Do Trout Eat Frogs? How to Use Frogs as Trout Bait (A Quick Guide)

Trout fish are known to have a diverse diet all year round. They’re opportunistic eaters, and they will eat almost everything from insects and crustaceans to small baitfish and algae.

Yet, few anglers seem to have witnessed trout feeding on frogs, despite the fact that frogs make a meal for a lot of other gamefish species, such as largemouth bass, chain pickerel, northern pike, and catfish.

So, do trout eat frogs? Trout do eat frogs; however, it’s more common in South Africa than in Europe or North America. That is mostly due to frogs being more abundant near the areas where trout usually feed. Trout will actively feed on frogs at various stages of their lives as long as they’re able to swallow them.

Keep reading to learn more about why frogs make good fish bait and how to use frogs to catch trout.

Do Frogs Make Good Fish Bait?

a frog to answer do trout eat frogs

Many anglers consider frogs to be one of the most effective baits for targeting large fish species.

You can use live frogs to target a wide variety of species, such as catfish, bass, chain pickerel, walleye, and northern pike. However, there can be some drawbacks to using live frogs as bait.  

Live frogs might be too difficult to handle for some anglers as it’s can be hard to catch and store them.

They might also be illegal to use in your state, so it’s very important to check the local regulations to make sure using frogs as live bait is allowed in your area before you go fishing.

That is why it’s often recommended to switch to artificial frog lures. There is a wide variety of frog lures on the market that are designed to imitate live frogs to grab the attention of the fish species you’re targeting.

Can You Use Frogs as Bait for Trout?

You can use frogs as bait for trout because researchers have proved that trout do, in fact, feed on frogs if it’s widely abundant in the areas where they live and feed.

An experiment was conducted in 2004 that showed that introducing trout to an environment led to a noticeable decrease in the local frog population which proves that trout will willingly hunt frogs, so they’re also likely to bite on frog baits and lures.

There are many bodies of water where trout would regularly feed on frogs or toads. Trout species that live in rivers and streams might be less likely to feed on frogs as they prefer smaller prey like insects   

Trout living in lakes and ponds, on the other hand, are more likely to feed on frogs. That’s mainly because the slow-moving water in lakes and ponds is a prime habitat for frogs to mate and hatch eggs.

You can use this guide to fish for lake trout and get surprising results, as I’ve perfected these tactics and methods in the last few years, so definitely check out the guide.

How to Fish for Trout using Frogs as Bait?

There is no distinct way to fish for trout using live frogs. You can use the same techniques you would with any other kind of bait. Just rig a healthy frog to your line and cast it out near the areas where trout live.

It’s best to allow the frog to swim freely on its own as the natural action will be more effective in grabbing the attention of trout and getting them to bite.

Your chances of success will mainly depend on the kind of gear you’re using and how you rig the fog bait.

What Kind of Gear is Best for Trout Fishing with Frogs?

Frogs are bigger than most kinds of bait, so you can use them to target bigger trout species. However, big trout fish are more likely to aggressively bite your bait and put up a fight. So, it’s very important to use heavier gear to avoid the risk of losing your catch.

When using live frogs as bait, it’s recommended to use a 7 feet fishing rod with medium or medium-heavy power and fast action paired with a spinning reel as bait. You can find the best rods for Trout here and the best spinning reels for Trout here.

When it comes to the fishing line, it’s recommended to use a braided line with a 30-pound line test to withstand the weight of large trout and their aggressive attacks. Some anglers might even go up to a 50-pound line test. You can also find the best trout fishing lines here.

As for hooks, it’s recommended to use weedless hooks from size 1 to 3/0. However, the hook size mainly depends on the size of the frog you’re using as bait and the size of the trout you’re targeting. Check out the best hook sizes for tout here.

How to Hook a Live Frog?

Hooking a live frog can be fairly difficult because frogs are very fragile creatures, and if you hook them too aggressively, they might die.

You can hook through the mouth or through the back leg. It’s usually recommended to hook them through the mouth as this method is less likely to injure the frog.

If you hook them through the back leg, you might injure the frog’s back leg. Which makes it harder for the frog to swim, and it won’t produce sufficient action to attract fish to bite.

Can You Use Artificial Frog Lures for Trout?

If you’re unable to obtain live frogs, you can use artificial frog lures for Trout. If trout bite on live frog bait, they’re also likely to bite on artificial frog lures as they effectively mimic the look and movement of real frogs.

 Frog lures are available in a wide variety of sizes, weights, and colors to suit fishing in different water conditions. You can find plenty of them on Amazon. I’ve had good success with these lures lately:

You can check these frog lures on amazon here.

How to Catch Live Frogs to Use as Bait?

The most challenging aspect of fishing with frogs as bait is obtaining the live frogs first, which might be difficult as you won’t find them in your local bait shops.

However, frogs aren’t really that hard to catch as long as you know where to find them. You can usually frog near lily pads or areas with cover. You can catch them using your bare hands, or you can use long-handled dip nets. There are also some traps that are specially designed to catch frogs.

How to Keep Frogs Alive to Use as Bait?

Another challenging aspect of fishing with frogs as bait is keeping them alive, as they are more fragile than other kinds of bait.

Their skin is delicate and highly absorbent, which means they can take in any chemicals or impurities in the water, so you need to make sure you’re keeping the frogs in a clean bucket with fresh water to keep them healthy.

To keep frogs alive longer after hooking them, it’s recommended to avoid casting for long distances as much as possible. Long casts can cause severe shock to live frogs which causes them to die faster. It’s also recommended to pitch or cast the frogs as gently and infrequently as you can.

Related Questions

What’s the Difference Between Frogs and Toads?

Frogs and Toads are both amphibians, and they might look similar at first glance; however, there are some very distinctive features that set them apart, such as the texture of their skin and their legs. Frogs have smooth skin and long legs, while toads have shorter and lumpier skin.

What Do Trout Eat?

Trout fish are not selective when it comes to their diet. They usually eat dragonfly nymphs, caddis fly nymphs, leeches, snails, and smaller bait fish. They will also eat aquatic invertebrates such as insect larvae. It’s always best to target trout in areas with heavy cover, as this is where their food can be found.

Where to Fish for Trout?

You can fish for trout in streams, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.  They mostly prefer cold water, so targeting them in deeper areas of the water is recommended. They also tend to stay close to current breaks, such as rocks and trees, to wait for their prey.

When to Fish for Trout?

You can fish for trout during late spring and fall when the water temperature is cooler. That is because trout will be the most active, and they will feed more during this time. The ideal water temperature to target trout fish is between 34 and 67 degrees Fahrenheit.

Outdoorskilled’s Favorite Picks for Trout Fishing

Trout can be tricky, but with the right gear, it can be a lot simpler and a lot easier. After testing dozens of rods, reels, lines, baits, and lures, here are our all-time, tried-and-tested picks for exceptional results with Trout.

The Okuma Celilo rod deserves to sweep my top spot for its 8’6″ model. If you like having extended casting (who doesn’t?), and lightweight rods with high-quality materials, this is the one that will provide your best trout fishing experience ever!

Moreover, it’s also affordable, so even if finances are tight, there’ll be no worries about being able to get yourself some new gear right away – just buy another couple of these babies before they run out!”

As for reels, the Pflueger President spinning reel is a great choice for anyone looking to get the most out of their fishing trip. With an affordable price and impressive features like graphite gears, this reel is the go-to option for all pro Trout Anglers.

As for lines, there’s no better option than the Berkley Vanish for Trout fishing. It’s strong, affordable, and invisible for Trout.

For bait, Scented baits do a much better job of attracting trout, and while you can make your own Scented baits, I believe everyone should at least try Powerbait’s scented baits to see how much of a difference they can make. I recommend testing out the Garlic Power Bait for Trout for yourself first.

Level Up your Trout Fishing

Helpful Resources 

Trout Fishing in America by Richard Brautigan (you can check this book on Amazon here)

All There Is To Know About Frog Fishing For Bass

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