Capt. Ethan Hamrick
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5 Best Topwater Frogs for Bass Fishing

If you’ve ever experienced the thrill of catching a bass on a topwater lure, you know how much fun it can be. Topwater frogs are one of the best topwater baits an angler can throw.

They excel when fished around thick cover and vegetation, such as grass, reeds, lily pads, hyacinths, and duckweed.

Today, well break down some of the most effective frogs on the market and discuss how to use them to put more bass in the boat!

What is a Topwater Frog?

A topwater frog is simply a plastic hollow bodied lure with a pair of hooks secured in the back.

Most of these surface lures are also dressed with a skirt for added action in the water. Topwater frogs come in a variety of brands, shapes, sizes and colors. However, there are a handful of these awesome surface lures the stand out.

Our Top Pick

Booyah Baits Pad Crasher

The Booyah Baits Pad Crasher is my number one choice when throwing a topwater frog. These baits appear extremely realistic and lifelike when brought across the surface. They come in a wide range of natural looking color patterns.

Many topwater frogs have a poor hookup ratio. However, the Pad Crasher has a very high percentage hook up ratio. The baits soft body allows bass inhale the lure better, which exposes more of the hooks and results in a better hook up.

On top of that, the Pad Crasher is the least expensive one on my list, which means you can get more bang for your buck!

Top 5 Topwater Frogs for Bass

RankPictureNameWhere to Buy
1Booyah Baits Pad CrasherSee it on Amazon
2Booyah Baits Poppin’ Pad CrasherSee it on Amazon
3Spro Bronzeye FrogSee it on Amazon
4Live Target Hollow Body FrogSee it on Amazon
5Strike King KVD Baby Sexy FrogSee it on Amazon

As mentioned above, the Booyah Baits Pad Crasher is my first choice in most nearly every frog fishing scenario. Anytime thick shoreline vegetation and cover are present, I’ll have a Pad Crasher tied on.

However, there are several other reliable topwater frog options. The Spro Bronzeye Frog is another bait with good action and appearance. I know from experimenting that this frog doesn’t have as good of a hook up ratio as the Pad Crasher. However, it stills gets a lot of bites and is an effective frog.

The Live Target Hollow Body Frog is another great choice when selecting a topwater frog. The designs on this frog are some of the most realist you’ll find. The downside of the Live Target frog is that it is the most expensive bait on the list.

The Strike King KVD Baby Sexy Frog is a smaller topwater lure. It doesn’t have as large of a profile as most of the other frogs. It is often a good choice when fishing an area when the forage is smaller.

I will often turn to a popping frog if fishing cover that is not as thick or open water. My go-to is the Booyah Baits Poppin’ Pad Crasher. This bait doesn’t come through dense cover as well as a typical frog. However, it excels in open water scenarios and when bass may want a bait with more of a popping and spitting action. 

Top Colors and Sizes

Topwater frogs come in a variety of colors and sizes. The three colors I’ve found that work best for me include:

  • leopard green
  • yellow
  • black

I can fish nearly every situation with these three patterns. On cloudy days, I like a lighter color, such as a green or yellow. And on bright, sunny days, I prefer to go with darker colors, such as black or even brown, because they provide a larger silhouette. 

6 Tips for Topwater Frog Fishing

Tip #1 Always Use Braided Line

When frog fishing, it is very important to use braided line. This is because you’ll often be fighting fish out of thick cover and don’t want any stretch in your line. Braided line also cuts through grass and other vegetation much better than fluorocarbon or mono-filament line.

Tip #2 Use Heavy Tackle

Using a heavy-duty rod and reel is crucial when frog fishing. A strong rod gives anglers the advantage and ability to battle big bass away from cover more quickly and easily. And the proper reel gives enough torch to keep bass out of the vegetation, where they could get hung up and break free. I prefer a 7’ 6” heavy action bait-casting rod paired to a reel with a 6:1:1 gear ratio. As I mentioned above, braided line is a must, so I spool my reel with 50-65-pound braid.

Tip #3 Focus on Shallow Cover

The best frog fishing typically occurs along shallow, shoreline cover and vegetation. Grass, lily pads, dollar pads, hydrilla, milfoil and duckweed are all excellent types of cover to focus on when working a frog across the surface. During the spring and into the summer, thousands of frogs hatch and begin hopping and swimming across the top of the water around all kinds of cover along the bank. Anglers can experience the best frog bite from mid spring until the end of summer.

Tip #4 Look for THICK Cover

On many fisheries, bass find refuge under the densest cover they can find. Therefore, if you have a bunch of mix of thin vegetation and a hefty amount of vegetation, try the thicker stuff first. For example, if you’ve located a dense mat of grass, pads, milfoil or duckweed, the key is to look for small holes in that vegetation. Working your frog over the matted cover and across the open holes is often what triggers bass to strike.

Tip #5 Learn to “Walk” Your Frog

Most topwater frogs have great action and lifelike appearance when worked properly. Using a twitch, twitch pause action with your rod is key to making your frog ‘walk’ across the surface. Another thing anglers can do to make a topwater frog walk more effectively is to shorten its legs by trimming them with scissors. The shorter the skirt or legs on a frog, the better the bait walks back and forth across the water.

Tip#6 Use BBs to Weigh Down Your Frog

Often, anglers will come across mats of vegetation so thick that their frog doesn’t penetrate the cover enough for bass to pick up on the lure. In this case, I like using one or two small BBs to help weigh the frog down a little. Simply insert the BBs into the hole located near the frog’s belly. Adding this extra weight allows the frog to make a larger impression in the vegetation and gives bass more of chance to locate the bait.

Frog fishing is one of the most exciting ways to catch bass. There’s nothing quite like an explosive frog bite!

Be sure to give a topwater frog a try on your next outing this spring or summer. Focus on thick vegetation and holes in the cover. Vary your retrieve until you figure out how the bass want the bait presented. Try multiple different kinds of frog until you find one that works best for you. Employee some of these tips to help you catch more bass on a frog and be sure to leave a comment down below to let us know how it goes!

Me with my first bass of the evening.
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Me holding my second bass caught five minutes later

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