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Summer Slopin’
By Glenn Walker

Oh sweet summer time, long days of 90 plus degree weather means one thing to a bass fisherman…SLOP FISHIN!!  Much advancement has been made in the topwater frog market, but the roots of this lure can be traced back to fishing in the slop.

Slop as it is referred to by anglers, is when vegetation forms a large blanket like form over the water.  There are several forms of vegetation that can create these vast regions of slop fields.  Lily pads that were once scattered across the water have taken an area by storm and now have other forms of vegetation filling in the open water pockets that once existed.  Duck wart is another example of vegetation that can make up some prime areas for slop fishing.  These areas look like a sea of green floating a top the water.  Duck wart can either be very thin or thick, based on how much vegetation is bunched up below.  The other forms of slop are either grass lines that been folded over and are now lying across the top of the water and the last sloppy area are areas where the wind blows any form of debris into a secluded pocket or corner. 

Determining what kind of slop the bass are in is important because on many bodies of water, such as the Mississippi River, you could spend days upon days fishing fields of green gold and not be very successful. 

Two other factors that I take into consideration when locating bass within the slop are, if there are any other forms of cover located with in or near the slop.  The other factor being if there is any current running through the slop, many times bass will position themselves in the slop that is within close range to the current.

The two lures I turn to when fishing slop are frogs and swim jigs.  I like to throw a swim jig on top of the matted vegetation when it is not that thick and when the bass are holding more on the edge, this way when you bring your jig off the edge it can fall down the face of the vegetation.  My primarily lure when fishing slop are a soft hollow bodied frog and a soft plastic frog, both types of frogs excel in their own unique situations. 

Several popular frogs that have become popular are the Spro Dean Rojas Frog and the Snag Proof Bobby’s Perfect frog.  These frogs are in the $7-8 price range.  But with these high quality frogs you are also getting a high performance hook that helps you hook the bass and keep em on until they get in the boat.  Numerous other companies make a frog and are much cheaper and still work, I suggest you give em all a try and gain confidence in a bait that works for you.  As for colors, I like to keep it simple by using white and brown primarily.  If I do go to another color, black and green frogs work well too.


A nice Bass Fooled by a Cane Toad

If the slop you are fishing isn’t thick or if the bass are holding on the edge, a soft plastic frog such as a Gambler Cane Toad works well.  With this bait you can throw it in the vegetation and bring it back to the boat with out getting hung up in the weeds.  If the bass are hitting on the edge, then hang on because when your toad hits the edge there will be a ferocious strike.

Regardless of what lure you are going to be throwing when you are slop fishing, it is important to use a line that is strong and has no stretch.  The advancement of braided lines have made slop fishing that much easier, on my reels I use 50 lb. Power Pro.  A new addition to my slop fishing tools this year has been the Quantum Tour Edition ‘Burner’ reel.  This reel has a 7.0:1 gear ratio, which allows me to pick up the slack very quickly and bring in a hooked bass very quickly.  A heavy action, stout rod is important because you need to have plenty of backbone to pull a bass out of the thickest of cover.  Anglers employ rods that range from 6’10” to 7’6” feet.  I prefer a Quantum Tour Edition PT 6’10” rod, because it gives me the backbone I need, but also has a soft tip so I can give some action to my frog when bringing it across the water.

When slop fishing, an important fact that an angler must realize is that you are going to have bass miss your lure.  This is why having a follow up bait rigged on a rod is extremely important.  A tube bait with a rattle inside of it is a good choice, because after you pitch it into the hole that the fish just blew up through, you can shake your tube and make some noise with that rattle.  Other soft plastic baits and jigs also make effective follow up baits. 

Slop fishing is an art of bass fishing that gives an angler a huge rush of adrenaline and accounts for numerous quality bass over the summer months and into the fall.  I look forward to seeing you on the water in the green stuff!