Bullfrog

A bullfrog caught by the Gensorek family

Howdy everyone! We’ve had a good run of warm weather and sunshine lately but we’ve also had some wind mixed in which has kept us off the ocean some days.

Our all-depth and nearshore halibut fishing has been pretty amazing this season, in fact I would even go so far as to say the best ever! Fish in the 50s to 80s are common lately and we’ve even seen one in the triple digits!

Lingcod is slowly picking up and we are starting to see a little better grade as of late. Rockfish is slower than we are used to but there are still tons of fish to catch and just like fishing is supposed to be we have great days and slow days.

Redtail aka Pinkfin perch are hot hot hot on the Umpqua right now. If you want to get out there and have a fun day call Noma Evans at A Bent Rod Guide Service at (775) 722-1988 for a great time for the whole family. If beach fishing for surfperch is more your thing, the bite is still good off the sand with early mornings seeming to do best for some of our customers.

Crabbing is still on the slow side in the ocean and bay but it is slowly getting better as it usually does this time of year.

Shad is still hot lower on the Umpqua and smallmouth bass are getting more and more aggressive. I went out this past Monday evening and caught a bunch of nice mid-sized smallmouth with drop shots and artificial leeches and four inch plastics.

Speaking of bass my little ones and I went to Johnson Mill Pond this past Sunday to chase a bass or two and caught something a little different.

We picked a piece of bank where the sun beat down on us but we could still escape to the shade to eat our lunch and it was here we set up for some picknickin’ and bassin’. I decided to start off playing with some topwater gear in the weeds to see what we could find and at the first cast the calm water swirled behind my lure. Fish were definitely about to be caught.

On the second cast to the same spot our quarry actually leapt out of the water! It could do this because it wasn’t a fish at all, but rather a bullfrog. Every cast to our weed bed made this thing more and more angry and it took to chasing our lure through the water with jumps, leaps, and it’s little frog legs kicking away to give chase. At this point of delighted little girl screams and giggles that we decided to go fishin’ for frogs instead of bass. Just a side note, my little girls screamed and giggled almost as much as I did.

We made a game of seeing just how long we could get this aggressive amphibian to chase our lure and it simply would not give up! We laughed, the girls giggled, and then the frog got mad. Our new friend finally had enough of this plastic interloper and swam at it full speed ahead. It was very much like salmon fishermen on the river when they see a social media post of a fish just caught a couple miles away; rods up, throttle down, full aggression. You get the idea.

When our little green friend caught up to his new nemesis he full on jumped on top of it and put it in a choke hold, no joke. This was one hundred percent the frog version of a drunken guy tearing off his shirt and swinging wildly while bystanders film it and post it to YouTube. At this point his tough-guy antics backfired and he was now stuck on our lure while being winched to the outreached arms of a very excited four and seven year old!

It turns out the critter we caught is an invasive species correctly referred to as the American Bullfrog, which was introduced to Oregon from the Eastern US about a hundred years ago. This interloper has done quite well for itself in its newly adopted home. Making meals of native frog species, turtles, fish, small mammals and pretty much anything it can catch. This thing is like a lingcod with legs!

These highly invasive creatures not only eat their competition they out produce them too. Many of our native frog species will lay up to five thousand eggs while these bullfrogs can lay up to twenty thousand, which is easy to believe when you realize these things weigh up to a pound. These frogs are large enough for human consumption and no license of any sort is required in addition to no bag limits. While frogs legs may not exactly be on the top of your “things to cook this summer” list the ODFW asks that if you catch one to please kill it. I’m not kidding, here is the exact wording; “If you see bullfrogs in the wild, remove them to eat or kill them.”

I may have found my new calling. I need to go now and call someone to see if we can make a reality show out of this. Don’t laugh, have you seen some of the stuff on TV lately?

Whether you are landing a halibut or watching me trying to make frog catching into a television show, I hope to see you out there!

Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle (www.basintackle.com) in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at 541-888-FISH, on Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or email basin_tackle@yahoo.com

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