Fishing Wire Ranger Boats
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2019

TOP STORY
NOAA Fisheries is currently taking comments on a proposal from the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council that would allow an increase in the amount of commercial shrimp trawl fishing effort in the northern Gulf of Mexico by 21 percent, with a resultant increase in wasteful kill of red snapper, sea trout and other unwanted "by-catch".
COMPETITION
As in years past, the Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship carries a whopping total purse of $1 million.
CONSERVATION
Tampa Bay Watch is recruiting volunteers to build an oyster shell bar on the shoreline of MacDill Air Base Oct. 3 and 4.

FISHERIES
Apply before Oct. 31 to get in on harvesting bonus stripers in New Jersey waters this year.
Hatchery broodstock collection for the Washougal fall Chinook program has been meeting weekly objectives and early indications are that the broodstock goal will be achieved.
The meeting , which will discuss red snapper, amberjack and other gulf fishery rules, will be held on Wednesday, October 16, 2019, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Golden Nugget Biloxi Hotel and Casino, located at 151 Beach Blvd. in Biloxi, Mississippi.

FISHING TIPS
Designed by professional angler Skeet Reese, the Berkley Pit Boss is intended to mimic both baitfish and crawfish.
GEAR
G. Loomis further expands its all-encompassing IMX-PRO bass rod series with the addition of 17 new ‘Classic Action’ rods – Mag Bass, Spin Jig and Classic Casting - now joining the 47 technique-specific models available.
INDUSTRY
Preliminary data from the report shows new powerboat registrations were down 0.4 percent through July on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis (R12M YOY) and down 2.4 percent on a rolling 3-month year-over-year basis.

INVASIVE SPECIES
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is reminding lake property owners to carefully check boats and trailers, docks and lifts, and all other water-related equipment for invasive species when removing equipment for seasonal storage.
ORGANIZATIONS
Heroes on the Water has an opportunity to support men and women, and their families, around the United States, and particularly in North Texas where we are headquartered.
PADDLE SPORTS
With advances in kayak propulsion technology, there are increasingly more ways to thrust a kayak through the water than ever before--which is best for anglers?

PODCASTS
The Alabama Bass Trail (ABT) has announced the launch of a new podcast, the Alabama Bass Trail Podcast presented by Phoenix Bass Boats, (http://www.alabamabasstrail.org), a podcast providing detailed coverage of the latest ABT news and events geared toward fans of the fishing trail and its Tournament Series and other fishing enthusiasts.
PRO TEAMS
If winning an FLW tournament has anything to do with paying your dues, Brian Latimer has a receipt paid in full.
RADIO
Charter captain Dan Welsch reports his boats are catching mature king and coho salmon, along with brown trout and rainbows, off Sheboygan
National Collegiate Bass Fishing Champion team of Cole Floyd and Carter McNeil from Bethel University talk about what it takes and what it feels like to win it all.
SHOWS
The Northeast’s premier in-water boating event, the Progressive Insurance Norwalk Boat Show, runs through Sunday at Norwalk Cove Marina.
STATES
Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks will close its Indian Fort Fishing Access Site on the Yellowstone River at Reed Point for four weeks starting Sept. 30 to rebuild the access road.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) are excited to announce the recent purchase of 2,463 acres including 45 miles of shoreline along the Yadkin and South Yadkin Rivers in Davie, Davidson and Rowan counties.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed a special proclamation today in the Governor’s Conference Room at the state capitol recognizing Sept. 22-28, 2019, as Arkansas Hunting and Fishing Week.
TELEVISION
Summer ratings indicate the network is among the Top 10 fastest growing basic cable networks with the key demographic Men 25-54 for the third quarter-to-date.
VIDEO
Angler and biologist Jeremy Wade admits his scariest fishing moments are not catching large, predatory fish but what the future holds for those fish as they vanish from troubled freshwater systems.

By Frank Sargeant, Editor

With the first day of fall officially proclaimed for Monday, Sept. 23, it’s time to get froggy at lakes across the South.

Fishing with weedless frogs has become a “thing” along the weedy shorelines of many lakes since years ago when anglers discovered they could crawl frog imitations across the moss beds, hydrilla tops and lily pads and lure big bass up through the cover to eat the imitation amphibians. The tactic works pretty much anywhere there are largemouths and a lot of surface cover—the spread of hydrilla throughout Florida, for example, has created near endless froggin’ opportunities in the Sunshine State.

The specialized lures are a big part of the presentation. They have frog-like bodies of soft hollow plastic, with a double hook that rides on either side of the body, barbs up. The idea is that the hook arrangement slides across the top of even the gnarliest weeds without snagging, but when a bass grabs the bait, it squeezes the body flat and gets stuck on the hooks.

Legs of flexible silicone or rubber trail behind to create a swimming effect when the lure is twitched. 

It’s primarily a fall tactic for two reasons. First, shorter hours of sunshine and longer nights allow the lakes to cool, making the shallows more comfortable for bass that have spent the summer in deeper water. And secondly, the weeds reach their maximum growth as summer ends and fall begins, often topping out and forming surface mats ideal for froggin’. 

Anglers who practice the tactic a lot, like Guntersville, Alabama, guide Mike Gerry, who fishes mostly SPRO frogs, say the best areas to fish are over water 2 to 4 feet deep where the weeds and moss have topped out and started to dry, turning the color of browned cheese atop a pizza. This means the mat is thick and has been there a while, so it’s more likely to hold bait—and bass.

Other froggin’ fans like Captain Mike Carter, also a Lake Guntersville guide, say that a good weedbed has a distinctive sound. Because there are lots of grass shrimp and other small creatures in the moss, it attracts bluegills, frogs and small baitfish, which make a clicking or popping sound as they suck in the food. These fish, in turn, attract large bass—thus a good bed has a particular sound. There are also sometimes “blow holes” in a good bed where bass have been actively feeding, knocking openings in the otherwise matted surface.

Snagproof apparently built the first version of the weedless frog many years back, but now most manufacturers have a frog in their lineup; Strike King has the KVD Sexy Frog, LIVETARGET has the Hollow Body Frog and the new Free-Style Frog, and Booyah has the Pad Crasher. All of them catch fish when conditions are right.  

Fishing the lures is simple. Gear has to be stout because of the heavy cover—many use 40-to 65-pound test braid and a 7.5 foot medium-heavy baitcasting rig, which will have the power to derrick a large bass and several pounds of weeds to the boat. The frog is thrown across the bed and worked back in a series of short twitches with frequent pauses, particularly when it crosses any areas of open water.

The only trick to froggin’ is to avoid setting the hook too soon. When a fish hits, there’s an initial splash that sometimes triggers anglers to instantly strike, but that often pulls the lure away from the fish. It works better to hesitate just a second while the fish chomps down on the soft, realistic feel of the lure, then set the hook.

Fights tend to be short in froggin’. Either you get the fish’s head up and hydroplane it across the surface to the boat, or it bogs down in 50 pounds of weeds and you have to trolling motor in after it and put the lip-lock on it.

Froggin’ does not work on a consistent basis in most lakes, which is why it’s a niche tactic reserved only for fall in many areas. In fact, even in fall on  a good froggin’ lake like Guntersville, Eufaula or Kissimmee, you can go for hours sorting through mossbeds, hydrilla jungles, maiden cane stands and duckweed puddles before you find one where a school of bass is feeding. But when you do it’s one of the more exciting types of bass fishing anywhere and you might pull three or four fish in the five-pound range out of one stretch of cover. 

The frog bite is on right now through most of the south, and usually continues until the first cold front of November, when the surface weeds start to turn black and north winds break them up, driving the fish back to the depths until they head shoreward again in March to spawn. In Florida, the tactic can work pretty much year around, though there are other, better methods for spring and summer.

 

FISHING CALENDAR
September 24
Inshore Fishing Seminar

With Captain Mike Anderson of Reel Animals TV and redfish expert Captain Greg Devault at Ferman Chrysler-Jeep in New Port Richey, free food and drink, 7 p.m.

September 27-28
Mote Marine Snook Shindig

volunteer kayak fishers needed to help catch tagged
snook for stocking study; https://mote.org/events/details/2019-william-r.-mote-memorial-snook-shindig

 
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