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.

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