ProStaffer Tyler Thiede on Frog Fishing for Bass

Branches' ProStaffer Tyler Thiede

Tyler Thiede, Bending Branches ProStaff team member (photo courtesy of Tyler Thiede)

Bending Branches ProStaffer, Tyler Thiede, talks frog fishing for bass on this episode of Paddle N’ Fin Network, a podcast for kayak anglers of all levels.

Tyler and his family live in northwest Wisconsin, not far from Bending Branches’ headquarters. He got into kayak fishing when his cousin, a Branches employee, introduced him to it.

His passion is frog fishing, and is the main topic of his chat with host, Sean.

Frogs can be a great beginner bait to use. Tyler’s 5-year old son fishes with them and can cast them very well. He gives us some of his best tips, including many anglers’ two biggest mistakes:

  • Trying to play the fish once it’s bitten. You have to keep the line tight with a frog or the fish will spit it out. 
  • Not using braided line, especially with a lot of vegetation.

Here are some more frog fishing tips from Tyler:

Rig Your Rod Correctly

Tyler uses a heavy-duty bait caster with a tiny spindle so he can put more line on. He uses mono-backing with 55-pound braid on a 7.5-foot extra-heavy rod. He likes to have a dedicated frog rod that’s always ready. He also uses a 6.5 -spinning reel with 30 or 40 pound braid. “That gets the job done, too,” he says.

If these aren’t an option for you, no problem. Use what you can afford. The main thing is to use at least 30-40 pound braid line. He likes the Sufix braid with the coating so it doesn’t snarl as much, and it cuts through the weeds when you reel in a fish.

bass caught with frog bait

When to Set the Hook with a Frog

Especially in a kayak, you want to keep your drag tight. Because a kayak is lighter than a bigger boat, it’ll move toward the fish as you reel. You don’t want slack on the line or you’ll have a good chance of losing your fish.

Here’s the key with frog fishing: When you see the blow-up, count to three. That gives the bass time to move from its hold on the tail to a firmer grab on the body of the frog. Then set the hook. While it feels like an eternity, it’ll give you time to reel up any slack before the jerk.

Trimming the Frog’s Legs

A trick Tyler always recommends to people is to trim off a chunk of the rubber legs on any new frog you buy. The 2+ extra inches on the frogs give the fish too much rubber to bite on, so setting the hook is much riskier.

When you shorten it up they have to bite closer to the frog body. Cut the tails at an angle and it also helps give the frog more motion on the water.

Search Bait

Tyler uses a frog as a search bait—he reels it in slow and lets it wobble to see what’s out there. You don’t have to jerk the frog around too much. If the fish aren’t biting, try switching up colors.

frog baits

Tyler’s favorite frog baits: top toads and pad crashers (photo courtesy of Tyler Thiede)

When to use Top Toads

Top Toads work well for fishing in water without a lot of vegetation for it to get tangled in, or in waters without predator fish. Tyler rarely uses a soft body frog like top toads because of the northern pike in the waters near him.

He’s seen anglers use top toads to go after spawning fish because they’ll sink.

Top Toads work great for attracting bigger fish waiting at the drop-off. Sometimes will fish Tyler in 3 to 4 feet of water over a ledge drop-off. He’ll cast one over the deeper water and reel it back to the shallows.

Fishing in Weed Mats

Tyler’s favorite bait for thick weed mats is the Booyah Pad Crasher for price, weight and size. You want something light for weed mats so they don’t get tangled in the weeds below the water level.

What Colors to Use

Tyler advice is: Don’t get suckered into buying frogs made for the anglers instead of the fish!

Tyler carries two or three colors with him. He always looks at the bottom of the lure because that’s what the fish see. He uses black, white and yellow—Black Terminator is a favorite.

He starts with green with a white or yellow bottom. If he doesn’t have success with it he’ll switch to black. In overcast or very sunny conditions he’ll use black for more contrast. If you only get one color, get a black frog bait with black on the bottom.

Tyler Thiede's son kayak fishing

Tyler’s 5-year old son loves fishing with frogs! (photo courtesy of Tyler Thiede)

There’s plenty more in the video of Sean and Tyler’s chat, so give yourself an hour to relax and watch.

You can find Tyler Thiede at his Small Craft Fisherman website and YouTube Channel.

You can find more of the Paddle & Fin Podcast on YouTube.

Can we help you find your next kayak fishing paddle? Contact our friendly Customer Service team today: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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