by Dan Quinn
Weedless floating frogs come in several shapes and sizes. The standard Scum Frog is a classic bait that continues to be so, along with many other brands of similar style baits. Experimenting with size is the best way to figure out the right size frog to throw, as fish regularly change their mind on which size they prefer. However, I find that frog size follows the old rule of “bigger the bait, bigger the fish” for the most part.
The classic floating weedless frog works great in nearly all situations, but is best for thick slop. I often put a weight inside the frog so it displaces more water in thick cover and casts much further. Often a slow and steady retrieve is effective, with pauses when in open pockets, but a rapid retrieve may be the ticket on some outings. I typically stick to white, dark green, and black, although I feel that color often isn’t the most important factor to this presentation in thick cover.
When fish are in thin or submerged vegetation, weedless walk-the-dog style baits are a great option. The Yum Money Hound is one style that works well for this presentation. Buzz frogs are another great choice and come with several different paddle style feet. I have done well with Trigger X Frogs, Stanley’s Ribbit Frogs, Strike King’s Rage Tail Frog/Shad, and Scum Frog’s paddle frog. Rigging these on a 3/0 to 5/0 heavy duty wide gap hook is a must, and the hook size is dependent on the length of the bait. It is very important to texas rig buzz frogs, and ensure the hook is completely straight, or the frog will flop around and won’t run true. Skin hooking is also important, as that will keep the frog weedless. These baits are similar to buzz baits, but much more weedless, and equally as exciting!
A favorite hide-out for big bass is often a vast expanse of wild rice. The prime bait for fishing wild rice is a weedless spoon due to its ability to snake through the strands of sticky wild rice. These baits are most effective when reeled in at a relatively slow pace, and allowed to sink and flutter in any clearing in the rice. Casting to anything that looks a bit different, such as a log, bare spot in rice, transitions to other types of weeds, or depth change, will certainly bring you more strikes. By keeping these things in mind when venturing out in the slop, you will locate and catch more big bass this season.