Summer Bass Fishing with a ''Silhouette Frog''
Soft Plastic frog fishing for most anglers is one of the most exciting ways to fish for largemouth bass. It appears to be a simple method to just cast one out with a stiff rod loaded with braided line while holding the rod up and then retrieving the bait with a fast enough cadence to get the legs of the frog sizzle across the surface like a buzz bait. All the while the angler is anticipating an explosion of a bass aggressively taking the frog. This technique is sufficient for most weekend warriors, but fishing a soft plastic frog is a little more involved for a professional angler trying to catch big fish for points and prize money. Such is the case for Team Nitro Pro Donna Bilbrey, owner of Warpath Lures.
Donna is an LBAA tournament pro that is known for her top water skill. One of her favorite summer tactics is the frog bite. As a way to finance her career and to help others catch bass she has chosen a simple black frog as her debut bait to start building a brand in the industry. Donna’s intention with WARPATH LURES is to provide productive baits to anglers of various skill levels that are simple to fish and in basic colors to meet the needs of the conditions in which the particular lure performs best.
Anglers that have fished soft plastic frogs know that the cast and burn technique can be exciting and productive, however Donna wanted to take things just a little farther than other companies have. With her signature “Silhouette Frog” the design of the 4" black frog’s encompassed longer legs and larger feet turned inward. The legs and feet provide maximum water displacement and vibration for fishing in open water with a buzz bait action on a fast retrieve or a slower swimming presentation when fished slowly. The black color provides the ultimate contrast for fishing lily pads and grass mats with a "Silhouette" that is also deadly for fishing day or night.
The debut color in black was chosen for the sharp contrast that black gives when viewed through the eyes of a fish. Below a mat or pad as frog foraging bass look upward through the vegetation for the shape of familiar food. Black is seen more visibly than green would be. The same at night, the dark color provides contrast or a “silhouette” against the night sky. At night light colors are often missed by bass strikes due to an error in depth perception due to the lack of contrast. More colors will eventually be introduced for stained water as well as clear water and to satisfy anglers that have confidence colors.
Rigged with a 3 - 4/0 spring lock hook is how Donna recommends for beginners fishing this amazing frog, however it is versatile and can be rigged in other successful bass enticing ways. For thick vegetation such as grass mats, the frog can be rigged with the shank of the hook on top down the frogs back, or in open water around stumps and isolated cover it can be rigged with the hooks shank underneath the frog. Both methods have the same result, bass after bass exploding on the frog as it is retrieved it over openings in the mats.
When the bass erupt on the frog with short strikes and the hook set is continually missed, an adjustment can be made to compensate the bass’ lack of commitment to the bait. The frog can be rigged with a small bullet sinker pegged to the frog’s nose with a bobber stopper. This will hold the frog upright as it runs a few inches deeper in the water. If a bass missed the bait, the best method is to kill the bait and let it sink, often on sunny summer days this will turn a one hit wonder into a second strike scenario.
The frog also makes a fantastic jig trailer for getting it down deep when bass are relating to structure and are feeding down. The versatility of the “Silhouette Frog” makes it a great summer through fall bait to have on hand. More subtle than the metal blade of a buzz bait, but more aggressive than a beaver or a worm, the frog falls somewhere between the creatures and fish imitation baits satisfying bass on pressured lakes. Often thought of as a “grass” bait, many anglers overlook the fact that soft plastic frogs can be successful when fished in open water when the conditions are right for a top water bite.
Donna’s “Silhouette Frogs” are available exclusively at WARPATH LURES on the Team Bilbrey Fishing website storefront at //teambilbrey.com/storefront/