Pro Frog is Back with New Colors
— limited quantities for a limited time
Bass fishing in the South in August and September can take a turn for the worse. One way to beat the heat is to switch gears and head to the shallows fishing a frog. Culprit is producing a limited run and in a couple of limited colors of the Pro Frog. This frog can be fished on a standard swimbait-type hook with a screw lock, or simply weightless with a worm hook, but perhaps best is as a buzz bait trailer instead of a skirt.
Many of the best pros in the country have almost exclusively gone to using a frog instead of a skirt on a buzz bait. In summer this is key because this bait can be skipped under overhead cover in the shade, as shallow bass love to get in the shade where the water is a little cooler.
The key to finding bass shallow is finding the bait or forage mixed with shade and, in my experience, this is not a time for fishing slow, making buzz baits and topwater good choices.
I’m looking for a couple of scenarios.
First is bass in the back of creeks keying on cooler rain runoff. These bass can be caught and are often aggressive as many anglers have passed on these areas all summer. My first bait of choice to attack places such as this is a buzzbait followed by a crank bait deeper on stumps and channel banks.
Next, finding bass near bream beds is a solid pattern – because who wouldn’t want to live next to the buffet bar? These are typically in the back of pockets on reservoirs or just inside protected points. In rivers you find them mostly out of the current but in protected pockets. They prefer sand with some fine rock or shells. Some can be in clear, deeper water but the ones I want to find are really shallow to get them going on a frog or topwater bait.
I’m typically out hopping pockets, fishing fast when they are on this pattern. So a frog as a trailer on a buzzbait is perfect.
I’ve teamed up with Culprit to bring back the 4″ Culprit Pro Frog in four colors with two being special runs to meet what I’ve always wanted in a frog. For the bream beds, I’ve selected a color we call Bream Bed Special which is green pumpkin hue with a pale orange belly. Bass react strongly to this color when they are on the bream bite. The frog really looks like a fleeing bluegill turned on its side flying out of the bed, other bass think it is getting chased and they attack it fast before other bass can get it.
While the frog can certainly look like a bluegill fleeing on the surface, it also mimics fleeing shad or simply a frog as designed.
The other special run color we came up with is Pearl White. This is a great match to shad. While most brands only offer in white, Pearl White looks so much more like a shad and especially in clearer water gets more bites than a matte white. I use the Pearl White in the back of creeks and also just covering water for bass eating shad on points in the mornings.
The other two colors are tried and true, Green Pumpkin and Black. Green pumpkin is just all around great on all plastics and black is best in low light or muddy water conditions.
With these four color frogs, a weedless hook and a buzzbait frame, you can be back in the action in late summer in the south.
Get them while they last since this is a limited run this month only.
How to Fish Late Summer in the South
With all the pro tournaments headed up north in late summer, not much information is available for those of us stuck in the heat.
Late summer is undoubtedly the toughest time of year to bass fish in the south. I’ve learned a few things over many years that may help out bass fans.
Depending on the body of water, bass can be incredibly concentrated in tight smallish schools roaming both the banks and open water, or simply scattered seemingly throughout the lake. Schools can be ghosts and bank fish very undependable.
To put the odds in my favor, I try to keep fishing simple, often not concerning myself with these roamers, but also making the necessary adjustments to catch fish.
The simplest of all is to pretend it is fall and go up the creeks. Creeks with current are best, but often these are hard to find due to low rainfall. You will be surprised how quickly and how many shad will be present in many of these, even with no current.
There probably won’t be as many fish in these creeks as there are in October, but there will be some and some big ones that simply have lived there all year without any fishing pressure. I resist looking deep under all the shad if they are really thick, that is a lost cause for me. I always look nearby in shallow heavier cover.
My approach depends on the type of creek. If it is a big flat creek, I’m looking for any defined channel with stumps. If none are around, I’m looking for isolated cover on flats.
Keeping it simple once again, I’ll usually fish a buzzbait if the water is shallow, like 1 to 2 feet around this cover. If it is deeper than 2 feet then I’m using a crankbait (usually a Yo-Zuri Squarebill for 3 feet and a Hardcore Medium Diver in 4-6). I’m not really ever looking deeper than that unless the water is clear.
If there is water willow (bank grass as we call it in the south) then I’ll rig a Tactical Shad Eco-Pro Swim jig with a Culprit Flutter Craw in Albino color. There is a good chance of big fish being in this type of cover all the time and nothing is more efficient in it than a swim jig.
On creeks that have some water on the banks, a buzzbait with Culprit Pro Frog Trailer in Pearl White gets the nod, to skip under overhanging trees and shallow docks. A Falcon Expert 7-ft., 3-in. heavy is the perfect rod with a bit of tip for this job. Yo-Zuri 50-lb. braid is needed for the heavy stuff and ease of skipping.
My next Favorite pattern if I can get nothing going in the creeks is to fish bream beds. Usually these are in the same pockets that the bass spawned in often right in the middle of the backs.
If there are active spawning bream around, there will be bass. I fish two baits most of the time. First is a Yo-Zuri 3DB Prop in bluegill or gold orange belly. I use this if the bass are obviously active and the beds are slightly deeper like 1.5 or 2 feet, because I get really good hookups with this bait.
If it is really shallow or I don’t want to risk getting hung up with treble hooks, I use a buzz bait with frog trailer or a frog by itself with a special limited run Culprit Pro-Frog called Bream Bed Special. It’s a greenish hue with a pale orange belly and they crush it. This looks and acts like a bluegill and gets positive strikes. I like the buzzbait with Pro Frog especially on really shallow bluegill beds from just inches to 1.5 feet deep or so. If the water is dirty however I go with black.
There are always fish doing other things and it is highly dependent on the body of water and amount of current in the system, but these two patterns will get you started catching bass if it has gotten tough for you in late summer.