Bass in the grass
The hot months of summer can provide excellent fishing, if you can focus on certain areas of lakes, rivers and ponds. Today’s information will be focused on the latter of that list, ponds. A lot of fishing in Iowa takes place on private ponds. They often have big populations of bluegills and bass, and that attracts anglers of all ages to these small Iowa gems.
I know a lot of anglers that do not continue to go to area farm ponds because it is too “weedy.” When I hear people say this, my blood gets pumping. The saying goes, “what is one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” This is so true when it comes to fishing near weeds in the summer time. Iowa is a hot, fertile place, which causes weeds to grow rapidly in the summer months in our small ponds across the state. I really enjoy fishing the weeds during summer, and there is no better time than now to explore those weeds for bass.
There is no doubt that bass love the weeds. They like to “hang out” in the weeds for several different reasons. The bass, and other species too like the weeds because they offer a hiding place, shade, higher levels of oxygen content in the water and an abundance of food. The hot pond water will be several degrees cooler under the shady weeds, this is a big reason bass like to live in the weeds this time of year. However, when it comes down to it, it is all about survival, and that means food.
Weeds are a unique ecosystem in themselves. Weeds offer microorganisms food, which offers bugs something to eat, which offers smaller fish something to eat, and that gives the bass something to eat. A perfectly balanced ecosystem like that will equal to some exciting bass fishing.
Weeds, and when I speak of weeds, could be weeds that are floating or weeds that are submersed make a perfect feeding area for bass. A hollow-body frog style bait is the best, and most exciting way to catch these “weed bass”. As seen in the picture, a frog bait is just that, a rubber bait that looks like a frog and floats on the water. This bait is “weedless” which allow you to throw it anywhere you see weeds. Remember, the bass live under the weeds, and don’t be afraid to throw the bait in the thickest of weeds. Before going to your favorite pond with a frog tied on, there are a few things to consider when using a frog bait.
Most artificial bass lures can be thrown on a medium action rod; a frog is not one of them. You need a stiff action rod to pull the bass from the weedy terrain. I prefer a medium/heavy action rod with a fast tip for frog fishing. The length of the rod should be at least six feet and six inches long or longer. One more thing is to use a heavy duty reel. A baitcaster is the best choice, but other types of reels can work too.
No matter the reel, make sure you put a braided line on it. A braided line has little to no stretch at all, helping you pull those bass away from the weeds. Having this proper setup will allow you to catch more fish using a frog. Don’t get me wrong, you can catch them using slightly different varieties of equipment, but if you can follow that setup as close as you can you will get maximum hookups with bass.
Now that you have that weedy pond, and the proper setup for bass, you need to tie on that frog. As all anglers, I have my secrets, but will share one with you now.
The Optimum Baits Furbit Frog is the best out there. There are dozens of brands that make frogs, and they are good, but the Furbit Frog is the absolute best, hands down. It comes ready to tie on (use a Palomar knot with braided line) with dual sharp hooks, a heavy weight to sink it in the grass (allowing for more hookups), great color choices and frog legs that bass cannot resist. It is the total package for topwater frog fishing. For more information on that bait, check out www.optimumbaits.com.
Like any artificial bait, you must provide the proper action that bass want for that particular day. Some days, the bass want the frog moving slowly, other days, giving it rapid twitches are what the bass want. Experiment with how you move the frog, and hopefully a bass will tell you which action they want to see that day.
Frog fishing is my favorite way to catch bass in the summer months, I hope you can get out in the next several weeks and give frog fishing a try. Warning: frog fishing may become addicting.