By Chris Berzas
Texas Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame’s Lonnie Stanley remembers well a recent bass fishing trip on Sam Rayburn.
The veteran bass angler and luremaker was testing a prototype of Stanley Jigs’ new Top Toad, a lure very similar in form and action to the body, legs and feet of the already classic Ribbit.
This Top Toad prototype however was quite unique, as it was made with a hollow body containing an air pocket – thereby allowing it to also float and sit motionless.
“I was casting the top toad back into some heavy cover and running it,” said the angler. “When I came to some stumps, I would then stop it and twitch it two- to three- times.
“I was activating it again by popping it twice and halting it, and on that dead stop a good bass jumped on it,” he recalled.
The angler estimated the bass to weigh at about 6.75- pounds before releasing it.
“I caught 20 more bass that day by running and stopping that Toad,” he said. “And I can tell you, it was a lot of fun fishing that bait. It’s similar to the Ribbit, but it can also be stopped and floated for a while and then twitched.”
Design of the Top Toad
On February 5, 2013, Stanley Jigs introduced their newest frog lure, the Top Toad. Veteran anglers and lure designers John Hale and John Dean are also credited with the design of this new product.
First of all, it is built with PVC plastic, not a vinyl like many other hollow-frog lures. The Top Toads’ hollow body readily collapses during the strike, exposing the barbs for a quick hook set, yet still durable enough for taking repeated hits and abuse. Even the legs, made from the harder plastic, provide a greater thumping action as it moves across the water.
The Top Toad has the same uniquely-designed legs and feet of the Ribbit, giving the lure the realistic kicking action of a “running” frog when worked across the water’s surface. But, the hollow body also allows the angler to pause the action for provoking strikes on the motionless lure. The air pocket within the hollow body keeps it afloat.
The Top Toad is designed to work well with Stanley’s 5/0 Double Take Hook., especially since two hooks are better than one for catching and landing big bass. The two hooks of the Double Take slide right inside the legs and lie facing up against the body of the Top Toad for completely weedless action.
How to Fish the Top Toad
“You can run it like a Ribbit, but you can also stop it, pop it and twitch it,” said Stanley. “Anglers who have successfully used the Ribbit will understand well the new advantage the Top Toad will give them in attracting strikes.
“Many times a bass will knock a frog into the air and once it hits the water it doesn’t move. This is when the fish often strike,” said the angler. “This lure draws more strikes because it can be fished fast or it can be stopped in a single cast.”
“With our Double-Take Hook system on the Top Toad, the ratio of hook ups is incredibly high,” said Stanley. And I hardly ever have to set the hook hard!”
Stanley Jig’s Top Toad will be available very soon at Academy outlets and online at www.fishstanley.com. Please check this website often in the future for ordering.
The Top Toad will be available in packages of two lures, one rigged with a Double Take Hook and a spare; or in packages of three. It will be offered initially in six best selling Ribbit Colors with plans for more colors later.