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Chalk Talk: Tidal-water froggin' with Powroznik

Chalk Talk: Tidal-water froggin' with Powroznik

(Editor's note: The following is the latest installment in a series of fishing tips presented by The Bass University. Check back each Friday for a new tip.)

Jacob Powroznik used to hate frog fishing, but once the Virginia pro married the right tackle to the proper presentation, it became one of his favorite ways to fish, especially on the tidal waters near his home. He learned when and how to look for key spots, and that made a huge difference.

“I would come out here on high tide,” he said, explaining when to look for the best mats. At low tide, a massive grass bed can seem uniform, but when the water comes up, the biggest and best mats often remain, and that exposes key hiding places. One small section can hold a disproportionate number of fish.

“This to me is like trying to find a needle in a haystack,” he said. “But when you find that needle, it’s unbelievable.”

Those “taller” mats are productive because of what is not beneath them. “Ninety-nine percent of the time what happens is, underneath that mat, it creates a hollow hole,” he said. “It’s just a big, cleared out spot.” The only real options are to flip or frog.

He also keys in on the most productive areas with his ears. If he hears fish flopping and bluegills popping, he knows that the percentages are high.

“They’ll let you know when they’re around,” he said, noting that a bass is a predator so it's either in the area to feed or for protection from its own predators. Once you get that first bite, settle down and stay awhile because there are likely more there.

He cautions novice froggers to use a small frog in the spring and a slightly larger one like the Livingston Lures Freddy B in the summer as the grass thickens. Color doesn’t matter as much as water displacement, and he likes one that makes a lot of noise.

He cautioned against overworking this style of lure. He makes easy pulls and usually integrates long pauses into his retrieve rather than violently jerking it side-to-side and forward. He noted that many of the best frog fishermen he knows “just let it do its deal,” with lots of extended pauses and minimal movement.

Finding the proper tackle was a final element in converting Powroznik to a frogging lifestyle. He’s settled on a 7’2” medium-heavy baitcasting rod from Quantum, which maximizes casting distance, and he pairs it with an 8:1 Quantum Smoke reel. That high-speed gear ratio can be critical in catching up to a streaking bass, or reeling in a frog for another shot at a hot fish. While many of his peers claim that 50-pound braided line is the optimal choice for maximizing casting distance, Powroznik likes 65 for that added touch of brute strength and durability. He uses Hi-Seas braid, which can easily stand up to a 5-pound bass trailing 10 pounds of vegetation.

If you want to learn some of the other elements of Powroznik’s frogging success, including easy color modifications that can make or break your day, check out his full video filmed on the water, available only by subscribing to The Bass University TV.

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