Bass fishing is a game of highs and lows and they sometimes come on the same cast. Each year I look forward to the spring, because it’s the time of the year when my search for the bass of a lifetime has the highest chance of success. Each of the last two springs have resulted in my largest two bass catches. Two years ago, I was lucky enough to land a 13# 14 oz beast on a spinnerbait and last year it was a 12# 3oz toad on a hollow body frog.
But this spring had been somewhat of a disappointment. Although I’ve managed to catch several in the 7 pound class, that expected trophy bass has once again proven to be somewhat elusive. I know how that sounds. A 7 pounder is a large bass in anyone’s book, but after a few over 10 pounds, you can’t help but want more. I’m extremely fortunate to not only live on a lake that produces that size bass, but to also have access to some other local fisheries with world class fishing as well.
But access to this kind of water isn’t all that’s involved in catching a trophy bass. There are so many factors that go into that kind of catch. Admittedly, having them there is tops on the list, but you also need find the proper technique, bait and presentation to trigger them to bite. It also requires persistence, patience and time on the water.
It also requires being willing to spend time fishing baits that get less strikes, but produce consistently bigger bites. Traditionally, baits like a jig or big worm have been considered one of the best ways to produce a bigger bite. These certainly work, but for me I’ve found that there are few things that consistently produce big fish, especially in smaller lakes and ponds, than some sort of frog.
Buzzfrogs and Hollow Body Frogs have proven time and time again that they produce bigger bites on a regular basis. I saw, yet again, proof of this just last week fishing a friend’s lake that was truly on fire. We were able to catch bass after bass on squarebills, Spooks, Splash-its and worms, but every bigger bite we had was on a frog. But as good as they are, all frog baits do have one problem that is consistent regardless of brand and that is that you’re going to miss some fish. Its just part of the game but it can be heartbreaking.
Here’s a short clip of a strike I had last weekend on a frog that shows what can happen, both good and bad with a frog. This is probably the biggest and most vicious strike that I’ve ever experienced on a frog and the fish looked to me to be bigger than I’ve ever seen.
As you can see, this fish managed to avoid capture and certainly that’s a low point for me but it’s also the thing that drives me. Bass fishing a puzzle and figuring out that puzzle is what most of us live for. A bite, even one that you manage not to land, is a clue and it tells us what we’re doing right and what we need to do different. Obviously, I should have done some things different with this bass, but she’s out there waiting for me to figure it out. I know she’s there and I’ll get her soon enough. For now, at least, the search continues.