You’ll need at least a seven to eight-foot casting rod—St. Croix’s Legend Tournament Bass Flippin’ rod, for example—that has a sturdy backbone and a soft tip. Of course, you’ll also need heavy braided line to get out of weeds and other structure, like docks or timber. Also, it’s best to go with a baitcast reel that features a high gear ratio, something in the 7:1 range, which makes pulling fish out of vegetation and to the boat much easier. I like Shimano’s Curado.
When you’re fishing frogs in the fall, you’ll want to go with a slow retrieve, paired with twitches and several pauses. Depending on the cover you’re fishing, you’ll need to use varying retrieve styles. For instance, if you’re fishing around trees, weed clumps, pads, or docks, try walking the frog. In the thicker stuff—weed mats, for example—then it’s better to scoot it. Of course, when you get a strike on a frog, count a few seconds before setting the hook. If you hear a big slurping sound on the strike, though, this commonly means a big bass has gone for your frog, so you’ll want to set the hook quickly.
As effective as frogs can be, experienced anglers will tell you that it’s smart to keep a spare setup nearby, equipped with a soft plastic bait, just in case you need to follow up any missed strikes. It’s an even better idea to have two follow-up rods—one with a swimbait and another with a creature, like a craw. The craw will be a great punch bait that you can toss back into a hole after a missed frog strike, whereas the swimbait is great at working the edges of weeds if the frog action slows down.
If you’re lucky enough to still be able to get on the water during the fall months, then hopefully this series will help you capitalize on the frog action in the South. Keep them in mind when other baits aren’t producing and you’ll be surprised at what they can do for you.