I do not place the frog so far down on the list because of its being inferior to the others as an effective bait, but by reason of its limited availability. The frog is not always, everywhere effective. In certain waters it is supreme, either for bass, pickerel, pike, or muskellunge. Large chub, perch, wall-eyed pike take the frog, at times. I have often fished brown-trout waters with frogs caught on the banks of the stream, but failed every time, though I have ocular proof of trout taking frogs. I witnessed a big captive brown trout gobble four fair-sized green frogs in less than as many minutes, in one case tearing the limbs from the body; a second after, the body vanished likewise. There are certain special waters in which the frog, green or brown, is an irresistible bait for bass and pike.
In the temperate zone, east or west, there are a large number of species of astonishing variety as to size, shape, and color. The most abundant, covering a wider range, is the black-spotted, green leopard-frog; also the brown, banded pickerel frog; it is to these two kinds I have devoted much time in the last several years in developing a perfect artificial imitation so as to give the angler a worthy substitute for the live frog. In all my long fishing career I do not know of a more painful or cruel pastime than casting out a live frog hooked by the lips. If not taken by the fish in the first few casts, the frog turns over on its back, swells up like a rubber ball, and is then worse than useless. In that condition some anglers take it from the hook, give it a short respite by hooking a new one. A far more effective way to fish a frog is to just drop it on the water, sit still and wait while froggie wends its own path without restraint till it happens to meet its doom in the shape of a savage fish on the lookout for just such a gastronomic tidbit as the bass considers it to be.
The ideal frog water is a weedy, shallow lake, and although very prolific, they are never abundant where game-fish abide. Being both a land and water creature they live in constant danger of being devoured, not only by fish, but by reptiles, birds, and animals which take the frog as part of their diet, from the smallest tadpole to the big bullfrog. Along the riverside an observing angler will find many more frogs than he would imagine, particularly about grassy slopes and shallow backwaters. I have noticed that their color is similar to their environment. You observe most often the brown frog near rocky, stony shores, and the green frog mostly abide among the green weeds and grasses of both lakes and streams. This fact is well to remember in the choice of color to use for bait, for the reason that fish naturally are more apt to prefer a bait similar to their daily diet. Between the two species, brown or green, there seems to be no preference; one is just as effective as the other, but I do think if brown is common in a certain locality, it is wisdom to use that color, natural or artificial. The habits of the frog are so well known it is not necessary to give details. My artificial is unsuitable for trolling. Like the natural frog it should be cast lightly in open spaces between weeds and lily-pads, or just made to skip along the surface of open water. In a running stream frogs do not often swim across, but when they do, they strike rapidly along with the water flow. They are most effective when cast at the sides where the water is fairly deep and are visible to the fish lying below in the middle of the stream.