Jump to content

Froggin'


Recommended Posts

Its been tough going lately fishing for cod, with a lot of casting for only a small number of fish. I've been regularly working through my "confidence" lures but decided I needed to do something different. I like to use frogs on spinnerbaits for cod and have dabbled previously rigging them weedless but never really persevered as it always felt like there were better options for fishing in the river.

I picked up a pack of the Zman GOAT ToadZ in Purple Death a while back so decided to give it a real go this week to see if the cod had switched to a frog diet. I rigged it weedless with a 6/0 1/8 chinlock jighead as I thought it would give me the option to bloop it on the surface by keeping the rod tip up, or let it sink slowly and retrieve with a few twitches. It was never going to be a deep running lure but I figured even getting down to 60cm on a slow sink around snags would work, and given its weedless nature, I could be completely reckless throwing it deep into overhangs and  structure.

Sunday morning I headed out for a quick fish on an easy to access piece of water and was surprised that it got hit quite a few times which was a real change to recent fishing, unfortunately, I didn't hook up.. Interestingly, since I was thinking cod with this approach, most of the hits felt like yellowbelly.  Back home, feeling more confident with the approach, I rigged a double stinger hook into the legs.

Back to the river nice and early on Monday, it was a warm Tamworth morning at 24 degrees at 6am and I was heading to a section that was about 2.5kms upriver. of where I launched the kayak.

Along the way, I stopped to cast at a big laydown below a rockbar that is often home to a feisty 40cm cod who regularly bashes lures that run down the log. He was in good form today, the boof for a small fish was impressive and put the frog about 1 metre in the air. This was repeated a few times during the morning, I think cod push a lot of water when they hit a topwater lure and the frog just doesn't weigh enough.

The double stinger was making the lure a little snaggy so I removed it and to my surprise, the first fish I managed to hook up was a nice yellowbelly, neatly pinned with the 6/0 hook and most of the frog in its gob.

This set the tone for the next hour and I finished with 5 yellowbelly with the biggest at 48cm which is a good Peel River fish. To me the real positive, was that I had close to 25 hits so while the hook up rate is terrible half the fun is just getting a response to your cast.

Its early days, and I'll have to do more research (aka fishing) but I'm not sure if its the frog or I just timed it perfectly with the bite window as the just waning full moon set around 9:15am.

IMG_7167Large.thumb.jpeg.cff15f8b7e562499d8d0a5370904311e.jpeg

IMG_7168Large.thumb.jpeg.22a0b3d1857776671e42f29b60a4ed73.jpeg

G0024244Large.thumb.jpeg.e93968b1b8aba80123234d675410a75f.jpeg

GOPR4234Large.thumb.jpeg.06565ab1913c24361a8e376af587fa3b.jpeg

GOPR4238Large.thumb.jpeg.9e371fa0937aafb481ec18d13c6a0b09.jpeg

IMG_7170Large.thumb.jpeg.33d148cbc8916bfb7ed14f23096c8a6b.jpeg

  • Like 16
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report - Thank you.

Wish I had known of your success I was in your area last week!!

I thoroughly agree that more "research" is required. Maybe a colour change!!

Thats a huge difference from your previous trip. Goes to show the fish were there - you just have to match the hatch so to speak.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, AlbertW said:

Good stuff Hilly! Might have to try the smaller version for bass. Thanks for the sneak peak earlier haha

Mate, I reckon try the 4" one I gave you, it might be a bit big at Manly Dam so maybe save it for a trip to Wyong River to target the bass above the weir at the old dairy.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Hoods said:

Great report - Thank you.

Wish I had known of your success I was in your area last week!!

I thoroughly agree that more "research" is required. Maybe a colour change!!

Thats a huge difference from your previous trip. Goes to show the fish were there - you just have to match the hatch so to speak.

Sounds like you were here with the crowds for TCMF - let me know if you're coming up again some time, happy to get you out for a fish in the local waters.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report Steve. I liked the way you think the issues through and arrive at a solution that works. Great result.

 Q: How is the water flow in the Peel River? Running very fast here.

Cheers, bn

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

42 minutes ago, Hill373737 said:

Mate, I reckon try the 4" one I gave you, it might be a bit big at Manly Dam so maybe save it for a trip to Wyong River to target the bass above the weir at the old dairy.

Yep, gonna use the 3 inch for manly as it only has tiny bass and 4 inch for the Nepean or Wyong river

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, big Neil said:

 

 Q: How is the water flow in the Peel River? Running very fast here.

Cheers, bn

The Peel is low and slow - compared to the average water level from 12 months ago, the river is currently about 40cm lower and there isn't a lot of flow. I think this is contributing to the cod fishing not being as good as well as the increase in water temperature due to reduced flow.

On the upside, I'm mentally mapping a lot of the snags in the river where I regularly fish that previously weren't visible. Previously, most of the rockbars and small rapids where I mostly fish I could float down in the kayak, however now, I have to get out as they are too shallow.

When I was last up in the McDonald a couple of months back, most of the river had very heavy weed growth which makes it virtually unfishable.

The dams are dropping so they must be releasing water. 12 months ago the 3 dams were all around 100% - now, Keepit is below 50%, Chaffey is around 80% and Split Rock is at 97% but also slowly starting to drop now.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

A detailed and helpful account of “thinking through the issues” - thanks for sharing Hilly.

It’s always helpful to be be able to put a few sessions together over a few days and try different stuff in order to “crack the code”. I always struggle with - is it the lure/bait? Conditions on the day? Time of year? Etc, or “All the above” in which case “Will it work next time?”, but that’s the challenge of our sport.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, rickmarlin62 said:

That sounds like fun   have you caught any yellas in the other river we spoke about

I have caught yellas there as bycatch targetting cod but haven't taken the frog there yet. 

I fished it with a mate in December and we managed 10 cod between us, biggest went 70 , although the water level has dropped a fair bit since then. I'll also need to find another access point as they've closed the road I used for 3 months to repair the low level bridge.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I decided to unleash the frog again on Friday morning, I upsized the jighead to 1/6th from 1/8th chinlock and was surprised to see it could still easily be blooped across the surface. 

Something about the action of the frog seems to work well, given the fishing has been tough lately and I was only out for a couple of hours, it was hit 10 times for 3 hookups including a small cod around the 40cm mark and 2 nice yellowbelly. 

I'm starting to think I should find an 8" frog, it might flush out some of the bigger cod. 🙂

Here's a couple of photos from the sessionGOPR4653Large.thumb.jpeg.84ccc1efeba8fbae20290636942c16c5.jpegGOPR4656Large.thumb.jpeg.008f92424bf6dbffaa4c317aa70856d4.jpeg

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...