By Mike Giles / Outdoors Writer
The Meridian Star
Jenifer Flanagan cast her frog into the salad patch and a bass exploded through the vegetation and ate it. The Bass Pro Shops angler quickly set the hook on the enraged bass. The lunker bore down and shot out like a bolt of lightning before Flanagan popped her whip and pulled that bass out of heavy cover. After a short battle she wore it down and another lunker bass was history!
Flanagan, a lifelong outdoors woman with a passion for things outside, has turned her passion into her vocation while working at Bass Pro Shops in Pearl. Her zeal for bass fishing, people and life show through her on-the-job performance and in her angling career as well. An accomplished angler in her own right, Flanagan developed a love of the outdoors and fishing while traversing the woods and waters with her dad, Butch Flanagan.
And what she learned in the process continues today, as the father/daughter duo go fishing every chance they get. In fact, they’re on a very special Father’s Day fishing trip as I write this article. With no boys in the family, Jenifer was able to learn the tricks of the trade from her Dad, and that has paid dividends that continue to pay off today.
One of her favorite things to do is entice bass into biting frogs. The explosive topwater action is second to none and Jenifer is very proficient at finding, hooking and catching bass on the toads. And not everybody can pick up the art of catching bass on frogs very easily.
When it comes to traditional frog fishing Flanagan likes to use the Scum Frog around vegetation such as floating grass or lily pads. “I’ll let the fish tell me how they want it by varying my retrieve techniques,” said Flanagan. “I like to cast the Scum Frog out and pop the frog back to me retrieving it pretty fast and other times I’ll let it sit a few seconds and then twitch it a little bit and then give it a pop. If the bass strike the frog on a fast retrieve I’ll keep using that, but if they don’t like it I’ll use the pop, sit, twitch retrieve and see if that works.”
She also casts the Scum Frogs up onto logs, stumps and lily pads. “If there are pads in the lake I like to pitch that frog up onto the pad and just let it sit a minute and then twitch it and make a little disturbance on there to let the bass know something’s up there,” said Flanagan. “After a few seconds I’ll hop that frog off the pad and that’s when they usually kill it with explosive strikes!”
“The biggest thing to me about fishing floating frogs is having patience, setting the hook and using braid,” Flanagan said. “It’s easy to set the hook too soon and pull it out of their mouth,” she said. “I usually count to two, while taking up the slack and then set the hook as hard as I can.”
“Braid also helps when you’re fishing around logs and lily pads when that bass gets down in the brush or buries up in the pads and it keeps them from breaking off. It usually gives me time to get to them and get them out without losing them.”
Flanagan grew up fishing small ponds, Okatibbee Lake and the Tombigbee River with her Dad, and learned a thing or two about catching bass on frogs.
“I like to use the Watermelon red color Scum Frogs in the clear water lakes with just a little stain and I’ll use white frogs on the Tombigbee,” she said. “And black has always worked well for me on small ponds.”
Early morning and late afternoon are prime times in hot weather for catching bass on frog’s and Flanagan fishes them until the bass quit hitting topwater.
Flanagan’s love for the outdoors is evident for all to see and her love of the outdoors and fishing and hunting with her father and family are special to her indeed. There’s nothing quite like the relationship between a father and child and Flanagan’s love of the outdoors and her talents are due in a large part to her dad, Butch.
You can learn a lot about a person when you spend time in the boat fishing with them and Butch Flanagan clearly had a positive impact on his daughter as she continues to shine in the outdoors and at Bass Pro Shops! Happy Father’s Day Butch Flanagan, may all fathers have such an impact on their children as you have.
Contact Mike Giles at 601-917-3898 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.