Strategies – summer frog fishing

Strategies – summer frog fishing

Aug 7, 2013

 ‘Frog Prince’ of Frogfest debunks myths about August bass fishing

By Mike Pehanich

Summer doldrums got you down?

You can’t do much to change the August heat, but a little insight — coupled with a cooler full of water — could change your attitude about August bass fishing!

“A lot of people don’t realize that August is one of the best ‘big fish’ months down south, especially on Lake Seminole and Lake Eufaula,” said Wes Meadows, tournament director for the Nories Frogfest, a two-Saturday event alternating between those two legendary Chattahoochee River reservoirs bordering Florida, Georgia and Alabama. “I caught an 11-pound and an 11.27-pound bass on a lake south of us. They are my two biggest bass ever, both caught in August.”

SWF publisher Mike Pehanich shows off his first bass eight minutes into a filming session with the Nories NF 60 hollow body frog.

Taking to cover

Much of the best action during these “summer doldrum” weeks takes place not necessarily in mid-lake depths or deeper structure but in the shallow cover provided by healthy submerged and emergent vegetation.

Meadows, whose passion for frog fishing inspired Nories Frogfest, has picked apart the abundant shallow water cover in the lakes of his region this summer with both tapered-nose and popping-style hollow body frogs.

“The peanut grass and watermelon weed and lily pads you find on lakes like Eufaula is just dynamite for frog fishing,” said Meadows. “Friends on Eufaula last weekend said they found pads everywhere. From a frogging perspective you couldn’t ask for better!”

In the waning days of July, one Georgia bass team reported a three-bass catch from Eufaula that weighed in at more than 19 pounds, with two seven-pounders in the mix.

Reports from Seminole are much the same.

Whoops! The Nories NF 60 frog might fool other critters besides largemouth bass during the Nories Frogfest.

“A gentleman reported a week and a half ago that he won a tournament with a 19.63-pound three-fish total on Seminole using the (Nories) NF60 frog,” said Meadows. “He also has won a few Thursday night tournaments on the NF 60. He also won the co-angler side of the Bassmaster weekend series on the NF 60. He caught three out of the back of the pro’s boat that weighed 18.75 pounds!”

That bodes well for anglers fishing the Nories Frogfest, a “Nories frogs-only” event that will take place on back-to-back Saturdays at Lake Eufaula (Lakepointe State Park, Eufaula, Alabama) on August 17 and Lake Seminole (Big Jim’s Resort, Donalsonville, Georgia) on August 24, 2013. Over $27,000 in cash payout is guaranteed along with Big Bass Side Pot Awards (1st Place – $1,000; 2nd Place – $600; 3rd Place – $400) at each lake.

“The big fish are up – and up good!” added Meadows. “We have a lot of forage up shallow, and, in my opinion, you couldn’t ask for a better situation right now for frog fishing.”

That makes prospects good for frog fishermen, particularly those using the two “legal” frogs for the Nories Frogfest tournament — the Nories Ebigaeru popping frog-style bait and the Nories NF60 frog, a hollow-body frog. Norio Tanabe, called the “Father of bass fishing in Japan,” designed both baits.

How many different ways can you fish a frog? Nories Frogfest director Wes Meadows claims tournament competitors will prove there's more than chugging and walking when it comes to froggin'! Some may fish their frogs on dropshot or Carolina rigs during the event.

Frog fever on Seminole

Seminole offers a different mix of vegetation than Eufaula, but it’s all fish friendly!

Meadows identifies “topped out” hydrilla and “topped out” milfoil along with coontail, pepper grass…”and an absolute ton of lily pads!” That mix is partly responsible for the innovative ways Seminole anglers put faux frogs to work!

“Some guys say they will dropshot with the frog. Some will add it to a Carolina rig or even punch matted vegetation with the frogs!” said Meadows. “You just have so many more opportunities to fish a frog different ways on Lake Seminole!”

Froggin’ at high noon

Frogging gets a grip on bass anglers like no other style of fishing.

“A frog is an addicting thing!” Meadows emphasized. “And the one thing that really excites me about this (tournament) format is that it will prove to so many people that bass will lap that frog up during the middle of the day!

“A lot of guys are saying that they’re glad it’s only a three-fish limit because they think they only have an hour or so in the morning to get that topwater bait to work. But I’ve learned – and I have frog fished for many years – that the best time to throw a  frog is from noon to weigh-in. The frog projects a shadow through the pads that you don’t get at any other time of day! And a bigger fish doesn’t waste

and 

Lake Eufaula froggers seem to like popping frog-style baits like the Nories Ebigaeru as much as more conventional hollow body frogs with a tapered nose.

energy, so he attacks that frog with the attitude that ‘I’m not going to miss!’ From 12 0’clock on, they will blast it, and they hardly ever miss! This tournament will prove that to so many people.

“It will open their eyes!”

 

Nories frogs are available at three outdoor retail shops in the Southeast — Sportsman’s Outfitters (Dothan, AL), Lakepointe Marina (Eufaula, AL), or West Side Bait & Tackle (Bainbridge, GA; phone order 229/400-1848). Nories frogs are also available on the Land Big Fish website (www.landbigfish.com), and Lee’s Global Tackle  (www.leesglobaltackle.com)

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