Tips, Tricks and Tactics From the Pros
When Strike King Saved the Day
Editor's Note: Chad Brauer of Osage Beach, Missouri, son of famed fishing pro Denny Brauer, has grown up in a fishing family. Brauer can't remember a time when he hasn't fished for bass and hardly recalls a time when he hasn't fished competitively. Brauer, a Strike King pro for the past six years, has made a name for himself on the professional bass-fishing circuit.
Question: So, Chad, tell me about a day of fishing where using Strike King bait saved the day for you.
Answer: I was fishing a bayou of tidal water similar to the Potomac River that was filled with milfoil in North Carolina. When I had practiced-fished there, I'd caught bass on white 1/4-ounce spinner bait. However, when the tournament began, a strong wind hit the lake, causing the water in the bayou to recede drastically. The high tide during the tournament was at the same level the low tide had been at during the practice.
The milfoil I was fishing over was matted on the surface, which killed my spinner bait pattern. Although I tried flipping a Strike King jig, I couldn't get any bites. Around 1:00 p.m., I dug through my tackle box and found a white Strike King Pop'N-Grass Frog. I started popping that frog across the top of the milfoil, stopping it in the holes, giving the bait two, quick pops and waiting on the strike.
Up until the time I started fishing the frog I only had one bass in the boat. By 2:00 p.m., after fishing the frog for only an hour, I'd caught a limit of bass and culled two bass. On that day, although I was totally out of the money at 1:00 p.m., by 2:00 p.m. I was in the top 20 and finished the tournament in 15th place, receiving a nice-sized check. If I hadn't had the white Strike King Pop'N-Grass Frog in the boat with me, I'm convinced I wouldn't have placed in the tournament.
Question: Why did you choose to fish the white frog?
Answer: I liked the white frog because the water was fairly clear, and the bass had been biting a white spinner bait in practice. By force of habit, I always carried a white frog, a chartreuse frog and a black frog with me wherever I went.I cast the frog out on 25-pound-test line and made really long casts. By using the white frog, I could see it from a long distance.
The real key to fishing frogs or rats successfully on matted vegetation is making sure the fish gets the bait before you set the hook. When I see a bass start to bite a frog, I'll fight the urge to set the hook. Here's why. When a bass starts to bite at the frog, if the bass doesn't get the bait, the bass will usually circle it and take it the second time.
So don't set the hook until you feel the fish on the line. However, in that tournament the bass were biting the frog hard enough to set the hooks themselves. The biggest mistake that most fishermen make when frog fishing is setting the hook when they see the bass bite down on the bait. Generally all you're doing is pulling the bait away from the fish.
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