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FROGZ!

One of the most exciting ways of targeting fish on lures surely must be surface lures. Not many other methods of targeting fish combine all of the senses as much and I think that is what makes it so exciting and addictive. Whether it is chasing GT's on poppers or walking tiny stick baits over a flat, it just gets the adrenaline flowing, the heart racing and the blood pumping, watching a fish come up and smash a surface lure! The viciousness of attack varies from time to time, from a subtle slurp, right through to something resembling a Polaris missile set on kill mode!

I have been experimenting with ZMan 4" Hard Leg FrogZ for a while now and man they are addictive! Making that cast and watching those legs flailing in the air and then landing with a distinct 'plop' already has chaos written all over it. When you start the retrieve they kick out that unmistakable 'gurgle' sound and then you're watching a massive bow wave appear behind it, chasing it down. It really is a fantastic composure test. FrogZ have also proven highly effective on a variety of species and especially barramundi, which I will be concentrating on here, but they have taken everything from JP's (jungle perch) through to toga in the fresh and jacks to GT's in the salt.

Right, let's get into the nitty gritty of it all. It's really simple and the adage of "a kid can do it" really applies as my kids love throwing them.

Gear

I suggest throwing FrogZ on spinning gear and a 2500-4000 size real is ample. I match this with a 6'6"-7' fast action rod and run 15-20lb braid on the set up. The reason I run the spinning gear is that it gives me the longer casts that I prefer when running the FrogZ. You want to try and cover as much water as possible. I use the longer rod to firstly give me solid hook sets and I also retrieve the FrogZ with a raised rod tip to assist with their action and to keep them from fouling on weed etc. In terms of leader material, I run a foot or two of 50lb, tied with a loop knot to a TT Lures Snagless Weight System (SWS) hook in 4/0. Then I simply 'Texas Rig' the FrogZ onto that. 

Prime locations and retrieves

FrogZ are effective pretty much anywhere but they most certainly come into their own over matted weed, like oxygen weed and lily pads, due to their weedless design and fish 'calling' ability. As mentioned I make long casts, concentrating on weed edges and points. When fishing grassy banks and weed edges I prefer making long parallel casts to the edge or bank, while when hitting points I try and cast across the point.

If there is current, always retrieve the FrogZ with the current if possible. In impoundments and stationery water I always try and fish them with the wind/wave action as that always creates a bit of current and fish will be facing into it in most cases. Fish will be more likely to attack something coming towards them than over their backs. If you choose a likely spot, be it a weed point, snag or other structure, try and cast the FrogZ at least five or six feet past the intended spot and then retrieve it 'through' the spot, instead of fishing them at the spots.

As far as retrieves go I prefer a slow and steady retrieve. When you retrieve the FrogZ they have a distinct 'gurgle' and to me it's like when a guitar is being tuned... you know when that tone hits the sweet spot and if it sounds right to you, it probably is. Nine times out of ten fish will follow the FrogZ for a short distance before annihilating it, and yes I mean annihilate! The attacks from barramundi especially are savage to say the least.

When you see a barramundi following it, don't lose your nerve. Keep the retrieve going and don't stop or speed up, especially if they have a swing and miss, just keep going as most times they will come back for a second swing. Keep going until you come up tight and then set the hook forcefully. If you find fish following the FrogZ and not eating them, I find a colour change is often the game changer in converting follows to hook ups. In this case I will try and go to an opposite colour to the one that I am fishing in an attempt to convert the bites. My last resort will be a retrieve change. 

I find the FrogZ are most effective... when you throw them. I wish I could narrow down that they are more effective early morning or late afternoon, but they have produced fish throughout the day and night. I have had great success on them at night too, so don't be worried about throwing them after dark.

So, next time you want to have a crack at some surface action tie on a ZMan FrogZ and watch it paddle its way back to you... BOOF!

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017