Post-Spawn Froggin’ with Bobby Barrack

There are some very good frog fishermen out there, but Bobby Barrack may be the king of fishing these baits. He helped pioneer this technique over the years, and he’s still fishing them whenever he gets the chance. Over time, he’s stuck with the frog but has modified his approach with new styles of frogs and weedless topwaters that allow him to be even more efficient.

Right now, in the post-spawn period, he has two main approaches: targeting bluegill beds and working a walking topwater around growing vegetation that has yet to hit its peak.

Targeting Bluegill Beds

Fishing for bass feeding on spawning bluegill is a tried-and-true approach and one of Barrack’s favorite patterns this time of year. His top choice is a popping frog like the Snag Proof Smash Mouth.

“This time of year, a popping frog is always my first choice. They’ll still eat a walking frog, but this a perfect time to throw a popping frog like the Smash Mouth,” he said. “After the bass spawn and the bluegill start to spawn, the bass are not in the mood to chase a bunch of shad. A popping frog looks just like a bluegill and it’s too easy for a bass to eat one bluegill instead of a bunch of tiny shad.”

Barrack targets the same places he was targeting spawning bass just a few weeks ago because they are generally in the exact same areas. He also selects colors that best match bluegills for his frogs.

“This is a great pattern to run until the bass get on a true summer pattern and want a regular walking frog a little more,” he said. “It’s usually a month or six weeks when they’ll eat a popping frog way better. Of course, nothing is cut in stone and a rule with frog fishing or any fishing in general, but day in and day out, you tend to get more bites this time of year with a popping frog.”

While these frogs “pop,” they also walk incredibly well, and Barrack tends to mix things up with his cadence.

“One retrieve I use is a moderate speed with a ‘pop, spit, pop, spit’ with a steady cadence. I’ll also pause it when it gets a few inches away from a key spot I think a fish may be,” he said. “The other retrieve I like is fairly quick, where I’m twitching my rod almost as fast as I can with a steady retrieve. This gives the bait a fast opping with the nose down, which can be very effective, too.”

Aside from the popping action from the Smash Mouth, he’s also a fan of the profile and how well it walks.

“It walks amazing, I’d say as good as the Bobby’s Perfect Frog,” he said. “It’s a little bulkier profile, too, which looks like a bluegill. It walks great, but you can also pop it and get that noise and commotion that works so well this time of year around bluegill beds.”

A Weedless Walking Bait

A walking topwater bait such as a Zara Spook has always been an excellent choice for post-spawn fishing, but because of the treble hooks, it’s also somewhat limited in where you can throw it. Barrack has a bait that can walk like a topwater but is as weedless as a frog: the Snag Proof Zoo Dog. It has the same profile as popular walking baits but a soft body and double hook like a frog.

“I was just out with my buddy Shane today and he had as many quality bites as I did on a frog with the Zoo Dog,” he said. “The spook-style baits have always been great, but it is hard to fish around grass. This bait is tailor-made for those situations, and you get the same walking action but can fish it anywhere.”

Barrack sees a place for this bait during the post-spawn when the grass is beginning to grow but hasn’t matted out everywhere.

“Right now, the grass is pretty sporadic and hasn’t filled in like it will be in July and August,” he said. “But, it’s enough that you can’t fish a bait with trebles, which makes this bait so good because otherwise you would have to use a weedless plastic. It’s great for holes in the grass and sparse lily pads that haven’t gotten too thick yet.”

This bait bridges the gap between frog and walking bait and Barrack sees a place for it this time of year and also likes how well it casts.

“A frog casts great, but this is more aerodynamic and casts even better,” he said. “It’s also easy to get nice accurate casts to targets.”

Bobby Barrack has made a name for himself with frogs and is always looking for a way to catch more fish with them. He’s still fishing his famed Bobby’s Perfect Frog for much of the year but has added two more to his arsenal for post-spawn bass fishing.