• Kenneth Kieser: Frogs and mice in the heavy stuff

  • Topwater fishing for big bass can create some dramatic moments. Largemouth bass generally don't hit an easy meal; they bust it with unbelievable power and fury.

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  • Topwater fishing for big bass can create some dramatic moments. Largemouth bass generally don't hit an easy meal; they bust it with unbelievable power and fury.
    Bass over 5 pounds slam into topwater offerings while anglers are left with the image of their lure disappearing in the midst of water and weeds exploding in every direction. Everything happens very quickly during a topwater strike.
    Summer heat has taken over and most anglers topwater fish at night. But hollow frogs and mice are productive throughout the day, even when temperatures are approaching triple digits. The key is knowing where to look.
    During hot weather, bass love shade in slightly deeper water where more oxygen exists. Areas with lily pads, slop or other cover such as fallen trees and docks generally are covered with some kind of aquatic vegetation. Bass hide under this messy green stuff and wait for an easy meal to drop in.
    Plastic hollow mice or frog lures are ideal for this situation. Lures like my favorites, the Moss Mouse or Lunker Frog, lies on top of vegetation and seldom pick up weeds like most lures. This is in part because the lure is lighter and the hooks are totally weedless. Several twitches of this “victim” create vicious strikes.
    There are two primary ways to fish this type of lure. First, by holding your rod tip in the hook set position and slowly turning your reel handle in short bursts with long pauses. Or by working your rod tip in a downward motion while slowly turning your reel handle while making sure to pause when close to cover or in open pockets. Fish cannot resist eating frogs or mice. The legs retract on excellent choices like the Lunker Frog during the stop-and-go technique.
    When the sun is out and the sky is clear and you know the fish are holding to cover, let the frog or mouse pause a little longer next to cover. They have absolutely no chance of knowing the frog is an artificial lure and will absolutely smash it.
    Anglers can play around with the cadence and speed of lures like the Lunker Frog retrieve based on how the fish are reacting. Aggressive bass allow you to speed up the retrieve and cover more water. Slow strikes mean slowing down to stay in the strike zone longer.
    Cast past where you think bass will be holding. Let the hollow lure splash down causing surface disturbance, then start reeling with your rod tip down. The goal is to cover water looking for active fish.
    Low-light conditions like early in the morning or late evening are best.
    During overcast conditions fish will roam, finding actively feeding fish often requires covering water. The straight retrieve is great for covering water and locating active fish.
    Page 2 of 2 - This is an excellent time to catch big bass. Try the hollow frogs and mice for some hot action during the hottest months. You will dream about those savage strikes and wake up wanting more!
    Kenneth Kieser, a veteran outdoors writer, writes a weekly outdoors column for The Examiner. Reach him at kkieser@comcast.net

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