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I’m often asked what my favorite technique is for catching largemouth bass? Without a doubt it’s catching them on topwater. In the spring and summer months you won’t find me without a hollow body frog tied up and on deck. Like the jig, it’s an extremely versatile bait that tends to catch big fish. I’ll fish them in open water when the fish are schooling, over grass mats, through lily pads, skip them under lay downs and pitch them into openings between stacks of reeds. It’s truly a full sensory experience, sometimes you know it’s a big fish just by the sound it makes when it strikes.

Currently, my favorite hollow body frog is the Booyah Poppin Pad Crasher. It works like any hollow body frog but this one has a shallow concave head which allows it to be slowly chugged along the surface like a plug type bait or it can be twitched quickly, producing a tight ‘walk the dog’ presentation. My favorite color is Ol’ Smokey (pictured) but that choice might change depending on the body of water or the time of day. I’ll go with natural colors in clear water and dark colors in murky water or when fishing after dark.

While color might be important at times, I’ve found that it’s really about the cast and placement of the bait. More often than not, if my cast doesn’t make it to the edge of the bank or to the back of a lay down, I won’t get bit.

My rod and reel setup might change depending on the situation but I’ll always use a reel with a high gear ratio, 7:1 or better, and braid. If I’m throwing it over matted grass or through thick cover I’ll use a 7’+ heavy action rod. If I’m skipping it around brush or busting the banks I will use a shorter, lighter action rod for improved casting accuracy.

I’ve been using a 6’9” MH Kistler Argon rod lately, the short length allows me to keep my rod tip down while retrieving the bait without slapping the water. It also has a short butt section which makes it easier to work the bait from just about any angle.

If you’ve never caught a fish on topwater you don’t know what you’re missing, it’s one of the many reasons that I’m completely and utterly addicted to this sport. Check out this video and you’ll see what I mean.