Pick best frog styles for situation

Lady angler Jenifer Flanagan holds a lunker bass she caught during a successful angling outing last year.

Jenifer Flanagan sailed her lure right near a stump, and almost instantly reared back and set the hook on a bass. The angry fish bore down and took off like a streak of lightning before Flanagan popped her whip and horsed that bass out of heavy cover.

After a short battle, she wore the fish down, netted it and brought it into the boat for a few photos before quickly releasing the fish.

Flanagan turned her passion for bass fishing into her vocation working at Bass Pro Shops, and she employs myriad bass-fishing techniques when searching for and fish.

But one of her favorite ways to catch bass is working frogs around shallow water weeds, wood, lily pads and banks.

“I like to fish two distinctly different styles of frogs: a (Stanley) Ribbit Frog and a Scum Frog,” Flanagan said. “I’ll let the type of water I’m fishing dictate whether I am using the Ribbit or Scum Frog.”

Here’s her rules for fishing each lure.

Ribbit Frogs:

Flanagan employs the Ribbit in a lot of scenarios that don’t center on grass.

“I like to take the Ribbit and run it alongside of logs, around docks and any type of wood structure,” she said. “When those bass are holding tight to cover like that, I’ll try to coax them out to strike.”

She runs the lure into any visible cover she can see while keeping it on the move.

“I’ll vary my retrieve with the Ribbit sometimes, but I really like to keep it moving on a steady retrieve — just fast enough to buzz those legs on top and keep it moving while searching for active bass,” Flanagan said. “Sometimes those bass are hiding under or beside that structure, just waiting for an easy meal, and I want to make it easy for them.”

While setting the hook on traditional floating frogs can be somewhat difficult and frustrating, this is not the case with the Ribbits.

“On Ribbits, I make sure I feel the bass on there when it hits, then set the hook,” Flanagan said. “Hook sets are not as complicated as with the Scum Frogs and floating-type frogs.”

Scum Frogs:

When it comes to traditional frog fishing, Flanagan likes to use the Scum Frog around vegetation such as floating grass or lily pads.

“I’ll let the fish tell me how they want it by varying my retrieval techniques,” Flanagan said. “I like to cast the Scum Frog out and pop the frog back to me, retrieving it pretty fast. Other times I’ll let it sit a few seconds, and then twitch it a little bit and then give it a pop.

“If the bass strike the frog on a fast retrieve I’ll keep using that, but if they don’t like it I’ll use the pop, sit, twitch retrieve and see if that works.”

Flanagan also uses a somewhat nontraditional technique when grass isn’t present.

“I like to fish the Scum Frog and throw it up on the bank and then hop them onto the water, or just let it slide into the water,” she explained

And she also casts the Scum Frogs up onto logs, stumps and lily pads.

“If there are pads in the lake I’m fishing, I like to pitch that frog up onto the pad and just let it sit a minute and then twitch it and make a little disturbance on there to let the bass know something’s up there,” Flanagan said. “After a few seconds, I’ll hop that frog off the pad, and that’s when they usually kill it with explosive strikes.”

About Michael O. Giles 407 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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