Lakecaster Online Archives - Sep, 2004

Fishing New Water on the Same Old Lakes

By Ray & Patty Lenderman
-- BACK to Fishing Tips Index --
Patty Lenderman

On any lake, favorite fishing holes are found and established. They say that on any given body of water, only 10% of it is holding fish. On Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, where there is a lot of vegetation, many times it is the outside edges of these vegetation patches that is fished, unless using jigs which can be used to fish in the midst of it without snagging up. There's a new bait in town that has opened up these heavy cover areas to fish in with a variety of lures that has before been "off limits".

Mike Atchley, a Snag Proof Lures Representative, called recently and asked if we'd be interested in going on a "frog fishing" trip. When it comes to fishing opportunities, it's hard to say no. "Have you ever been frog fishing?" he asked. Having never been, the offer was accepted, for this would be a great learning experience. We met at a boat ramp at the crack of dawn on Sam Rayburn, and he had all the gear needed for the trip ready to go. This time of year, frogs are everywhere. You've got bull frogs croaking, tree frogs crying for rain, and in the lilypads you have bass exploding on frogs. The hot dog days of summer is the time of year to catch big bass on snagless baits in deep cover. One of the leading manufacturers of these baits is Snag Proof Lures. For this trip, we only used Snag Proof lures, and the results were impressive.

The morning started off a little after daylight, when we met up with Mike Atchley at the boat ramp. We made a short run to a lotus (lilypads) patch that had a nearby creek winding through it. As Mike advised, the fishing in the lotus patch wouldn't be at its best until the heat of the day, so we began fishing at some nearby matted hydrilla beds along the banks with heavy cover. The basic concept of these baits: a soft hollow body with a double hook hugging the sides of the bait that allows the lure to slide through weeds, moss, over lilypads and other structure without snagging. This lets the fisherman access areas on a body of water where most gamefish hide and feed and where ordinary lures can't go. The soft, hollow body also feels more natural to the fish and the fish will actually turn the lure in his mouth and begin chewing it, giving the fisherman more time to set the hook.

It didn't take long before the bass started busting on these topwater baits. Mike admitted that when using these types of baits, that you will get more strikes than actual hookups, but when you are getting the blowups, at least you know that you have located the fish. "We're going to start with the hydrilla beds, the better fishing will come during the heat of the day" Mike advised. "With these lures, I like to use a 7' or 7'6" heavy action rod. It helps to really get the bait out there." Handing me a rod with a small topwater frog tied on with monofilament line, we began throwing our lures over the moss bed. Watching him work his lure, I did my best to emulate his action and learn his technique. Within a few minutes, he got his first strike. Being a topwater bait, the sight and sound of the strike immediately caught my attention. In the micro moments that followed in slow motion, I was thinking to myself "Set the hook! Set the hook!" But he gave the fish a few extra moments before doing so, then set the hook and got the fish to the boat. A nice one, in the 2-3 lb range. He smiled, removing the hook from the fish and said "With these baits you have to give the fish just a little more time to suck it in before setting the hook. Otherwise, you'll pull it away from him. The good thing, though is that if you do, most of the time you can have a second chance at the same fish." Second chance baits. I could use this in my arsenal.

The further we traveled down this moss bed, the thicker the vegetation got. I was thinking to myself that normally I would fish the outside edges only of this type of cover with the baits I typically use due to the fact that I don't like snagging a lot of vegetation and virtually wasting a cast. Literally throwing into the "thick" of it, I began having blow-ups on my lure and immediately reacting to set the hook, pulled the bait away from the fish. Watching Mike pull in several more bass, it was time to concentrate, change my ways and tactics and follow directions.

It was starting to get hot, just what Mike was waiting for. He broke away from the hydrilla beds and headed straight into a lilly pad patch. Typically another daunting area, hard to get topwater baits through that kind of cover without snagging up. Handing me a different rod spooled now with braided line and a bigger frog, "Frogzilla", he pointed out that he had added a little jingle bell to it. The hooks on all of the lures were of a double hook design, laid perfectly with the bait with the curve and point of the hook to rest against the bait to make it weedless, or "Snag Proof". Explaining the advantage of fishing the lilypads, he said "Bass are looking for shade just like we do in the hot summer months. These lilypads provide good shade and plenty of it. In the hot summer months, they are stacked underneath them." With that, we cast our frogs over this heavy cover and began working them over and through the patch. "When you come to a spot between the pads, stop your lure and just wiggle it." Following his direction, it wasn't long before I had one on the end of my line - 4.26 lbs, not bad!

Mike took out of his tackle boxes several different Snag Proof Lure designs. Snag Proof produces 23 different styles of fish-catching weedless lures ranging from "critters" such as Frogs, Mice, Leeches, Lizards, Worms, and Craws to Crankbaits, Buzzbaits,and Poppers. Best known for Frogs, Snag Proof offers a wide variety of them from the Original Frog, to the Skirted Frog, the very popular Tournament Frog and the biggest frog on the market-- FROGZILLA! Immediately I began thinking about all the "new water", water that was previously daunting and off limits to me because of the snagging up problem, that was now open and "safe" to fish.

The lures are very effective and, fun to use! The excitement of a big bass blowing up through the weeds or lilypads to get at the frog is terrific! Tournament pros in the world of bass fishing use them to consistently up the weight in their live wells during tournaments such as the B.A.S.S. Classic. Even as this story is being written, watching day 2 of the the Bassmaster classic weigh in, Dean Rojas established the lead going into the final day fishing a weedless frog. This type of lure is also good for beginners since they won't be hanging up in the weeds and cleaning weeds from the lure--more time to fish!
So, if you're planning to fish in a weed-choked lake or river, your best choice of lures is in the Snag Proof line of products. They're 100% weedless and guaranteed to get more strikes and catch more fish, --and that makes fishing much more fun!

These products can be found at Rayburn Tackle, Ann's Tackle, Grady Holton's Tackle in the Sam Rayburn area and Toledo Town & Tackle on Toledo Bend.
For more information on these products, contact Snag Proof Mfg,. Inc./Sea Bay Lures, 11387 Deerfield Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242 USA
Call 1-800-SNAGPRF (800-762-4773), or 513-489-6483


Mike quickly began catching fish, giving us confidence in the baits

Time after time, Mike boated more fish encouraging us to learn the technique
< photos by Patty Lenderman - e-mail >

Lipping my bass into the boat, he was pleased to see that I was catching on

4.26 lbs - Not bad!

Fishing in extremely heavy vegetation, these lures came right through it, making previously "unfishable" water "fishable"