Autumn has begun in the U.S, and for many that may mean looking forward to Thanksgiving or Halloween — but for seasoned anglers, that means it’s frog fishing season.
Lake Chickamauga is swimming with giant bass all year long, but autumn is one of the funnest times to spend on the lake as the best way to get bit is on a topwater bite. Bass are highly accustomed to feeding on bait in highly covered vegetation areas, especially during autumn when the weather turns cool and bass and baitfish alike seek out mats of vegetation for warmth and cover.
The warmth of the water attracts aquatic insects, baitfish, and bluegills, which draws even more bass to the vegetation. It’s no wonder why the fall season is popular amongst frog fishing enthusiasts.
However, just because the bass are in the mats during this season, doesn’t mean there isn’t a certain art to this fishing technique. Here are a few tips and guidelines for the frog fishing novice.
Choose the right frog
Hollow body frogs will have a fixed double hook and long rubber legs designed to simulate walking to attract bass. Most seasoned anglers will say they’re the best choice for thick vegetation. Then there’s the classic popping frog, which can be used in open water to draw the bass out of nearby vegetation.
Finally, many anglers enjoy using a soft plastic toad. Toads work best in large spaces of open pockets of water since you’ll have to keep moving them around to keep them on the surface. This cheaper bait might have some technical disadvantages, but it’ll keep the bass biting in the right waters.
Remember not to disregard the color of your frog, as this can make or break your fishing experience. In clear water on a cloudy day, white frogs work best. For sunny days or muddy water, you’ll want to select dark-colored frogs, or even black for best immersion.
Choose the right gear
The key to choosing the correct gear for frog fishing is making sure your tackle will be able to support being dragged through thick vegetation if need be. This means you want to use a heavy rod and line.
Braided lines are the usual recommendation from pro anglers, suggesting a minimum of 50 pounds. Braids will cut through grass easily compared to monofilaments.
Reel isn’t as important as choosing the right rod and line, but you can’t go wrong with a high-speed reel, aiming for a 7:1:1 gear ratio for best results.
Know your vegetation
As any experienced bass angler knows, frogs are effective lures anywhere grass is found. But targeting greenery isn’t the only secret to frog fishing.
Bass will bite in floating pollen slicks, debris pockets of wood, reeds, lily pads, muck mats, and even open water with nearby vegetation. Some professional bass anglers will highly recommend looking in areas that aren’t usually targeted. You might be surprised by the size of the bass you can attract in open water.
No matter your choice of frogs or vegetation hubs, on Lake Chickamauga, giant bass will be biting all year long. Whether you’re a pro or just starting out, you can’t pick a better spot to go bass fishing.