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Monday, June 15, 2009

• Slow Scumfroggin' Over Duckweed

For many of us, frogging is usually a cast and retrieve chore. When we find the green stuff, we work the frog over it with occasional pauses. Slowing down is usually not in the froggin' vocabulary. When it comes to hollow bodied lures like Scumfrogs and SPRO Bronzeye frogs, the story can be very different. Because these lures float, slowing down is relatively easy, especially when covering slop where sluggish summer bass lurk.

My absolute favorite Scumfrog slop to fish has to be duckweed. During the summer months, duckweed can hold more than a few bass. Whenever I come across duckweed, I see lines where anglers have worked buzzbaits and soft plastic frogs. It always looks like they worked over the area too quickly. Whenever I find duckweed, I break out the Scumfrog and pick the protected area apart.

Even though the Scumfrog has a hollow body and was designed to float, the nose tends to point up in the air and the legs dip down under water. That's why I'm able to work this lure so slowly across duckweed. And because that duckweed helps conceal the finer points of the lure, bass don't get a clear look before they bite. Perfect condition for a slow presentation. I'm not sure how other similar frogs behave, but you might be able to produce the same results on a SPRO frog too. All of my confidence rests behind the Scumfrog, so that's what you'll be hearing about in this post.

Find a healthy spread of duckweed and pick the spot you'd like to cast to. Let the frog hit the water and pause for a brief moment to let the duckweed regroup around your lure. Then, make the head of the frog bounce. That's right. No splashing. No skipping or jumping either. You want to make the nose of the lure bob up and down. That's all this technique is about. You're not trying to move the bait forward. Some forward motion is unavoidable, but the technique revolves around a vertical approach. I guarantee you will catch some good fish and the best part is that it takes very little effort.

Here's how to go about mastering this approach. Unlike so many other techniques in bass fishing, most of the work is done with the reel handle, not the rod. It only takes very quick, yet subtle turns of the crank to make the frog bounce. At most, I probably only move the handle a half inch at at a time and then pause. Because the Scumfrog floats, you might get an extra bounce out of a single 1/2 inch turn. It's easier for me to control the action when I alternate between the two handle knobs, turning front to back. I only turn the crank using whichever handle is positioned at the front. When it reaches the back, I switch knobs. Sometimes a quick tap of the handle knob is enough to produce a controlled bounce. When the frog is a good distance away, I keep the rod pointed towards the the lure or slightly to one side. As the lure gets closer, I might lift the rod tip so the frog does not move forward too quickly. The hookset, like any other topwater, might require a one or two second count. I prefer using a high speed 7:1 reel with most topwater lures, but use what you're comfortable with.


Sometimes bass like quick repetitive bounces and other times, they want to be slowly teased. I never let the frog sit still for more than five or six seconds, although I'm sure deadsticking might be successful too. It helps to watch a real frog swim through duckweed. They use a slow stop and go movement and bob their head up and down when they stop. Their legs dangle down underneath the duckweed. I will admit, real frogs move a heck of a lot slower than my technique, but if it works, I'm not going to complain.

Work the frog like this all the way back and watch for any swirls. The presence of a fish is pretty obvious in duckweed. When a bass takes the frog under, give yourself a second or two before setting the hook. The hits may not be explosive. I've noticed when bass hit under duckweed, they seem to hit lightly or attack with a more horizontal lunge.

Be patient. Be thorough. Establish a pattern. Never pass up duckweed.


Video #1: Basic video illustrating the kind of movement you want to replicate. (00:48)
Slow Scumfroggin 1


Video #2: The technique works. Wasn't a bass this time, but proves that the subtle and slow approach draws strikes. I only had to bob the lure twice. (00:14)
Scumfroggin over duckweed 2


Video #3: YouTube - Higher Quality
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gy6I9Par0A

This is the catfish that decided to cooperate with filming. Guess it didn't expect to make an internet debut like this.

Related Posts:
A Few Frogs Part 1: The Scumfrog
Off the Pier 6-11 & 6-13

2 comments:

Basspastor said...

It doesn't seem like I have come across much duck weed in the last few years. I know I have caught bass out of the stuff on Snagproof Frogs when I have come across it.

liquidfoot said...

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