Catching largemouth bass is a very popular hobby these days. ESPN runs fishing shows weekend mornings. It seems like every clip is of some pro fisherman getting a big bass on every single cast. Our fishing happens in real time. There is no editing out the frown on your face after the hours of fishless casts. The fishermen on TV do teach us one thing, however, it is something they don’t do, rather than something they do. Using live-bait is prohibited on the tour, and for good reason. Live bait can vastly improve your catch totals and fun.
Besides the most popular baits, minnows and nightcrawlers, there are two other baits that can be very effective. The best out of these two are definitely frogs. Frogs are a very good natural bait for largemouth bass, and in some ponds are the main food. Even though these amphibians are much less common in large deep lakes, they are equally as successful here as they are in 25-acre ponds.
Acquiring frogs is as difficult as it sounds. You cannot by them at a tackle store, and sneaking up on them is near impossible. Perhaps the only reliable way is to find an extremely small pond, the muckier the better. You need a large butterfly net, a small bucket with a top, and a lot of luck. Walk quietly around the side of a pond. When you find one, take the net at it with a short quick downward stroke. Bring it towards the head of the frog, and try to pin it on the bank and drag it our carefully. You are looking for the small pickerel or leopard frogs. Fill the bucket with a little bit of water to keep the frogs moist, but no over their heads or they will drown.
Rigging frogs is pretty simple. Use a hook you would use for a plastic worm or nightcrawler, and hook it through both lips or through on leg. Cast near some cover and let it swim freely. Raise your rod tip every once in a while to make sure it did not sink to the bottom. If the frog dies, it can still be effective by reeling it in on the top of the water, or jerking it along.