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Fall Means Frog Fishing For This Pro

Posted 10/30/2014

Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas has proven how versatile plastic frogs really are.

It’s a pretty safe bet that no professional bass fisherman looks forward to the cooling waters of autumn more than Yamaha Pro Dean Rojas. That’s because he knows October signals the beginning of the fall frog fishing season, and few understand how to fish the soft, hollow body plastic lures better than he does.

Since 2005 when the plastic frog he designed won the Best of Show award at the annual national fishing tackle show known as ICAST®, Rojas has been steadily changing how anglers fish these lures. He has shown the fishing world these are actually year-round lures; they can be fished in open water as effectively as around thick cover; and that they frequently draw strikes when other lures don’t. 

The hollow body lures, which feature a double hook design and collapse when a bass strikes, originated on Lake Guntersville in northern Alabama more than 40 years ago where they were initially designed for fishing over the lake’s heavy, matted milfoil beds. Rojas discovered them more than a decade ago, and immediately started improving the lure’s basic design to make them more versatile. 

“Although I have a frog tied on and ready to cast every day of the year,” the Arizona-based pro says, “autumn is probably my favorite time because this is when the bass are normally feeding more actively than at any other time. They’re in shallow water chasing shad, and while a frog does not really imitate a baitfish, the bass still hit it readily on the surface.

“It’s just a fun time to fish, because if you can find a school of bass that is feeding, they’ll hit a frog on every cast you make.”

The Yamaha Pro’s choice of frogs is a popping frog featuring a concave face that pushes water and creates a lot of commotion, something bass seem to prefer in the fall months. His favorite targets include flooded bushes, boat docks, rock piles, and scattered vegetation, all in water less than 10 feet deep.

“The only thing I do differently in the fall is slow down my retrieve, which is easy to do because a popping frog does not move forward very far each time I twitch my rod,” adds Rojas. “I can keep the lure in the strike zone longer so the bass have more time to look at it. Because the water is cooling, I usually limit my frog fishing to the afternoon hours when the temperature has warmed the water, but bass will certainly hit in the morning, as well.

“I really try to locate schools of fish, which isn’t that hard to do in the fall because the bass pushing schools of baitfish to the surface start feeding in a frenzy. You can see the water being churned up, and all you have to do is make a cast into the middle of it. I look in coves and in the backs of tributaries most of the time, but it also happens in open water. You can find feeding activity by watching gulls, too, because they’ll be diving on the trapped baitfish from above while the bass attacking from below.”

Rojas uses 80-pound braided line for all his frog fishing, along with a medium-heavy action seven foot rod and a fast 7.1:1 reel that gives him instant control when a bass strikes. It’s a combination he recommends for all frog fishermen.

“My rod has a fast tip but a lot of strength, which is what I need because I’m throwing a very light lure around cover and always expecting a big bass,” smiles the Yamaha Pro. “Frogs definitely attract big bass wherever you fish them, and in the autumn, they’re in shallow water feeding just like the smaller fish are.

“My personal biggest bass on a frog weighed nine pounds, but I know other fishermen who’ve caught larger fish on frogs, and yes, most of those bass came during the fall months.”