When it comes to bass fishing in the muck and mud, it’s hard to beat a topwater frog. These are usually weedless lures that glide right through the pads and weed beds creating the perfect presentation to entice a bass out of hiding. Whenever I’m fishing heavily vegetated water along the shoreline, these are the lures I turn to.
The Top Picks
Here’s my top picks for the best topwater frogs on the market right now:
- Type: Floating
- Size: 1-¾ inches
- Color: Croaker
- Realistic appearance like a real frog
- Legs swim with the water
- Tapered nose to pass through vegetation
- Hooks are a bit large and get hung up
The first choice is the Lunkerhunt frog because of its appearance. If you want something that looks lifelike and even behaves that way, this is the topwater frog you want. It replicates a young frog and even has realistic legs that swim as you cruise through the water. The weedless design is functional and works most of the time but I find that the hooks are too big for this 1-¾ inch topwater lure.
- Type: Floating
- Size: 4-½ inches
- Color: 4 color variations
- Makes a lot of noise for a big disturbance
- Great for open or covered water
- Topwater motion with rotating tail
- Not the easiest lure to fish
This lure was built with stability in mind. Booyah added side rails to the original Pad Crasher body to create this one. It has lifelike balance in the water with precise leg movement and 360-degree rotation of the tail that draws attention and makes a ton of noise. Another great thing about this lure is the four different options for colors. Really new anglers may have a hard time figuring out how to fish this properly because it requires specific presentations such as “frogging” which has a bit of a learning curve.
- Type: Hollow body
- Size: 1.75” – 2.25”
- Color: 8 color variations
- Soft body provides a natural feel
- The design makes it easier to set the hook
- Variety of colors and sizes
- Concerns over manufacturer quality
You need a topwater frog lure that is both realistic looking but functional in the water. The main feature about this one is the soft body which serves two important purposes. First, it provides a more realistic appearance as it glides through the water. Second, it makes setting the hook easier. A lot of the topwater frogs are designed to hide the hooks but the heavy plastic or wood doesn’t give way when a fish bites down on it which puts the pressure on you. Since this will depress when a fish strikes it, it’ll make it much easier to set the hook.
- Type: Soft plastic
- Size: 4”
- Color: Tilapia/Blue-black
- Comes in a pack of seven
- Large lure for pulling big bass out of hiding in dense cover
- Not realistic looking
- Not an actual topwater frog
If you’re in the market for something a little different and you think that the large-bodied frogs aren’t going to work for you, check this out. It has the shape of a soft plastic craw but in terms of movement, it’s supposed to mimic a frog. I’d recommend a stop-and-go presentation with this because you shouldn’t have any issues getting hung up on the weeds. It’s not the most realistic looking lure out there but it could work nicely in some really dense cover.
- Type: Topwater popping frog
- Size: 9/16 ounces
- Color: 3 color variations
- Great for open water
- Makes a lot of noise with a bubble trail
- Lifelike appearance
- Really small
I’m a big believer in tearing the water up when it’s hot and murky because everything gets really still. On a hot summer morning in the middle of July, throw this bad boy on the end of your line and drop it right in the middle of a weed bed working it back towards your boat. It makes a ton of noise due to the cone on the front and there’s a bubbler inside too that creates a bubble trail as you’re going along. It’s a great way to create a big disturbance when the weather is muggy and murky.
- Type: Topwater
- Size: 3”
- Color: Yellow/Black
- Great choice for newer anglers
- Recessed mouth for louder presentation
- One color option
Sometimes going back to the basics is the way to go and that’s the case with this topwater frog from Booyah. This is one of the most respected brands in the industry and that’s why I recommend their products. You know they’re going to hold up, have great quality, and outperform the competition, it’s just the way it is. It offers two weedless rigged hooks, standard legs, and a recessed mouth that creates a presentation similar to a chugger.
Types of Frog Lures
If you’re planning to use topwater frogs for bass fishing, you’ve got a few different types to choose from. In this section, I’m going to break down the different types and explain the pros and cons of each.
These frogs have a soft rubber mold that makes them into the shape of a frog. You’ll find two hooks wrapped around the rear to protect them from taking on excess vegetation as you move through the water. They provide a natural motion and the best feature is the fact that you can set a hook pretty easily with these. The soft body allows the fish to bike down on it and right into your hooks.
As you can likely guess, these are the opposite of the previous topwater frogs. These are usually made of a non-workable plastic or even wood. These types of lures generally have better balance and they’re easier to fish but they aren’t as lifelike and they make setting the hook harder. You can use a stop-and-go or “walking the dog” presentation for these and let them cruise right through the weeds because you’ll never get hung up.
You’ve seen one of these above but they’re frog lures that also come with recessed mouths to make a lot of noise. When you cast these, they’ll make a loud popping sound when they hit the water. Then, as you retrieve them, the water will funnel up through the recessed mouth creating a chugging noise. This drives the fish nuts and provokes a strike from ornery bass. The only problem is you can’t fish these in dense cover because they often come with a treble hook. If you find a weedless one (like the one recommended above) you’re lucky.
How to Fish Topwater Frogs
You’ve seen the lures, you know the differences, you’ve got the gear. Now, all you need to know are some techniques for fishing them.
Cast Parallel to the Shore
Whether you’re fishing from a boat or the shore, you want to find a location where you can drop anchor and cast parallel to the shore. You should be working the frog right along the shore in the shallow water because that’s where frogs are naturally and bass are used to seeing this. Cast right along the weed beds and work it towards you right along the weeds using a short burst, pause, short burst, retrieval.
Bass Don’t Bite Right Away
One of the biggest things that new anglers need to learn when fishing frogs is that bass don’t typically “strike” these lures in the same way that they will other lures. Bass don’t eat frogs right out of the water – instead, they knock the frog around hoping to stun it so they can eat it. Don’t be so quick to react on that first contact. If you don’t think you’ve hooked the bass already, wait for the second strike – that’s the one you want.
Get The Right Color
I always preach the importance of lure color because I think you need to cater to your surroundings by choosing a color that represents that. On a bright sunny day, you want to choose something that is bright and vibrant because the bass will likely feel energetic. When it’s cloudy and cooler, the bass might feel more lethargic and a bright neon colored lure may intimidate them. On those days, you’d want to choose something more neutral.
Now that you’ve seen the best topwater frogs, what do you think? If you’ve never fished these before, they’re a great choice for weedy waters. Remember that frogs have good and bad days just like every other lure so if you didn’t have success in the past, it doesn’t mean you won’t now!