'Tis the Season To Get Froggy, Fa,la,la,lala,lala,la,la….
The fall Froggy bite on Clear Lake and the Delta is starting to roll. The Perfect Frog, Perfect Buzz, Buzzbait, Spook etc, can all be major players. Subsurface baits will usually generate more bites, however some of the most exceptional top water fishing of the year, will be available over the next couple of months. A stout rod, some 65# braided line, and a high speed reel are key components for a successful day of Froggy Fishin'. "Bobby's Perfect Frog Rod", from Falcon Rods, Lew's "Speed Spool" TP1SH or TS1SHMG ( both are 7:1 gear ratio reels), a spool of Stren 65# Sonic Braid, and a handful of Perfect Frogs and Perfect Buzz's, will have you moving in the right direction.
Very seldom will a top water bite last for the duration of a standard fishing day, but there will be "moments, or extended moments", during your fall season outing. Do not let the temperature gauge on your boat distract you from throwing the fore mentioned top water baits. Sudden drops in water temperature in a 24 or 48 hour period can put a dent in your surface bait venture for a day or two, but the top water bite will return with a more consistent weather pattern. Steady surface action can be expected until the water temperature gets into the low 50's. Low 50's??!!! You serious??!!!...Oh Yeah!….
Most guys are not aware of the "50+ degree top water bite", because most haven't thrown it during this period. Slowing things down is key. Burning a Perfect Buzz, or standard buzzbait from September through October can be very effective. If you try to carry this pattern through November, you may hit a roadblock. Slow each of these lures down as much as possible. If the bass are rolling, nipping, or not showing any interest at all, then opt for a "walking style" bait.
The Zara Spook, one of the most awesome top water baits of all time, is a fantastic top water choice during the fall months. Bone, Baby Bass and Okie Shad are great colors to try. Stripers, as well as Largemouth Bass, find the "walking" characteristics of this bait very appealing. If you find Largemouth relating to vegetation, then the Perfect Frog from Snagproof is hard to beat. Walking the frog in open water , but staying extremely tight to any available structure, is a great way to entice awesome strikes from extra large Bass.
Surface vegetation is usually dying back during fall months. If you look hard enough, you can usually find sporadic patches still in tact. Duckweed and Cladophora ("cheese"), are very good surface vegetations to locate. These canopies will be found in protected pockets facing to the South or East. The largest bass in the area will usually seek refuge under these mats, and will be focused on Bluegill as their primary forage. Largemouth that are primarily feeding on Bluegill, are usually a better quality fish, and find Brown Bullfrog extremely appealing. My favorite colors during this time frame are, Fred, Black, Cicada Tweety and Brown Bullfrog. Tweety and Brown Bullfrog are the colors that "I Want" them to eat, so I will always try them first. If I can get bit on Tweety and Bullfrog, the fish tend to average 2 to 3 pounds more than with any other color. If the fish are bumping, nudging or rolling on these two color schemes, then I will switch to Fred or Cicada. Fred and Cicada are the "safe" choices. The fish, if there is a frog bite on this particular day, will usually show an interest for Fred or Cicada. Fred has a blast of orange under the chin, which can be an attractor or deterrent. If the Largemouth continue to swirl on Fred and not commit fully, then tie on a Cicada.
Top water fishing through December 1st isn't for everyone. Discipline and good casting mechanics will greatly enhance your chances for a successful trip. Keep your casts low to the water to minimize the splash on entry, and try to figure out the tempo that the fish prefer, on this particular day. If you are fishing a particular top water bait at a slow tempo, then have a fish or two "chase" the bait as you retrieve it back to the boat for another cast….recognize this, and start BRINGING IT!!! That one "Fink", just "Ratted" on the rest of his crew, and may have just opened the door to one of your most memorable fishing days of the year.
"Turnin' Frogs Into Toads"