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How to have success with frog baits

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Cody Eaves from Currituck made these catches on the North River recently.

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By Mike Sweeney
Columnist

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Few things in the fishing world are as exciting as the strike on a top water bait.

It doesn’t matter if you are fishing offshore for tunas or in your local pond for largemouth the top water bite is nothing short of spectacular for those who pursue it.

When I am fishing for largemouth I always have a top water bait of one kind or another tied on but lately I have been having a blast with the frog bait.

Hollow body plastic frogs have been around for years with almost every manufacturer making one kind or another.

There are some that pop while others walk the dog and still some of them have props on them like a buzz bait.

The only thing I know about the frog baits is they produce heart stopping strikes as if the bass just doesn’t want to eat it but kill it.

I usually fish frogs very shallow and early in the morning or late in the evening but if the bite wants to keep going all day then I throw it all day.

I let the fish tell me when to put the frog down so there are days when it never comes off the rod while other days its only for a couple of hours in the morning then the bite switches to something else usually a soft plastic or a crank bait.

I like to stay as far away from the shore as I can and still make an accurate cast to the bank or cover.

The hollow body of the frogs makes the bait almost impossible to snag so I throw it into any cover I can reach and work it back almost to the boat.

The fish will sometimes follow the bait a long way before striking while other days they just want it to sit still for a second.

When you work the bait you want to use the end of the rod to twitch the bait then stall it for a second or two then twitch it again.

The erratic action will trigger a strike that looks like someone threw a rock into the water but don’t set the hook right away keep working and reeling the bait till you feel it get tight then set the hook.

There will be a lot of short strikes but if you keep working the frog they will chase after it and hit it again.

You want to use heavy gear for this type of fishing so braided line and at least a seven foot rod so you can put some leverage on the fish when they do strike.

Next time you get out on the water try a frog and you will see like I do that there is nothing like a strike on a top water frog.

What’s biting, where...

The offshore guys got out a lot this week with only one bad day of wind.

The big eye tuna are still hanging around with some fish coming to the docks over 150 pounds.

The yellowfin are also still biting when the sharks allow them to get to the boat and they have mostly been in the thirty to fifty pound class so that is a lot of sushi coming into the docks.

The dolphin are showing up in good numbers also with some gaffers mixed into the school so let you captain know if you want tuna or dolphin then go from there.

Close to the shore and on the piers the cobia are still on the prowl just offshore and one or two landing on the piers.

We also have a good blues bite and the Spanish come in waves so if you spend enough time on the planks you should see one come over the rails.

Gotcha plugs are the go to lure for the blues and Spanish while bottom rigs tipped with Fish Bites are working on the mullet.

There are also reports of scattered flounder and speckled trout in the surf right on the breaks and even some stripers coming in to a luck beach angler here and there.

The puppy drum seem to be almost everywhere now with most of them coming in on cut bait and even bottom rigs every now and then.

Here at home in our water we seem to have more white perch than we know what to do with.

They are in every river and creek with what seems to be an endless supply of fish waiting for a bait to pass by so get your Uncle Jessie lures and white Beetle Spins out and tip them with shrimp.

You should be able to find them around every point and stump field as well as the drop offs in about five feet or so of water.

There is no limit to them and no size minimum and like I heard from a game warden take all you want home and feed them to your cat if you want just don’t throw them back into the river.

The largemouth bite is pretty much into its summer time pattern with top water in the morning then switch to a worm or spinner bait after that.

Cody Eaves from Currituck was fishing his favorite frog and landed some nice fish on the North River up in the creeks.

He told me that he probably could have caught more fish but he just couldn’t put the frog rod down and pick up the worm rod. I don’t blame you Cody and keep those reports coming.

If anyone gets out this week send me some pics and a report to fishingwithmike921@yahoo.com or hit me up on Facebook at Fishing with Mike.

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