Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 39 No 2 - Spring 2015 - Page 7

by John N. Felsher Froggin’ for Reds Tempting Reds with 4-Wheel Drive Soft Plastic Frogs H unkered down in thick cover, a large pot-bellied fish tracked the silhouette of a frog flitting across matted grass just two feet above its head as it waited for the opportune time to strike. The creature briefly paused atop the grass and then slid into a tiny pocket of open water. It remained momentarily motionless before slowly sinking. Quivering as it descended, it regained its composure and climbed over another grass clump. The hungry predator could stand it no longer. The fish opened its mouth and lunged at the frog sitting on the grass tops. As if a depth charge exploded beneath the surface, water erupted and spewed frothy weeds across the shallow flat. The enraged 15-pound beast gulped the frog and a chunk of vegetation in the process. However, instead of slurping succulent frog steaks, the surprised redfish sucked down a mouthful of plastic punctured by embedded hooks. Redfish live in brackish to salty water and frogs typically prefer sweeter environments. The two species rarely meet in nature except in some river deltas. Although spot-tailed marsh marauders seldom intentionally target live frogs, a hungry redfish won’t pass up a tempting meal. Soft-plastic frogs look and feel like natural prey. “Frogs are not on the every day menu for redfish, but a redfish will eat just about anything,” explained Mike Gallo of Angling Adventures of Louisiana (877-4AAOFLA, www.aaofla.com) who fishes marshes near New Orleans. “If a redfish sees a frog and gets a chance to eat it, it will. Redfish don’t necessarily know what it is. They just think it’s something to eat. I’ve found birds, snakes — all kinds of things inside redfish. Among the oddest things I’ve ever found inside a redfish was a spent 12gauge shotgun shell missing the brass. I guess it was bouncing along the bottom with the current and the redfish ate it. If something fits into its mouth, a redfish will eat it.” Frogs work best in lush brackish wetlands with abundant plant growth. From early spring through late fall, big redfish often move onto grassy flats to feed. When redfish burrow into thick weeds, these four-wheel drive baits can entice hard to reach redfish where few other lures can go. “The beauty of a plastic frog is that it can get into areas that other lures cannot reach,” advised Shane Dubose, a professional redfish angler from Tomball, Texas. “Redfish like to hide in thick grass and ambush baitfish. I can throw a frog over the top of any cover and not worry about it hanging up.” Many companies make frogs for bass fishing. Anything that might tempt a bass would also tempt a redfish. Stanley Ribbits, Horny Toads and Attraxx Frogs slowly sink. For fishing thick cover, many anglers rig sinking frogs weightless (Continued on page 18.) Capt. Mike Gallo, of Angling Adventures of Louisiana, admires a redfish he caught on a soft plastic frog while fishing in the Bayou Biloxi Marshes south of Lake Borgne, near Hopedale, LA. Weedless soft plastic frogs make excellent temptations for redfish hunkered down in thick grassy cover. Photos by author. APRIL • MAY • JUNE 2 0 1 5 7