Frogs as Bait

frogs as bait

Leopard Frogs are the most commonly used frog species in the fishing bait trade. Sadly, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (the world's foremost authority on the statuses of species), states that the overall population trend for the Leopard Frog is decreasing, and one of its identified threats is commercial over-exploitation (for the bait trade).

Furthermore, Ontario Nature proclaims that overexploitation has also been reported as a threat to this species. A study conducted through the USDA Forest Service also stated that Northern Leopard Frogs have experienced significant declines across most of its range, and listed overcollecting as one of the factors leading to declines. Additionally, other frog species are also captured and used for bait. According to AmphibiaWeb, most of the ranid frogs sold in stores for bait are from the wild (Gibbs 1971).

Aside from depleting frog populations, the serious amphibian diseases ranavirus and chytrid fungus are also being spread throughout populations, and to previously healthy animals via the fishing bait trade. When infected animals are captured from the wild for this trade and then shipped and sold in other locations, they bring the diseases with them contaminating new areas.

Bass Fishermen's Guide described frog lures as ''so effective'', while U.S Angler gave several frog lures a near 100/100 score. The Houston Chronicle dedicated a piece on frog lures in their outdoor column, proclaiming ''frog lures make for fun, effective fishing, drawing explosive strikes.''  As frog lures, worms, and other forms of bait are available, fishermen are encouraged not to capture, buy, or use frogs as bait.

By not supporting the usage of frogs as bait, individuals are helping to keep frog populations healthy, are mitigating the spread of disease, and are contributing to the overall betterment of the environment (which only benefits those who enjoy the outdoors and fishing)!