Monday, July 20, 2009

Topwater Frogs for Colorado Bass

Water temperatures will continue to warm up throughout the summer. Early mornings and late evenings can be fantastic opportunities to find largemouth bass eager to crush frog poppers in your local bass water. If watching aggressive fish swallow an amphibian imitation on the end of your leader does not sound fun to you, then I recommend you seek help immediately.
Fishing a topwater frog is not unlike fishing a dry fly. Accuracy, precision, and a well finessed retrieve will produce fish. The satisfying gurgle that a crisply stripped popper makes as it moves through the water causes many anglers to over-strip frogs and other topwater flies. I must admit, I have often been guilty of such behavior. Avoiding this common mistake requires a discipline that I often lack. However, it is important to remember that a fly rod presentation can allow for a much more realistic presentation. When I truly have my frog face on, and take the time to make good presentations, I am rewarded frequently. My ritual is as follows: First, I make a cast close to a bank, structure, weed line, moss patch, etc. By close, I feel that the cast should make you nervous about getting stuck in the weeds. Fish dangerously!
The frog will land with a satisfying splat! Let the rings settle until everything is perfectly still again. A short twitch will give it some life and may seal the deal right there. If no interest has been raised, make along strip that slides the frog under the surface so that the frog will reappear a few feet a way. Sliding the frog creates a realistic "swimming" look. Hopefully, this will have gotten the attention of nearby bass. Often, after a sharp twitch, a bass will rush up to the frog only to stop inches shy and stare at it for the rest of eternity. It is now time to employ whatever brand of voodoo magic you have in your bag. I personally prefer a micro-twitch while standing on one leg and holding my breath.

Experimenting with different types of retrieves and presentations is important. When everything comes together perfectly, topwater bass fishing can be an incredible fishing experience. Lip that fish, show him off to your dog or jealous fishing buddy, and then quickly release. High fives and fist pumps are acceptable. Its ok, you know you want to.

Patrick Knackendoffel

(Photo) Bass eye view of a frog popper.

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