Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

Tackle Talk: Zoom Horny Toad

This popular bass fishing toad is an outstanding option throughout much of the year.

Toads are one of the anomalies of bass fishing; they catch big bass on a routine basis, yet very few people use them. Whethery you’re fishing vegetation, laydowns, boat docks or even open water, these soft-plastic baits can be big-time producers. 

I’ve used the Zoom Horny Toad for many years. I’ve caught bass on them all around the country and they routinely bail me out of tough fishing situations. Some of the blowups I’ve experienced with this bait will forever be etched in my memory bank. 

Below are my full thoughts on it. 

The rundown 

The Zoom Horny Toad measures 4 1/4 inches long and weighs 1/8-ounce. With an attractive price point of $3.89 per 5-pack, it offers impressive value to even frugal anglers. 

When fished on the surface, this bait doesn’t make a ton of commotion compared to some other toads I’ve used. But I think that’s what makes it so darn effective. Even when conditions may not be ideal for a solid topwater bite, the subtle buzzing of the Horny Toad can fill the livewells quickly. Anglers will likely catch both quantity and quality on this bait. 

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

The Horny Toad’s profile is also unique. It’s not as angular as other toads which gives it an incredibly lifelike silhouette. It’s small enough to appeal to lethargic, post-frontal bass but weighty enough to make long casts with braided line.

The hookup ratio of this bait is perhaps one of the characteristics that makes it so popular among anglers. You’ll notice a slot in its belly, which allows for better hook penetration, especially at the end of long casts. 

Its plastic is soft, which also contributes to a higher hookup ratio. This will sometimes result in fewer fish per bait, but premature ripping and tearing can easily be remedied by rigging it on a screw-lock hook. 

My thoughts

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

I’ve experienced several very special days on the water courtesy of the Zoom Horny Toad. You’ll routinely find me skirting grass edges with it but it’s also an outstanding dock-fishing bait. It has a wide, flat surface and skips excellently underneath boat docks. When the fish are shallow, targeting walkways is an effective way to catch big bass. 

It’s incredibly easy to fish: Just make a long cast and start reeling as soon as it hits the water. I prefer a high-speed reel and will usually begin with a steady, moderate retrieve and tinker with my speed throughout the day.

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

But don’t just think of it as a chuck-and-wind bait. You’ll get a lot of great bites by momentarily pausing your retrieve and letting it drop in small holes in the cover. As the Horny Toad slowly falls, the legs have an action very similar to a Zoom Speed Craw. 

I’ve also found it to be an impressive bladed jig trailer. I started tinkering with the combination back in college and since those days, I’ve caught many bass exceeding the 6-pound range with this setup. The legs kick wildly and the meaty body of the Horny Toad stays threaded on the jig even after excessive skipping. You might not catch a bunch of fishing doing this, but it’s certainly worth trying when you’re searching for a kicker. 

Photo by Walker Smith/Wired2Fish

The color options are vast and to be quite honest, I’ve caught fish on every color I own. My personal favorites are Watermelon Candy for imitating bluegill, Gray Ghost for imitating shad and good ol’ black for just about any occasion. 

Final impressions

If you like to fish topwater baits in shallow water, I consider the Horny Toad to be an absolute staple. It’s not flashy and it may not catch your eye on the shelf, but its production will speak for itself. 

The Zoom Horny Toad is available at TackleWarehouse.com


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