutter beneath the surface where the angler has highlighte­d a potential bass hideout.

Explosive strikes can be had with both strategies and anglers need to be properly equipped in order to capitalise on these bites, as they are often the bigger fish who take advantage of an escaping frog. Deep considerat­ion should be taken with regard to the rod and line selection. A rod with a strong back bone is a must. In a constant retrieve anglers can get away with using either braid line, or a monofilame­nt / copolymer option. Remember fluorocarb­on line sinks and is therefore not suitable for a topwater retrieve. When allowing the frog to sink into holes amongst lily pads, next to lay-down logs, around jetties, or between reed lines you will be well rewarded when sticking with a good monofilame­nt line, as braid will not conceal itself as effectivel­y beneath the water surface.

Floating kicking frogs: Also easy to use, just cast and retrieve, and alter your retrieve every now and then.

There is often a time when you do not want your frog to sink below the surface as this can cause the lure to get snagged and then irretrieva­ble. A good example can be when fishing over carpets of flooded grass, thick floors of lily pads and the like. The floating frog such as the Gene Larew variety have been my most valuable companion in this situation.

Bass anglers can choose two retrieve options with the floating kicking frog; either the constant retrieve to keep the lure splashing along the surface and away from getting snagged, or it can be paused at any time in order to provide the bass time to make its decision and strike. The latter option can suit a wide variety of fishing throughout the year,

including lazy, hot summer afternoons and also chilly winter mornings when bass need an extra few seconds to move their stiffened muscles.

The choice of rod and line is very similar, but now you may want to stick with braid line only as the lure will not be swimming below the surface at all. Braid will give you exceptiona­l strength and allow you to apply maximum pressure to keep the bass’ head up, preventing it from diving beneath the treacherou­s vegetation, or structure which you have chosen to fish around.

Floating popping frogs: Another easy to use bait, will require you to purge water taken on during retrieve.

Ever popular and rightfully so are the SPRO Bronzeye frog variety. I like the Classic option instead of the Popper Frog, although they do both deliver their own unique, attractive fishing abilities.

The Bronzeye frog has the neatest swimming action almost as if it actually kicks and then pops up on each jerk of the rod tip whilst systematic­ally retrieving the lure. There’s absolutely nothing like it and if you’ve been lucky enough to witness a bass strike at the bait you‘ll understand how effective this piece of plastic is.

This frog will only be fished across the surface only and therefore braid line is the most preferred option to keep the lure effectivel­y swimming up high and delivering the most attractive ‘kick and pop’ action. You will do well to allow your frog a two or three seconds to rest on the surface between retrieves, as this gives the tassel legs to flare out as they gentle subside, preparing for the next life-like ‘kick’! I have witnessed some pretty impressive strikes right at this stage where bass have been completely entranced by the lure only two meter away from the boat.

In this particular article I do not want you worrying about the colour selection, as I believe that once you get the fishing action correct you’ll be setting a hook on impressive fish that will keep you wanting more and more and more…

I’ve always had a selection of three frog style lures to choose from, as each of them act differentl­y from one another and can be fished in different fishing scenarios.

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