BassWestUSA - January/February, 2010, Page 62

don’t believe that. I’ve found that they will still stay near their beds. With a warm-up, they will become that much more aggressive. At Darda- nelle that happened, and the af- ternoon bite was key.” The daily afternoon warm- up caused the Dardanelle bass to binge nearly on schedule, at which time he put the buzz frog to work. “The bigger fish were engulf- ing the Cane Toad as soon as it came over their bed. One of the advantages of using a frog in that situation was that I was able to make so many more casts when compared to a flipping presentation that other guys were using. I will say again that the tempera- ture had to be just right – for Dardanelle that was right around 62 degrees.”

Several manufacturers currently of- fer a molded, soft plastic lure designed to mimic the bass’ favorite green, limber-legged amphibian. Although there are many combinations of shapes and sizes, as Chris notes, not all frogs are created equal. Several anatomical differences ex- ist among the frogs produced today. Those include: body thick- ness, body width and leg type. Of the various frog features, Chris believes that body thickness directly affects the hook-to-land ratio, while width determines the ease at which a frog will stay above water during the retrieve. Notched-foot designs are typi- cally flat and flick water up into the air during the retrieve. Comparatively, club-foot designs cause the legs to kick up and out to the sides when moved. The leg design largely determines the action that bass will be scrutinizing from underneath. “The Zoom Horny Toad, for example, has a flat foot that creates small bubbles. And, there are times when the bass want a more subtle approach. What I use the majority of the time, though, is the Cane Toad. It throws a ton of water and seems to attract the larger, more aggressive fish, especially around the spawn. What I am really trying to do is to create a reaction strike, and the more commotion that is created, the better.” A frog shape that exhibits consistency throughout a retrieve is equally important to Chris. He believes that the rhythmic churn of water is music to a bass’ lateral line. While some buzz frogs on the market are more susceptible to legs tangling in mid re- trieve than others, learning and achieving the optimum retrieve speed will reduce the frequency of fouling.

» Frog Biology

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The conventional rigging method that Chris relied on early in his frogging days was a 4/0 or 5/0 straight shank hook coupled with a 1/32-ounce screw-on weight. He believes the new Double Trouble Toad Hook recently released by Gambler Lures is the real deal. The hook which he helped to design features a stout 4/0 Gamakatsu double hook. What sets the hook apart from other pre-rigged hooks, in Chris’ opinion, is the cork screw keeper. A combination of tin and lead are molded into the hook eye for

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January/February 2010