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This year has been a really tough year for my local ponds. Between fish kills, crazy weather, fish going over flooded dams, and a lack of time to fish, I have really struggled. I made it out at the end of last month only to go 0 for 8 trying to figure out the Rage Tail Toad. I have it rigged on a #5 Owner hook, but for whatever reason I just could not get the hooks to stick. I was also guilty of pulling it away from a few of them too :oops: Its one of those things that in the past I just would of gone every other evening for a week to figure out, but I just don't have the time this year. The next time out I switched to a BigFoot frog which I had alot of success with last year. That ended up going better with 5 landed along with some misses. Nothing big as I really believe many of the larger fish washed over the dam in this particular pond. Last night I made it out for another hour and landed one on the BigFoot before the plastic tails were ripped completely off the bait. The pond is 95% scum covered on the shoreline and of course that is the only frog I brought :roll: I headed over to the one little spot that was relatively scum free and caught some dinks while battling the mosquitos. Its actually a nice spot to be clear because it is a small bay that lead to some deeper water and also has an adjacent flat. For small pond structure, that about as good as it gets around by me. Finally I had a 4lber take the blade-in-blade Persuader buzzbait. That is probably the first bass over 2lbs I have caught in any of the ponds this year. I'll try to get a pic up this weekend. Tonight, weather permitting, I am going to try to the Shabbona dam face. Last year in mid June is was really good for bass, eyes, cats, and crappies. Sunday will be out with Coyote in his neck of the woods. Thanks God for Father's Day weekend :D

Average frog bass


Buzzbait fish


Headed out to Shabbona last night and had to wait out the weather. I never made it to the dam face, prefering a spot where I could get out of the rain if needed. Ended up missing a ton of light biters but still got a few largemouth, eyes, cats, perch, and my first two Shabbona hybrid stripers.

I got mostly aquarium size eyes with this being the nicest at around 15 inches
 

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Great summary Matt. I have been working on topwaters this year, mostly on a couple little SE Wisconsin lakes. While I have tried a few frogs, and different weights of buzzbait, I havent had much success. Might have to order up a persuader or two. The walker is still definately my favorite, and the most productive. Also been trying shaving weight off spinnerbaits to make them easier to burn right below the surface. Thats worked well.
 

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Matt,

Have you tried the Zoom Horney Toad? I had a lot of trouble with some of the other frog baits I was using until I started throwing that zoom. It doesn't float, but it will stay up and the legs give it plenty of action. The hooks it come with are great for rigging, and really seem to dig in good on hooksets.

Other than that I can say I feel your pain, having a new little one in the house is a fishing trip killer for sure. There are moments though too, sometimes they make up for it. :wink:
 

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As slow as it's been for you, it's been even slower for me. I'm batting 0.

My son landed a nice 2lber at Shabbona last week, in the NMZ. That was the only action we had in 4hrs there, and nothing on the ponds around us except a few pannies.

And like you said, crazy weather- with seemingly a weather front moving in every few days, has kinda screwed things up a little too.

Happy Fathers day.

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Rudy, I have to try out that Walker. Heard lots of good thing about it. I like doing little bait mods too. Sometimes the smallest of details can make a huge difference. Larry Dahlberg's garage is my mecca. That guy can bait mod!

Ed, I'll have to check out that Zoom toad. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong with the Rage Toad, but I definitly am definitly BAD at hooking fish with it. I agree that the lack of fishing time is not all that bad. I actually outguilt myself from going most of the time. My little girls already growing so fast, sometimes I think if I blink I might miss something. It took some getting used to, but your right, it is worth it.

Lipyanker, Shabs has been pretty crappy judging by most of the reports. Last June though jumbo leeches freelined about half way down the damn was unreal fishing. Hopefully that bite will be on. My mid June Fox River walleye eddy is washed out so Shabbs is about the only local place I can fish for eyes right now. If I can get a Cubs win today along with some nice weather to fish the dam I will be one happy guy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
HawgTide said:
matt when everr i fish the rage toad it always spins is it the hook my line i dont know.
The hooks I use have the wire coil attached to the eyelet that is screwed into the head of the frog. That does a real good job of keeping the bait centered and working properly. That still does not solve my problem of missing so many fish though :p
 

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Nice report Matt and glad you finally got a pig. As far as topwater in my neck of the woods its been all pike for the most part except for 1 nice bass. Matts persuader buzz is a killer topwater for big fish i can attest to that.
 

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Matt-sta! I used the Rage Shad last year with really good success. Enough so that I bought some Rage Toads for this year. I have yet to try them, I've hardly fished at all in the last 3 weeks :x Single Dad duties, and the 2 sprouts on summer vaca, and the free times I've had have been Thunderstorm city! :x

I can tell you that the Rage shad works well, and if I had to guess, I'd say about 75-80% conversion rate, same for me as the Horny Toad. Based on this, I was excited to get the Rage Toads. Yer breakin my heart man, I have not even used them yet! :lol: For the Rage Shad, I used a 5/0 hook, weightless. Comes through the weeds totally weedless, and has a great action, making quite a commotion. When it gets hit, you really need to be patient, and let the fish take it for a little bit. I would guess I go a few seconds, making sure I feel it. That can seem agonizing at times, especially when the hit is ferocious! Then I ram it home, with all braid I might add. No room for mono here.

All that aside, my absolute fav topwater is buzzbait!! I'll always throw that first, until weed conditions dictate otherwise :wink:

Next time we go onto lake P, we can focus on topwater and froggin, even mid day it still produces hawgs. Tow yer boat over, and we can drag along SpEd if he can break away! :p
 

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Matt- The guys at the bait shop at Shabb's indicated the eye's were hanging in the deep trees, and readily taking leech's. I didn't get to try, so can't verify that.

TraderSteve- those are the hooks I use, except unweighted. They seem to keep the toads straight up like you said. I use Stanley Ribbit toads in Blk/Grn and Blk/Org fwiw.

.
 

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Matt, I noticed some ponds to be tough fishing by me as well with the winter kills as well. It's a shame.

Nice Bass though and nice Shabby Wally! :wink: :D
 

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Nice report Matt, I been slaying the local bass on topwater the last few weeks but as u said nothing to brag about yet.
 

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nice fish and good report
 
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