Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Choosing the Right Frog

Most haruan hunters choose frogs more often by the influence of what they read be it feedback from other anglers or marketing blurbs provided by spin doctors who’ve never actually been on the water much less fished a frog. Not all anglers are aware that specific frog designs work better for given situations.

Your choice should be dictated primarily by the water you fish. Whether you fish clear, shallow water, heavy kangkong/grass cover or azola, algae and scum filmed predator lairs there is a particular frog design that works better than others for each aquatic terrain.

Clear, shallow water is frogged with Spro, Ribbits and Thai type frogs. The pointed bow of the Spro type frog allows it to be retrieved fast in a straight line. Thai frogs track well and lend themselves to speed. The trailing double hook ensures scores on short striking fish. Live frogs are not known to swim in a walk the dog fashion. Once a live frog hits the water it’s pedal to the metal. It wants to get from point A to B as fast as it can. Every second the frog treads water is another second for it to turn into a meal.  Real Frogs don’t make much commotion in the water with their heads, most of the action is at their distal end so choose frogs that imitate this. Always cast beyond your target area preferably into cover or the bank and pull your lure into the water. Keep your line high, out of the water.  Tie directly to the eye with a tight knot to allow proper tracking.

Working heavy cover requires different frogs. Popping frogs, Panther Martin frogs and very natural looking frogs are great for working holes in the cover. You can drop them into the holes and let them sit. Twitching them causes a good amount of disturbance without much forward movement allowing you to work the spot long.

When working through kangkong beds, try to use a lighter frog with a big body profile. Live Target, Scumfrogs etc. Natural frogs try to “walk” on top of the kangkong away from the water and the thick stems. Work your frog the same way, keeping the nose up to avoid snagging. Lightweight frogs will keep on top and the big profile makes for an easy target and doesn’t sink into the snags . Work it slow, predators often track prey for a time waiting for the right moment to strike. Short, slow upward pulls (wrist action) will crawl your frog through. Try raising your arm high to add height and length to your rod. When your frog snags, shake it free on a tight line, don’t pull. If the frog doesn’t come off, point your rod at the frog, reel in all the slack and gently pull until it comes off. This prevents the lure from slingshotting off the snag and you can continue your presentation. One more tip for the heavy cover addict is to coat your frog with an oil based scent this allows your frog to slip through vegetation easier. Cooking oil and WD40 works fine. The next time you buy Spanish sardines in oil…save the sludge at the bottom. Haruans will smash through thick beds to get at juicy morsels. Tie frogs directly, use no snaps.

Water covered with a film of scum, algae or duckweed is one of the most exciting to work. The predators can’t see you so are less cautious. Use heavier frogs to penetrate the film. Work at a slow to moderate speed. Natural frogs swimming in this muck are slow and often struggling something that turns on any predator. Fan cast the area to give haruans a chance to track your lure.

I’ve never found haruan to be particular with the color of frogs. You cannot go wrong with natural finishes that imitate endemic anurans especially with slow presentations. Using bright colors like yellow, white or fire tiger when working heavy cover aids in keeping visual contact with your lure.  Me, I like any color as long as it’s black.

Friday, September 27, 2013

PNW Quickie

Burned a few hours at the park. It was also an opportunity for me to test my Modded Skeet Reese. Haruan Strike! I usually fish soft plastic jerkbaits weightless but for wide-bodied shad type plastics, weighed hooks help keep the lure on an even keel for a more natural look. This 2kilo+ juvie toman destroyed my 2X Owner doubles.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Puerto Azul, Rain and More Rain

I woke to a cold, drizzling 3 a.m. Sunday... 
Conditions and common sense dictated that I remain in bed and not succumb to the insane notion that this was to be a great day for fishing. 

The debate in my head began as a murmur but gained volume as the arguments progressed. Finally, the din was too loud so I got up and dressed.

I gathered my tackle and raided the fridge for provisions. As I exited the house, mother nature decided to have some fun and turned young drizzle into full fledged downpour. Freezing rain ran down my neck, jogged along my spine and walked through just about everywhere making sure  to leave nary a dry spot on my body.

Finally, I was on my way. The cold soaking I received only bolstered my belief that this was to be a day for catching. I checked my cell and saw a message from another inmate of the angler's insanity ward. It read " kuya Bong saan ka fishing". It was sent at past 3 a.m. Obviously, this angler still had some sanity left in him for he texted late. True blue diehard inmates would call not text at 2a.m.

I drove the 50km. to Naic where the last stop for civilized provisions was located. The 7-11 here was well stocked and provided me with the much needed cholesterol, sugar and sodium for my trip. The only thing they lacked was ice but I figured with mother nature doing her best to keep temperatures around me below freezing, i really wouldn't need ice. 

After a couple more kilometers I arrived at my destination. Conditions had brightened, the dark curtains were pulled back revealing potentially good weather with the breaking dawn. I learned later that this was just an intermission in the day long "Noah and the 40 day/night deluge" movie remake.

The water was slightly silted- conducive conditions for talakitok and other predators to come into the estuary. you didn't need a tide to trigger feeding as a slow continuous flow was coming from the swollen stream. The same flow carried with it fast food trays of fish goodies which attracted both prey and predators. 

I tied on my noisiest lure dressed in the loudest colors- A vibe bait in firetiger. A real attention getter.

I cast it out over the shallow rock bottom and started a slow retrieve. I wanted the lure ticking off the rocks right in the kill zone. That first cast turned into a first strike as something arrested my lure's progress. The aggressor attempted to make a run as it felt steel bite down into its jaw. 
Unfortunately for it, an Abu Gunnar raring for its first catch was at the other end. The reel gave no quarter and in seconds, the jack was lying on dry land. 

Back to work went the gaudy lure and a couple of casts later, another attempt to accost it. The Abu turned on the burner- cranking in the fish, an estuary grouper, with no effort.

In a few minutes more, AntonV arrived. The bite had slowed as the tide began running out adding strength to the push of freshwater from the stream. We cast around but had no more takers.

The rains started again. First it was a light playful tease but this soon turned into full scale bullying. Mother Nature decided we needed a good cleaning. First she put us through the wash cycle. Loads of freezing water poured on us from all directions. Then after she had drenched us to her satisfaction, she started the spin cycle- cold wind blasting our already frozen bodies.

Yet we cast, stiff fingers working our reels. Hope was there but ebbing along with the tide.

Gaia put us through two more wash/dry cycles and this cleaned us out of any remaining piscatorial urges. We decided to call it a day...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Haruans on Plastics

A lot of fishing pressure in my favorite pond has rendered common lures ineffective. Although spinnerbaits still rack up, low signature baits like soft plastics are a good way to up the catch rate.
 Jerkbaits have always been my favorite for salt and sweetwater. Flukes and assassins are killers.

3/8 oz. Tungsten heads with Owner 3/0's rigged with #20 wire. These heads give me distance and depth to work the deeper portions of the pond.
Unweighed Zoom.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

First Toman of the Season

The first rains after a long, hot dry spell always triggers freshwater fish to feed. Lower, more comfortable temperatures lure predators into newly inundated areas where prey are feeding.
This fattie took a liking to my glide bait.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

My Swinghead Rigs

These lures are great! Weedless, casts far and of course catches. Attaching different types of plastics gives you a versatile rig that can be used for various conditions and predators.

You can rip, crawl, bounce these lures anywhere in the water column.