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Ask the Experts

FLW Tour pro Ish Monroe pitches a hollow body frog toward a shallow Florida grass line on a warm winter day. (Photo by Davd A. Brown)
FLW Tour pros Ish Monroe, Koby Kreiger and Chris Baumgardner weigh in on troublesome frog bites, umbrella rigs and how to attack lakes with plenty of baitfish
23.Aug.2013

(Editor's note: This Q&A originally appeared in the 2013 August/September issue of Bass Fishing magazine. To read more compelling articles from Bass Fishing magazine each month, become an FLW subscriber member. If you'd like to sign up for a digital subscription to access articles online, click here).

The frog slurp

Q: I’ve had some trouble getting good hookups when fishing a frog. Can you offer any tips that might help?

A: You can bend the hooks up a little bit, and when I say a little bit, we’re talking about 1/32 of an inch off the body. Bend them just enough so there’s a slight separation from the body.

The hookset depends on the strike. If it’s a slurp, then I set the hook right away. If it’s an explosion, I wait half a second to make sure the bass has the frog. When they slurp it, by the time you’ve actually seen the slurp, it’s down their throat.

Finally, just go fish it. Don’t put the frog down.

---- Ish Monroe, Hughson, Calif.

Match the hatch

Koby Kreiger puts a nice fish in the boat an umbrella rig.Q: I’ve seen a lot of tournaments won with umbrella rigs and small swimbaits, like 3- and 4-inchers. Are there times for bigger 5- and 6-inch swimbaits on an umbrella rig?

A: I would say summertime and then in the fall when the bait gets big.

Some people probably switch to a little heavier line or even a bigger rod when they use bigger swimbaits, because normally you have to go with a bigger jighead. You definitely need to use a bigger hook. But I use the same rod.

---- Koby Kreiger, Okeechobee, Fla.

Less is more

Chris Baumgardner lands his catch.tQ: I’ve heard that it’s a good idea to follow baitfish into the shallows in fall to find bass, but on my lake there sometimes seems to be bait everywhere. Any suggestions on where to try?

A: Where bait is really thick, it’s hard to catch bass because they’re so keyed in to the baitfish. I’ll try to find somewhere that doesn’t have quite as much bait. And it works. You’d think that fishing where most of the bait is would be the best option, but if you find a place with less bait or not bait at all, you’ll catch more fish just becaus3e you have less competition to get their attention.

Look for dingier water too. A situation with a lot of bait in clear water is usually pretty hard to deal with. In dingier water, the fish might not be as homed in on the bait because they can’t see it as well.

Another thing you might look for is current. Current sets fish up in a certain way, and your experience should help you understand where the fish are going to be positioned in that area you’re fishing.

---- Chris Baumgardner, Gastonia, N.C.

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