There’s something special about fishing weedy cover. When a bass finally hits, it’s like they ripped up out of nowhere.
If you’re fishing topwater, you get to see them launch out for the bait, an experience most bass anglers really love.
If that angler is you, I’ve got a list of frog lures that you gotta have on hand.
One of my favorite lures to throw when I’m dealing with some dense grass is a frog topwater lure. Not only are frogs natural prey for big bass, but often these lures will look like many other types of prey fish the bass might be on the hunt for.
Another important consideration is that sometimes they are the only lure capable of making their way through (or over) thick vegetation while retaining their intended movement.
If you’re trying to get through your day without a monster snag, and you’ve noticed some frog or toad activity at your fishing hole, try tying on my absolute favorite: The Live Target Hollow Body Frog.
This classic bass killer is always in my tackle box and great for a weedy situation.
Before we get into the list, it’s important to know the different types of frog lures.
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Different Types of Frog Lures
Walking Frogs Walk on Water
Walking frogs, the original frog lure, do as their name suggests and walk on water. They are my top choice when the grass is the thickest!
These lures have hollow bodies with upturned hooks. The upturned hooks curve hard against their bodies to keep them safely away from the grass cover in which you’ll use them to fish.
At first glance, an angler might worry that there would be no room for a bass to even hook on this design. That’s where the hollow body comes in. It’s made from relatively flexible material, so that when a bass hits, the body crushes, and the hook sinks in.
But what about movement? Walking frogs have tassels that float and twirl like a frog’s legs might while the lure is skated across the surface. The overall effect is that of a swimming frog stumbling through thick cover – which is going to look very inviting for a hungry fish!
Popping Frogs Pop
If you’d like a little more action and noise with your frog lure, a popping frog is what you’re looking for. These lures have a very similar design to a walking frog lure, with hollow, squishable bodies and upturned hooks. This means they are still great at fishing heavy cover.
The major difference is the shape of their nose. Instead of tapering off to a point, the nose is a scoop shape. This gives the lure interesting movement in the water.
It makes a “popping” sound while it scoots along, which bass really seem to love. It also throws the lure around, like an injured frog might swim.
The lures still have skirt legs on the back, creating an attractive swimming illusion for the bass lurking underneath.
Plopping, Prop, or Paddle Foot Frogs: As Real as It Gets
The plopping frog is a new installment to the frog lure market, and it offers the most realistic movement of all.
So much so, they could arguably be called the best topwater frog for bass available to the angler. Half the body is generally hollow with upturned hooks, to facilitate casting in thick growth.
The other half of their body is solid, in order to support its prop feature: spinning legs!
These legs create a disturbing motion bass can’t resist. While the tassels on the other two lures do a pretty good job, the legs on the propping frog look as close to the real thing as you’re gonna get. In addition, they really crank up over open water, helping lurking bass keep track of the lure’s movement.
Of course, there is a downside. These lures seem to get hung up more often than their more streamlined predecessors. It’s also easier for a bass to miss the hook without the squishy body to collapse around it.
Here’s my favorite for the best frog lure for bass right out front. The Live Target Hollow Body Frog is on my list of best bass lures for fall for a reason. With hyperrealistic colors, a soft body, and great movement, it’s one of the best frog lures on the market.
One of the things that makes this lure stand out is its flexible (yet durable) body.
Frog lures are notorious for losing bass. This inconvenience is regularly overlooked because they are regarded as the only usable lure in heavy cover. The hollow body frog does a great job addressing this issue by making the hook hard to miss for a hungry bass.
In addition, the small arms and 3D eyes give it a realistic look that cheaper frogs just don’t have. It may be on the higher end of the price spectrum, but the craftsmanship sets this frog apart.
3D eyes and arms.
Soft, squishy body so the hook will set.
Great movement, glides left to right easily over cover.
Great color selection.
Very expensive to lose.
If budget is no issue, or you’d just like to have a nice frog lure in your arsenal, the Live Target Hollow Body Frog is best in show. If you know an angler with one, they’ve likely got some big bass stories to go along with it.
One of the more annoying traits of a hollow body frog lure, is that at some point it’s going to fill up with water. This usually happens when you’ve made the perfect cast and can’t wait to get it hopping across some hard-to-reach lily pads.
Watching your lure struggle and sink is pretty heart-wrenching, but River2Sea has come up with the solution. The Bully Wa II took the success of the Bully Wa and built on it by sealing the hook holes to help prevent the hollow body from filling with water.
Other than this feature, it is built very similarly to other walking frog lures, with a nice crushable body and two upturned hooks.
And it’s probably got the widest belly of all the entries on the list, making it a great largemouth bass lure option. The big belly and side to side movement encourages big bass bites!
Sealed hook holes improve buoyancy.
River2Sea has a proven track record with the original Bully Wa.
Wide construction for big bites.
Ideal lure for largemouth bass.
Tassels and body are less realistic than other lures for the same price.
Limited color options.
If you’ve given up on frog lures because of buoyancy issues (I’ve been there!), why not give this Bully Wa II a shot? Its predecessor was top of the market. This is a great lure for spring bass fishing, when the cover is heavy and the water is high.
Z-man’s lure is a truly classic design with proven results. It comes in a nice range of colors at an attractive price point. The hollow body is very durable, yet still flexible, leaving the hooks open to do their job when a big bass bites.
What sets this lure apart is its deep V body and added drain hole. The body shape lends to consistently great movement on top of heavy cover, out-performing wider frogs in this arena. The drain hole helps maintain buoyancy by shedding water while it’s being reeled.
The thinner profile of Z-Man’s lures makes them a great lure for smallmouth bass. I like to skirt this walking frog around the cover as well as through it -to see if one will produce a hit.
Durable, well-constructed body.
V-shaped body for great movement.
Drain holes to help shed water.
Quality performance history.
Not the most realistic appearance.
Thinner profile than most lures (some bass like a wider frog).
This lure is the real deal! It’s got great movement, an affordable price point and a drain to help with buoyancy issues. The V-shape shoots this lure back and forth, generating a big bass bite.
This is the best frog lure for bass fishing a river, inexpensive to lose and easy to maneuver. Your tackle box needs one!
What can I say? Live Target makes a great frog! They’ve taken the success of their walking frog and created a really competitive popper for my tackle box – and yours, too!
This popper frog’s hollow body construction is difficult to beat. It’s super flexible, allowing the hooks to sink in once a bass bites. As frog lures are infamous for losing bass, this is a great feature on Live Target’s popping frog lure.
The curved mouth does a great job “popping” or “chugging” water. It’s designed to cast well and reel well, and with ten color combinations, there’s a popping frog for every angler.
Live Target’s lures are the most anatomically well-designed lures on the list. With 3D eyes and arms, the bass will be convinced it’s the real deal. The only downside is the price point, but sometimes I just feel like paying more for a quality lure.
Flexible “skin” construction to turn bites into bass in the boat.
Curved mouth for great chugging action.
10 different colors.
3D eyes and arms, looks like a real frog!
Considerably expensive investment.
Potential buoyancy issues.
If you must have the best lure, and you’ve wanted to try the popping variety, then this is the bait for you. Live Target did a great job updating their walking lure to a popping lure, and if you don’t mind spending a little more, then this is well worth a go on your line.
Are you ready to make some noise?! This frog lure has some of the best “chugging” action on the list. The nose has a deep cup and heavy-duty welded line tie. This cup makes a big pop when directing the frog across the water’s surface.
It still handles cover well, with two premium VMC upturned hooks and a soft, hollow body. When a bass takes a bite, the body collapses well, and the hooks do their jobs. Consider adding a trailing hook to this, or other poppers, to catch every bass that hits.
Several color options are available, and the slim body helps achieve more natural movement in the water. At an affordable price-point, Terminator is having a lot of success with this little lure.
Large cup with great chugging action!
Two premium VMC hooks.
Strongly welded lure.
Slim body for great movement.
Affordable price point.
Slim body with wide hooks, a little more prone to getting hung.
Not as realistic looking as other poppers.
If you like to make some real noise with your popper, this little Terminator lure is a great one to check out. It’s a very durable lure, with quality components and quality construction. On top of that, it won’t break the bank!
Now this one is a favorite in my tackle box. I think it’s the perfect combination of durability, function, and affordability. Z-MAN has a great line up of poppers, and this frog is a real bass hunter.
The cup has just enough depth to create the desired chugging action you’d expect from a popper. The two upturned hooks come off a deep V, with ridges down the bottom, for great side-to-side movement.
Z-Man has a great selection of colors and even sizes in this lure, creating a slew of options for every angler and situation. Their frog poppers even have nice 3D eyes and eyebrow ridges to add points to their realism rating.
Economic popper with lots of sizes and colors, grab a few!
Deep V construction for ideal side-to-side action.
Great array of colors and sizes.
Realistic ridges, eyes, and belly.
The body is not as flexible as more expensive poppers.
I can’t find a reason not to recommend this popper for your tackle box. It’s affordable, durable, and effective. The Z-MAN Popper Frog comes in tons of colors and two different sizes.
I like to have a couple of darker variations for when I’m looking for the best pond bass lure or murky water lure, and this fits the bill and then some.
The Lunkerhunt Prop Frog is an amazing combination of technology and value. It’s got an ultra-realistic look, with a nice, wide hollow body that crushes well when a bass attacks.
The color combinations on this lure really make the bass go wild. The real draw, though, is the flailing prop feet that create a huge disturbance when this lure gets into open water. If you’re shopping for a prop lure, this vibration is what you’re looking for.
In addition, Lunkerhunt’s prop frog combats a frog lure’s innate ability to lose the biggest bass by including a trailing hook between the lure’s prop legs. No more trying to figure out how to rig your own, this lure is ready to cast!
Realistic, natural color patterns.
Solid price point.
Included trail hook for great bass retention odds.
Great vibration and movement from the prop legs.
The trail hook is “protected” by the prop feet, but is still a hang-up hazard.
The Lunkerhunt lure is quite possibly the most well-rounded lure on this list. With the included trailing hook and overall efficient design, it would be a great first frog lure to throw at some bass for interested anglers. The prop legs create perfect movement for attracting a big bite.
Now this is a uniquely designed lure. Rebel Lure’s “buzzbait in disguise” is the only solid-bodied frog lure on the list. It might be the first time bass on your lake see this kind of movement and presentation.
The body is split in half from the legs and connected so that as the lure is reeled, the legs buzz back and forth to create a vibration the bass can’t resist. While at rest, only the forward portion of the lure will float, just like the real deal.
To achieve this, a crushable body wasn’t an option, so the only hooks on the lure are two trailers between the vibrating legs. This is a potential issue for both hang-ups and losing a big bass.
I really like the colors on this frog; Rebel keeps it simple by naming them after the frog they are painted to resemble.
Realistic movement: head rests above water when stopped.
Great vibration, the feet buzz behind the lure while being reeled.
Nice, easy color selection – just pick your local frog!
Unique lure – bass may not have seen it before.
The two trailer hooks are the only hooks, and are easy to hang up or lose fish.
A hard body fish likes to spit out.
If you’re ready to try something different, and really enjoy scripting your own movement out in the weeds, this frog lure might be for you. If you can convince the bass to take a big bite, it’s not going anywhere.
The Best Colors for a Frog Lure
Sure, a list of the best frog lures on the market is great, but what color should you go with?
Now that you know the different types of frog lure, let’s talk about color.
These are my favorite picks; in the order I tie them on!
Natural is Always Best
Bass have incredibly good eyesight. If you only have the budget to add one variation to your tackle box, I recommend choosing the natural option for the best frog lure for bass fishing.
Other color variations are for boosting your success in specific conditions, but natural colors always have a shot at success, and sometimes will be the only variation to actually work.
With frog lures, this will be whatever color your local frog and toad population/species is. A little research will go a long way in this area, but a green/brown lure is usually the right move. Keep in mind that frogs in a river can be different from those in a pond or lake.
Black and Dark Variations
Black and its dark friends are for whenever bass will have trouble seeing the lure. These colors create a nice silhouette for them to spot and to hit, especially when they’re struggling to see anything else.
This could be applicable for night fishing, fishing in murky water, and even on very bright, sunny days. When the sun’s out, bass have trouble seeing above themselves due to the excessive glare. A black frog lure stands a better chance of catching their attention, while a naturally colored lure goes unnoticed.
An interesting thing about frog lures is that while they do a great job mimicking frogs, bass won’t always take it that way. I like to have a shad, sunfish or minnow-colored options to tie on if my original color choice isn’t doing the trick.
Sometimes these colors inspire a bite when the natural greens don’t seem to be working. The best part is that you’ll still get the advantage of the frog lure’s design to fish your heavy cover, but may look more like a shad in open water.
It’s Getting Froggy
So, you’ve got your best bass rod and reel, boat, and a big river to catch bass in; now all that’s left is to pick a frog. It can be a daunting task, choosing a quality lure that will get thrown directly in the weeds over and over again.
Fishing with a topwater frog lure for bass is about as exciting as it gets. Not only are you in cover that just can’t be hit with other lures, but when they bite, it’s an explosion. It’s one of my favorite ways to fish for bass, and I live for those super-satisfying topwater hits!
I’m interested in hearing what kind of luck you’ve had with topwater frog lures for bass.
What’s your best walking lure? Do you prefer popping or plopping frog lures? Have you lost any big bass on this finicky type of lure? Let me know how you’re using frog lures to fish for bass this season!