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Horny Toads, What Works For A Better Hook Ratio?

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Mine is weak at best, but tend to land a few good ones on occasion :)

I know most everyone has had these same thoughts at one time or another and I would like to hear from the forum on:

What you've tried and failed/succeeded with whether it's techniques or terminal tackle.

 

>>I'm going to "go Ike" soon if I keep missing fish.

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i use the zoom horny toad hook and also have trouble hooking up, most of the time ill tie on a hollow body frog on instead with a lake fork trailer hook then i dont have a worries....

 

 

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I have the same exact issue too, and its really in their mouths, but it flys out when I set the hook. Honestly can't remember what hook I'm using, but thinking that eighther the hook needs a wider gap or needs to be larger. For me, I was hoping that when the fish strikes the bait the point would push out. Not the case, however, going to try something with a wider gap and hope it remains somewhat weedless/snagless.

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Blow up.................one thousand one...............swing.

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I think that it is just the nature of top water frogs that you are going to miss most of your strikes.  I most often use the Zoom Horny Toad hooks, but I know I've tried others whose names escape me right now.

 

I feel like if I am batting 300 on top water frog hits, that is a great day.  This winter while digging through tackle, I found an old pad lure - a Heddon Moss Boss - basically a top water plastic spoon.  I think when it gets to be frogging season, that is the lure I'll start with this year.

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What is your rod/reel setup and line?

 

For these I use either a mh or h fast tip rod with 65lb braid, back up rod has 40lb braid but try not to use it in heavy grass. When I get a strike I drop the rod, reel in slack. and set the hook hard. This gives the fish a second to take the frog deeper, if you hook set to quickly you just pull it away from them.

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I use the Zoom horny toad hooks with great luck, I'm pretty sure they're 5/0.

 

The main thing I used to have a problem with was waiting. I wait until I can feel the fish on before I set the hook. There are plenty of times when the fish hits it and lets go or just plain misses. Stop and let the toad drop and usually they'll hit it again. Even if they got it the first time, count before you set the hook. This fixed 99% of my missed frog and toad fish.

 

Also, what type of toads are you using? I really like the Gambler cane toads. They have a real flat body and I rarely miss fish with them.

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Blow up.................one thousand one...............swing.

Easier said than done. I still have my moments when I rip em at the blowup. Lol

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Same problem here. I was using Gamagatsu EWG 4/0 & 5/0 hooks with the rage toad. Getting less then 1 in 5 hookups.

Got a little better with the zoom horney toad but really dont like the action as well.

Yesterday I got some Owner Wide gap plus 5/0 & 4/0s Tried the 5/0s and was 3/3 with the zoom. 0/1 with the rage tail but to be fair it was a long distance hook up and didnt think I got a good hook up on it anyway.

Limited trial I know but am gonna stick with it for a while and give the Owner hooks with the rage toad a fair shot.

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Try a Rage Shad or Rage Toad. I use 5/0 ewg or superline 1/8th oz.

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It's a given that you need a good sharp hook with enough gap for the lure being used. Beyond that, it's the angler's hook-setting technique which can make a big difference (which is not to imply that my technique is good, because it isn't.)

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Easier said than done. I still have my moments when I rip em at the blowup. Lol

Yeah sometimes adrenalin just over takes you.  I've started using the advice Chad Hoover says to keep you from doing the hookset too early.  He says say the phrase "Set the hook" and then swing away.  It has helped me when I started learning to use buzzbaits.

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My favorite "toad" bait is the Gambler Cane Toad and as tstone pointed out it is thin compared to most other toad bait's. I very rarely miss fish on these baits. I use an Owner TwistLOCK Open Gap CPS hook in 5/0 for all my toad style baits. Granted the only two I throw anymore are the Gamblers and Rage Toads but still the hook works great. Before I started using these hooks my hookup % was about 50/50 but now it's in the ballpark of 90%. The biggest problem I was having with EWG style hooks was the bait "balling up" and preventing the barb from getting through. CPS fixed this for me. Braid also helps a lot if you aren't already using it.

 

When I rig my bait I always push the hook point all the way through the bait so that it has a "path" to follow on the set instead of having to make one. Then I just pull the point back down into the body until the bait is nice and straight and fish away.

 

 

I think that it is just the nature of top water frogs that you are going to miss most of your strikes.  I most often use the Zoom Horny Toad hooks, but I know I've tried others whose names escape me right now.

 

I feel like if I am batting 300 on top water frog hits, that is a great day.  This winter while digging through tackle, I found an old pad lure - a Heddon Moss Boss - basically a top water plastic spoon.  I think when it gets to be frogging season, that is the lure I'll start with this year.

 

I'd have to disagree with you here, if I get 10 solid hits on a frog, solid meaning the whole bait is in their mouh, then I expect to catch 8 of them. Over the past week I've been out 4 times and I've caught 15 frog fish over those four trips. I think I missed two in that time. All fish were caught on the same lure, a Spro Bronzeye Jr in Amazon color. I expect the same type of results when using toad baits as well.

 

Don't get me wrong here, I have my share of days when I know I do everything right, get the bite wait to feel the fish then set and still have them come off but most days my % is pretty high. I think equipment is very important with this technique. Braid is a must along with the correct rod.  

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5/0 wide gap owners with the horny toads and poke the hook through the back of the frog and barely put the tip back in and i mean barely and you shouldnt have a problem

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Braid and a 4/0 Gammie Superline EWG hook and wait to feel the weigh of the fish, I don't miss many of them with that combination. 

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Yeah you gotta wait for a second then set but as far as hooks go, I prefer a screw lock 4 or 5/0 trokar myself.

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I don't usually have a problem setting the hook. I usually let them have it for a while before I hit them. I'd say I miss 1 in every 5 fish. My problem with these is I can't seem to keep the hook in the frog, it always slides up the hook so it is no longer weedless or sucks the tip back into the frog. I've tried tucking the tip of the hook in and it just rips up my frog. Anyone else experiencing this? I have to adjust it every other cast.

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As mentioned, wait to feel the fish, then set the hook. It's an easy concept, but difficult to do. Practice, practice practice... Even so, you will still miss fish. The baits are bulky and difficult to set the hook on.  Sometimes it isn't you missing the strike, but the bass missing the bait on a topwater strike.  Other things like line stretch and rod power also come into play. Despite all these obstacles, there is nothing more fun, in my eyes, than frogging.

As for hooks, I went out with a guide last year and we fished horny toads all morning. We were getting the same amount of strikes, he was landing twice as many fish as I was.  He looked at the hooks I brought (both the Ribbit hooks and the Zoom hooks) and he just smiled and handed me a Trokar Flippin' hook.  This hook is SICK. It is thick, sturdy and as sharp as rattlesnake's fang. I began landing more fish immediately and have used nothing since for my frogging. 

 

Yes, they are expensive. I will gladly pay the $3 or $4 extra per pack for more fish at the end of a day.

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It is not the hook - 

 

 

onethousandone - watch your line - reel down the slack - then a solid quick upward hookset and you got em.  I don't miss 1 out of 10 no matter what hook or frog.

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The Owner EWG plus hooks helped a lot.

Got 80-90% hookups with the horney toad and 70-75% with the rage toad.

Caught 28 this pm 1.5 -3.5 lbs mostly 2 pounders. Good afternoon fishing.

The 3.5 was caught on a jig. Just started fishing them this year. 5 total on the jig.

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