A hard- or soft-body toad is absolutely tantalizing to bass near cover. Working the bait on the surface in-between a mat of grass or stretch of lily pads produces exciting strikes from bucketmouths. It’s why the baits are so popular amongst bass tournament anglers, and why a number of lure-makers are producing impressive amphibian imitators.
But do “toads” or “frogs” work away from cover? That’s exactly what Florida Sportsman member Remoteredstrout asks. “I’m thinking of trying out topwater frogs in some local ponds around me, but there is minimal plant structure. Will topwater frogs work in ponds without lily pads?”
The easy answer is yes! Frogs are found throughout Florida, and they’re natural prey for largemouth bass. Frogs swim, dive, and plop along the surface—just like your lure should. Though a soft-body frog may look the most enticing, zigzagging through weed cover, don’t be afraid to throw frog baits near fallen trees, along a shoreline, over submerged rocks, near a culvert or even in open water.
“You can hop the soft-body frog near the bank or just cast it around structure and twitch it like you would any other topwater lure,” says Florida Sportsman member Boatless-In-Broward. “The toads are pretty versatile, and can be buzzed on the surface or twitched and let sink. You’re only limited by your imagination.”