Fight Your Way To Bigger and Better Bass
By: Scott M. Petersen
Here at Big Bite, February is frog month so we are going to talk about the Fighting Frog in this month’s newsletter. If you have fished this bait before you will have a good idea what I am talking about, but for the new anglers that have not had a chance to rig a Fighting Frog onto a hook or on the back of your favorite jig you are in for a treat. So grab a baitcaster, spinning rod and hop in the boat we are going frog fishing that is Fighting Frog fishing.
The Fighting Frog comes in two different sizes 3.5″ and 4″. When you take a closer look at the bait it has many uses and today we are going to cover just a few. If you have a favorite way to rig and fish the Fighting Frog that we did not cover log onto the Big Bite Face book page and let us know how you fish your Fighting Frogs.
Start Small – For those of you who are looking for a different look and want to go on the finesse side the 3.5″ Fighting Frog is an excellent choice to get the job done. I have many times just rigged the Fighting Frog on a 1/4oz shaky head jig or on a 3/8oz football jig, rigged with no skirt and fished weed edges or open water rocky areas when the bass bite is on the slow side. This is a great option to throw also when fishing in pressured conditions, maybe on the second day of a two day tournament. This is a smaller profile to the bass than a fully rigged football jig or weedline jig and I can tell you if you downsize your jig head size and line size you will get more bites even in the toughest of conditions.
As another option do not be afraid to rig the Fighting Frog Texas style and fish the inside weedline during the early season. Bass are in the shallows looking for food before the spawn and will welcome an easy meal when on the prowl looking for a mate and a place to spawn.
Flipping – Whenever I put a Flipping stick in my hands one of the first baits that I grab is a Fighting Frog. I use this bait for two reasons one, it is a bigger profile bait that the bass can easily see from a distance and two, the action. The Fighting Frog craws give off a lot of action when moved even a short distance, just lift the frog off of the bottom a foot and the craws will swim all the way on the lift and back to the bottom. When I am looking to make the bait a little more visible; or when fishing in dirty water conditions; I will dye the craws on my Fighting Frog either chartreuse or orange in color for added attraction.
When it comes to battle, I will grab a 7’6″ flipping stick that is rigged with a 6-3:1 or 7:1 baitcaster reel that is either spooled with Sunline 20lb to 25lb Shooter or Sunline FX-2 60lb braid. Now let me clarify here a little, if I am going toe to toe with bass that are buried deep in heavy cover, I will use a reel that is spooled with the Sunline FX-2 braid hands down. But let’s say I am pitching my Fighting Frog around docks and I am fishing in clear water conditions, many times with braid in these conditions the bass can see the line and will not bite, so if I am fishing in clear water conditions I will rely on Sunline Shooter as my line choice. 20lb to 25lb can pretty much handle all I can dish out so do not worry about breaking off fish or loosing bass either.
To rig the Fighting Frog I use two different presentations one is a 4/0 Gamakatsu Heavy Cover Hook with keeper and I will peg my weight, I use either a Bullet Weight Screw Lock Tungsten Weight or use a regular Bullet Weight and use a bobber stop to keep the weight in place against the hook. The reason for pegging the sinker is to keep the bait as one; I do not want the sinker to separate from the Fighting Frog as it is going through the weeds and fall to the bottom. I want my offering to stay together. Another option to use is a jig head with a Fighting Frog as a trailer. You make the decision as to what works best for you.
Bulk Up – When fishing a jig you have many trailer choices that you can team your jig with. One of my favorite choices when I am looking for bigger bass and need a bigger profile bait is to team my jig with a Fighting Frog as its trailer. When I need a slower fall during tough bite conditions the Fighting Frog trailer is my first choice. The Fighting Frog when threaded onto the jig creates a bigger, wider profile than a slimmer craw option that will fall faster through the water column. This combination is a good choice to use when the bass are not in a chasing or neutral mood and will not chase a bait. The slow fall of the jig keeps the bait in the strike zone longer many times triggering more strikes.
I also have started to replace my twin tail trailer option on my football jig and have started to use the Fighting Frog more. Let’s face it when you are dragging your football jig over and through the rocks looking for bites you are many times after some of the biggest bass that are in the system so why give them a bait that has a smaller profile, it’s time to bulk up and to do this start to rig your football jig with a Fighting Frog. The action that the craws put off is just as good; or even better than your favorite twin tail grub and the bigger profile of the Fighting Frog will trigger more bites from bigger bass at the same time. Once again if I am looking to make my offering a little more visible in off color water conditions I will color the craws either chartreuse or orange in color.
When it comes to fishing this option I many times just grab my flipping stick setup that is spooled with 20lb to 25lb Sunline Shooter and go to work. Many times you are fishing this presentation on open, deep water rock areas where the biggest bass of the system spend the summer months. Deep open water rocks, 20lb to 25lb test line Shooter Line, 1oz football jig rigged with a Big Bite Fighting Frog trailer being pulled across the rocks that is hawg fishing at its best!!!
One option to always keep in your back pocket is to try to fish the Fighting Frog on a football jig with no skirt; I call this fishing the Fighting Frog naked. Make your cast and the let the jig settle to the bottom, work the jig along the bottom until you feel a good rock. When you get the jig against the rock try to rock the jig back and forth a few times, this action will get the jig to stand up and look like the craw is taking a fighting position.
So as you can see the Big Bite Fighting Frog has many options to fish it all the way from being rigged on a shaky head jig to a flipping hook or a trailer on a jig with or without a skirt, you make the choice. Keep your Fighting Frog options open and make adjustments as you fish. To see all of the Big Bite Fighting Frog colors please log onto www.bigbitebaits.com