Minnesota Fall Frog Fest for Bass

In Minnesota, there is one fall bonanza that all bass fishermen look forward to: the fall frog bite. Throughout the whole state, this bite lasts about two weeks, so take your calendar off the wall and mark the month of October as frog month in Minnesota.

This bite is triggered by the local frog migration heading back to the water area, so I cannot give you an exact date as to when it starts. But once it gets going in your area, this bite will go strong for a couple of weeks. Be ready to go when it does.

This year, don’t be so quick to put that boat away. For now, let’s get into my boat and see what we have in store when we hit this year’s upcoming frog migration.

Frogs here in Minnesota make their way back to the waterways before winter sets in. That often occurs in swamp areas adjacent to lakes. When this happens, it is evident and visual; you can see rogs moving across the roads around these areas, particularly on rainy nights.

I remember heading to a late-season tournament one morning a few years ago, and I could see numbers of frogs along the side of the road as I headed to the lake. That put a change into my plans for the day; it was time to put the jig rod down and grab a frog rod. So, when you’re on the road at this time of the season, look for signs of frog movements back to the waterways. This is your best sign that the frog bite is about to go down.

So, what is your next move? On the water, look for lake areas close to roads surrounded by or abutting swamp or wetlands areas. Start by grabbing a bait that you can cover water with until you can pinpoint a few bass-holding areas. For me, that is a Big Bite Buzz Toad

A topwater bait that has props is another great option. Prime examples are Whopper Ploppers or Berkley’s newest topwater bait called the Chappo. These baits allow you to make casts and keep moving, looking for signs of bass. When I hit an area that has bass, I slow down and pull out a rod rigged with a Spro Bronzeye or Bronzeye Popper, and get to work.

I like to see the water blow up under the frog. I think this is the ultimate topwater bite. Add to that that it’s so late in the fishing season, and it is an real gift.

To match the bite conditions, I have both a Spro Bronzeye Frog and Bronzeye Popper rigged up and ready to go. If I am fishing in open-water areas, I prefer to use the Bronzeye Popper version, I can slow down, stop and vary my retrieve to call the bass to come and bite. By using small pulls, I can get the popper to walk-the-dog almost in place. At the end of the cast, I will give the popper a few big pops, and then stop and let it sit. Many times, this is all the trigger that’s needed to cause a bite.

If I am fishing in the pads and around other cover, I will use the Bronzeye Frog, as it comes through the cover better than the popper. The key when fishing your frog through the cover is, when you get it to an edge, slow down and stop the bait, and let it sit. But as you are working it though the cover, keep your bait moving. Challenge the bass to bite. You want the bass to get the idea that the bait is trying to get away, so they will strike.

As always, when fishing a frog in cover, have a follow-up bait, like a jig, just in case a bass misses the frog bait the first time. Quickly make another cast in the same area. If you cannot get the bass to commit to the frog again, pick up your back-up rod and pitch a lure into the same area to try to trigger a follow-up strike. This follow-up tactic not only works in the summer months; it will many times trigger a follow-up strike at the end of the season as well.

So, I hope this gets on your to do list this fall season. One, it is a great bite when it happens. And two, it is also a great way to end your open-water bass season.