By Chris Berzas
Veteran bass anglers Lonnie Stanley and John Hale were busily engaged in finding some largemouths.
They were throwing lizards and jerkbaits to pre-spawners located in cover.
“In one area, there was a mixture of grasses – hay grass and bulrush,” said Hale. “And someone told Lonnie that big females were sunning themselves in there.”
“I decided to work the new bull frog, Top Toad in the mix,” said Texas Freshwater Hall of Famer Stanley. “There were bass in those reeds in 18- inches to two- feet of water.
“In one area, I popped it twice and let it sit there in a pocket,” he explained.
And then the fish hit!
A couple of minutes later, the two anglers were admiring Stanley’s 7.75- pound Lone Star lunker.
“It was my first really good fish of the year,” said Stanley.
By trip’s end, Stanley and Hale had taken 20 quality bass.
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.
Built with PVC plastic, the Top Toads’ hollow body readily collapses during a strike, exposing the 5/0 Double Take Hook’s barbs for a quick hook set. It is quite durable and able to take many hits, and its legs made from the harder plastic provide a greater thumping action as it moves across the water. 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.
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.
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 is available 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.