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Do Smallmouth Eat Frogs?


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Bass eating frogs is an interesting topic to me. I have no doubt that a bass will try to eat a frog but a few years ago I watched a YouTube video (believe it was BamaBass) and he was feeding frogs to the bass in his pet tank. They were probably 2 pound bass, and small frogs. They would violently attack it as soon as the frog hit the water, but they would spit it out every single time. Not once did they ingest the frog. When he would drop a shiner or crawfish in it would get swallowed up and never rejected. But I’ve caught bass that have frog legs sticking up from its throat. So it obviously happens sometimes. Maybe not as often as we think. 

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34 minutes ago, Jar11591 said:

Bass eating frogs is an interesting topic to me. I have no doubt that a bass will try to eat a frog but a few years ago I watched a YouTube video (believe it was BamaBass) and he was feeding frogs to the bass in his pet tank. They were probably 2 pound bass, and small frogs. They would violently attack it as soon as the frog hit the water, but they would spit it out every single time. Not once did they ingest the frog. When he would drop a shiner or crawfish in it would get swallowed up and never rejected. But I’ve caught bass that have frog legs sticking up from its throat. So it obviously happens sometimes. Maybe not as often as we think. 

I've wondered this too. I've caught lots of bass on frogs, including onw almost 8 lbs. But I've always wondered if the bass really recognizes it as a frog or just some poor critter flailing on the lily mat. I rarely see frogs on the mat where I fish.

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I was told this by a guy who is a very good fisherman one time.  He said we have to remember that fish have brains the size of a peanut.  Their goal in life is to stay alive, eat and mate.  When they see something they think might be food they don't have hands to check it out so they eat it.  Of course they may spit it out faster than you can react but that is the equivalent of us picking something up to look at it in a way.  I have had great days fishing frog fly patterns for smallies and of course for largemouth too but I am not sure if they think it is a frog or if they think it is something to eat but to me, who cares as long as they eat it.  

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I have to believe Bass ingest frogs.

A friend of mine has a very small pond on his property, 6' deep and smaller than an above ground swimming pool.

 

This pond was littered with frogs until he introduced a couple of LM bass he caught in the river.

 

 

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I can’t remember which fishing show I was watching but the cameraman caught a small mouth bass eat a bat that was swimming on top of the water.

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4 minutes ago, Bird said:

I have to believe Bass ingest frogs.

A friend of mine has a very small pond on his property, 6' deep and smaller than an above ground swimming pool.

 

This pond was littered with frogs until he introduced a couple of LM bass he caught in the river.

 

 


I had the same experience growing up—when my family moved into a house with a pond, the bullfrogs were so loud they’d wake us up with that booming hoot.

 

Caught a few good sized LM, put them in the pond, and it all went silent.

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4 hours ago, Jar11591 said:

They would violently attack it as soon as the frog hit the water, but they would spit it out every single time. Not once did they ingest the frog. 

Sounds like me when I'm really hungry and someone sticks a platter of liver & onions in front of me. 

 

3 hours ago, the reel ess said:

I've wondered this too. I've caught lots of bass on frogs, including onw almost 8 lbs. But I've always wondered if the bass really recognizes it as a frog or just some poor critter flailing on the lily mat. I rarely see frogs on the mat where I fish.

I think it depends on the lake. I have some lakes where there's a good population of frogs swimming in and around mats. On those lakes I'm sure the bass recognize them as frogs when they're hoping around on top of the mats. Other lakes I never see any frogs. In those instances when fishing a frog over slop/pad, I'm guessing the fish see that as bluegill/baitfish eating on the surface, etc. 

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35 minutes ago, NorthernBasser said:

t depends on the lake. I have some lakes where there's a good population of frogs swimming in and around mats. On those lakes I'm sure the bass recognize them as frogs when they're hoping around on top of the mat. Other lakes I never see any frogs. In those instances when fishing a frog over slop/pad, I'm guessing the fish see that as bluegill/baitfish eating on the surface, etc. 

I don't believe they do a whole lot of thinking. If we could ask them why they bit a certain lure, and they had the ability to respond, The answer would be "I have no idea".

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I'm sure smallies eat frogs, but I doubt that they make up much of their diet in most places for various reasons. I also don't think that catching them on frog imitating or colored lures means anything.

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1 minute ago, TnRiver46 said:

these SMB ate frogs 
 

5606821-A-9-E82-4-B5-B-9-E8-D-8-B47-A3-A

4-C3-ACD96-07-A7-4573-A254-A1006802-D06-
460-B5-FFA-737-D-45-DD-85-F2-47807277-C4

 

 

I have caught a few on a frog in open water. The day one blows up thru the slop will shock me tho. :lol:

 

 

23 minutes ago, the reel ess said:

I don't believe they do a whole lot of thinking. If we could ask them why they bit a certain lure, and they had the ability to respond, The answer would be "I have no idea".

Yeah I guess nobody REALLY knows how smart they are. I do think they're smarter than a lot of people give them credit for. But again, I could be wrong. 

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5 minutes ago, NorthernBasser said:

 

I have caught a few on a frog in open water. The day one blows up thru the slop will shock me tho. :lol:

 

 

Yeah I guess nobody REALLY knows how smart they are. I do think they're smarter than a lot of people give them credit for. But again, I could be wrong. 

That one in the top photo hit in milfoil 

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Susqy has loads of leopard frogs and believe me SMB eat the heck out of these things, as do LMB..  These frogs do not get very large and especially the tadpoles feed many bass.

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I've just started fishing frog patterns with my fly rod two years ago.  The initial pattern I tied and fished on a lake in NE Ontario drew several strikes from smallmouth but I didn't hook any of them.  I've since modified the pattern and plan to give it a work out on some lakes up in the Poconos in a month or so.  I initially was tying them on 3/0 and 4/0 hooks, but latest batch are tied on 1/0 and size 2 hooks.  They're weedless but tied on a single hook.  Still trying to figure out how to tie them on double hooks.

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This is interesting in many ways. I have a pond that I spend lots of time observing. When I approach a Leopard Frog, the first thing it does after leaping into the water is make an immediate turn and head back towards the bank and burrow into vegetation. I have never observed a Leopard Frog swimming in open water. With that said, I have also observed a LMB burrow into the weeds to extract a frog. The frog was too big for the LMB and got away to the bank. The 180 turn the frogs make are done even in smaller ponds that do not have fish. It is just another mysterious instinct.

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My uncle mounted a 20+” smallmouth he caught back in the day on a live frog . It was a small crystal clear river somewhere in rural Ontario. The story is pretty good, my dad netted the fish! Bass are opportunistic so why wouldn’t a smb eat a frog? 

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1 hour ago, Finessegenics said:

My uncle mounted a 20+” smallmouth he caught back in the day on a live frog . It was a small crystal clear river somewhere in rural Ontario. The story is pretty good, my dad netted the fish! Bass are opportunistic so why wouldn’t a smb eat a frog? 

I saw a bull frog try to swim across a creek full of big stocked rainbow trout and the trout ate his poor legs right off 

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