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The Snagless Sally and Uncle Josh: A Lure Marriage Made in Bass Heaven for Summertime Fishing

The Snagless Sally vs. Shrimp for Bass

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: These two deadly weed-bed lures – the Snagless Sally and the Uncle Josh Pork Chunk – form an unbeatable combination for catching bass in the summer.

My brother, my dad and I were fishing the Magnolia River, a brackish-water river on Mobile Bay in Alabama. A week earlier my uncle had fished the river and caught plenty of keeper-sized bass by drop fishing live shrimp down the bank on a cane pole. The edge of the bank was covered with eel grass. When the shrimp was fished right against the eel grass, the bass attacked.

“We’re going to tear those bass up on these shrimp today,” my dad told my brother and me as we started fishing at daybreak. But by 1:00 pm we hadn’t caught the first bass, although we had drowned over 4-dozen shrimp and caught two gar, one catfish and four bream. “What you doing in your tackle box, boy?” Pop asked. “Oh, I’m going to get a Snagless Sally and an Uncle Josh pork frog and catch me a bass,” I answered. “These bass aren’t going to hit that,” my dad said. “I told you they are feeding on shrimp right nowClick to enlarge. If you are going to catch any bass you had better keep on using those shrimp.” “I tell you what, Pop,” I answered. “Within 20 minutes, both of you will be begging me for a Sally and a frog.” We both laughed as I went to the front end of the boat and began to throw the Sally and the frog. I hit the bank with the bait and retrieved the lure into the open water between the bank and the grass. The blade on the Sally must have turned only three times before the water exploded, and a 4-pound largemouth grabbed my bait and dove for the bottom with my Sally and frog in its jaw. When I boated the bass and put it on the stringer, since we didn’t have live wells back then, and we ate the bass we caught, I counted, and said “That’s one.”

On the next cast I made, I watched the bait swim through the grass, and a 2-pound bass take the lure in the center of the grass. “That’s two,” I said after stringing the second fish. With the third cast, I paralleled the bank and swam the bait back just under the water about 10 yards before a 5-pound bass struck. “That’s three,” I sang out as that fish joined the other two on the stringer. By now, we had moved to within casting distance of an old boathouse. I made a long cast, placed the lure well on the backside of the boathouse and brought it between the boathouse and the grass. Once again, a 2-pound bass attacked the bait. “That’s four,” I said as I put the flopping fish on the chain stClick to enlargeringer. “Gimme one of those Sallys,” my brother muttered. “There’s no way,” I fired back. “You and Pop can fish with those shrimp that are supposed to catch all the bass. I’m just going to fish this ole Sally and frog that doesn’t catch anything.”

I cast out again. Just as the bait hit the water, and I began my retrieve, another largemouth in the boathouse grabbed the bait. As the fish jumped and tried to shake the lure, I laughed and hollered, “That’s five, and you’re still not using one of my Sallys.” But by the time the bass got to the boat, I knew that I had only one of two options. I either could relinquish my rights to the two remaining Snagless Sallys in my tackle box or listen as my dad encouraged and gave consent to my older brother to bodily throw me into the river. I gave up the Sallys. By 4 pm, the three of us limited-out on brackish-water bass.

There are several ways to fish the Sally, depending on the structure you have available to fish and the type of water on which you are fishing. Let’s look at a few.

Weeds:Click to enlarge

If you’re fishing down a bank with many weeds, especially pepper grass, often the bass will be holding in the open water between the banks and the beginning of the weeds. By casting the Snagless Sally onto the bank and retrieving it into the water and to the edge of the weeds, the bait comes into the water naturally and presents an easy target for the bass on the backside of the weeds. However, even if the strike doesn’t come behind the weeds, the lure can continue to be retrieved through the weeds and allowed to fall on the outer edges of the weeds where a strike may come. If the bass fails to take the bait, I’ll usually retrieve it up close to the surface, so that it will leave a wake as it comes to the boat. I’ve seen bass come out of the weeds, chase the wake and attack the lure 3 to 4 feet from the end of my rod tip. When a bass is charging that hard and that fast at a Snagless Sally, the angler has to remember to wait on the fish to take the bait before he sets the hook. Many times, when you see a bass following right behind the wake of the lure, a natural reaction is to anticipate the strike and pull the lure away before the fish hits. Then, if the bass are shallow, casting parallel to the weeds and working the Sally and the frog just under the surface, will cause the spinner to leave a wake as it comes down the edges of the weeds and call the bass from their cover. If the fish are deeper, allow the bait to sink, and retrieve it slowly and steadily close to the bottom. Although I have caught bass while using a pumping retrieve, most of the time a slow, steady retrieve pays off best for me.

For more information on the Snagless Sally, visit to learn more about the Uncle Josh Bait Company, go to

Tomorrow: Fishing the Snagless Sally in Various Structure

Check back each day this week for more about "The Snagless Sally and Uncle Josh: A Lure Marriage Made in Bass Heaven for Summertime Fishing"

Day 1: Snagless Sally Meets Her Frog
Day 2: The Snagless Sally vs. Shrimp for Bass
Day 3: Fishing the Snagless Sally in Various Structure
Day 4: Snagless Sally’s Family Tree
Day 5: Uncle Josh’s Family Tree


Entry 513, Day 2