Clark Reehm, a bass pro from Elm Grove, didn’t hesitate recently when he named the artificial lure he’ll fish the most during the dog days of summer.
Reehm’s choice might surprise those who join the crowd probing a lake’s deep waters with soft plastics and crankbaits, and really shock their systems when they learn he probes the shallows, no matter whether it’s a 100-degree day or not, with a plastic frog.
Well, not just any shallows.
“All right, so the bait I would have in August, hands down, I’m always going to have a frog tied on. Look, I fish deep at (Lake Sam Rayburn), but it’s a hookup and landing percentage deal. More times than not, you can go anywhere in the country in August and catch fish on a frog,” said Reehm, a veteran of the FLW Pro Tour and Bassmaster Elite Series, noting that he throws various frogs, mostly popping frogs.
Reehm loves to have percentages on his side.
“I’m going to let you in on a secret,” he said. “The key to targeting them is shade. Everybody’s hung up on (fishing frogs) on grass. I’m going to look for shade … no matter. If it’s 100 degrees, it’s 95 degrees in the shade,” he said, explaining the dissolved-oxygen levels are typically higher in the shallows, sometimes better than they are in the deep water below a reservoir’s thermoclines.
“It’s something you can go and just target. After I get (the frog) out of the shade, I reel it in. When I’m done with the strike zone, I’m done,” he said.
Reehm’s favorite colors are black, white or “some sort of green. It’s about the bluegill,” Reehm said.
Reehm, 41, said, “Everybody else is dragging worms in deep water. That deep bite is so hit and miss. I can go frogging and typically catch the fish. I tend to like popping frogs, but every day is different.”
For working plastic frogs in water with less cover, he uses a Dobyns 735C fishing rod, but for “the slop and heavy cover,” he opts for a heavier rod, a Dobyns 736C. He ties the bogus hopper to 65-pound braid spooled on a high-speed Daiwa or Shimano reel.
Reehm doesn’t count “1-2-3” or anything like that when a bass slurps, gulps or inhales the plastic frog he’s casting and retrieving. Like other bass pros, he relies on muscle memory to get the slack out of the line and set the hook immediately.
“As soon as I feel them, I’m cracking it,” he said.
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