four bass pros reveal their secret shortcuts to mastering the most technical tactics that score pressured largemouths everywhere
Master the technical skills that land pressured largemouths in a flash with shortcuts from four veteran bass pros.
When bass get under a canopy of matted vegetation or in the thick pads, there are few techniques that can effectively get through or over the salad and generate strikes. A weedless hollow-body frog is one of them, and it can represent all sorts of aquatic and terrestrial creatures—not just frogs and toads, but shad, bluegills, and rodents as well. Fail to know how to work a hollow body, and you’ll be useless around the veggies.
°Work on casting and rod manipulation. Most of the time, frogging is done in heavy vegetation, but DeFoe says frogs are also deadly under overhanging trees and docks. Learn to skip your faux amphibian way up into those dark spaces and you have a lure that’s capable of avoiding most hangups on unseen obstacles. Even in matted grass, where targets abound, you’ll still want to carefully assess casting angles to make sure that you cross key ambush points like ditches and holes at an angle that’ll force the fish to look up and still allow you to extract it. Random casting scores fewer bites, while target-oriented casting dials in a pattern.
DeFoe relies on three different frogs: the Terminator Walking Frog, the Walking Frog
Jr., and the Popping Frog. All three will walk the dog, but the popper also gives him the opportunity to chug and blow a lot of water to call fish from afar, while the Junior offers up the most subtle action and the smallest profile. He says that dialing in the cadence the fish prefer daily or even hourly is critical. In many cases, it’s especially important to make the frogs sashay from side to side without a lot of forward movement. Proper casting and proper walking are easier when you’re not using a rod that’s a broomstick. “If the rod’s too stiff, you can’t load it up to cast it well,” DeFoe says. “You also can’t impart action into the bait with a stiff rod. If you learn to get enough slack in the line, you can make the frog turn around almost back on itself. That drives bass insane.”
THE GO-TO SETUP
Bass Pro Platinum 7'4" medium-heavy baitcasting rod, Bass Pro Carbon Lite reel (7.5:1), 50-pound-test Bass Pro Hyper Braid
Crash Pad Getting a frogeating bass out of the lilies takes as much skill as triggering the bite.