Like any technique, fishing hollow bodied frogs can take on many different variations. From fishing them in open water, to skipping them far underneath docks, they can be a very versatile bait, but my absolute favorite way to fish these fish-catching machines is by combing thick matted vegatation in an effort to entice an explosion from a monster bass.
Though you can certainly use a hollow bodied frog right out of the package, there are certain things that I do to make my frogs more effective while fishing over thick grass mats.
Dig Dat Ditch
One of my favorite situations I like to see when I'm on a mat bite is to see a thick layer of yellow "cheese" over whatever type of submergent grass (usually hydrilla or millfoil) is forming the dense canopies. Of course I'm not expecting you to look for a wheel of sharp cheddar, but rather that accumulation of algae that piles up on the grass that is reminiscent of a slice of cheese toast. I don't know for sure what makes the cheese so attractive for big bass, but when you find the right cheese mat, it can be magic.
The biggest issue with the cheese is the density of it. Sometimes the mats are just so thick that the frog just doesn't make any indentation in the mat and therefore the fish can't home in on the location of the lure.
One way to remedy this is to weight your frog. To do this you really only need one thing- BBs. I like to buy the type of BBs that you would shoot from an air gun. Daisy BBs are a good choice. They have good weight but they also have a hard surface which creates a good rattling sound too, which also helps the fish hone in on the offering.
The number of BBs I add depends on the thickness of the mats Im fishing. The rule of thumb is that if you aren't able to see a distinctive "ditch" being created by the frog, then you need to add more. The more the frog digs into the mat the better. Remember, the key is to create an easier target for the fish to strike.
To insert the BBs I simply push them through the leg holes where the skirted material pops out. It may be a bit difficult but you'll get the hang of it.
Cut Em Down
Another thing that I do to my mat frogs to customize them is to cut the legs down to mere nubs. When you are fishing a frog over thick mats, you don't need to have long legs on your frog. In fact, I like to cut them down so short they are practically worthless, but really I am just wanting the bass to focus on the body of the bait and not nip at the tails.
Though you might not want to ruin a frog for one situation, if you plan on fishing heavy mats for any length of time, go ahead and buy a frog specifically for fishing mats and make these modifications- you won't regret it!
To watch my modified frogs in action take a look at our episode on Lake Guntersville:
Hope this helps!