John's Journal...

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

Fishing the Snagless Sally in Various Structure

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.

Lily Pads:
I like to cast the lure, so that it lands on top of the pads, which gets a bass’s attention since it is waiting for whatever hits the pads to fall off. Many times as the lure is pulled from the pads into the water, the bass will attack. If not, the lure can be swum over the tops of the pads and in any open water that is between the pads. If there is a big hole in the lily pads, the lure either can be dropped into the hole and allowed to fall like a dead bait or swum just under the surface so that it leaves a wake as it passes. The same technique can be used as the bait comes away from the pads. When the lure comes to the outer edge of the pads, it can be dropped and allowed for free fall, or it can be continuously retrieved leaving the wake that calls bass.

I always assume when I can find a logjam that if I can get the Snagless Sally into the water somewhere in that logjam, I can catch a bass. Click to enlargeI most often retrieve the bait over the logs and allow it to drop into the pockets and holes. If I can locate a log protruding from the logjam out into the deep water, I usually like to swim the bait down the side of the log, so it leaves a wake. Even in cold the weather, after the lure comes through the logjam, I allow it to free-fall to the bottom. Then I start a slow, steady retrieve 3 or 4 inches off the bottom.

Stumps and Stick-Ups:
When fishing stumps and stick-ups, one of the two techniques that I have found usually pays the biggest dividends is to cast behind the stump, bring the bait straight at the stump, allow it to hit the structure and fall. Then I start a retrieve around the side of the stump. Most of the time the strike will come after the Sally hits the stump and begins to fall. But sometimes, especially if the bass is on the other side of the stump, the fish will be waiting on the lure as it swims around the structure and attacks the bait. The other method is to cast the lure behind the stump and swim it up to the edge of the stump and around the stump, much like a baitfish swims around structure.

Treetops and Bushes:
Some of my favorite structure to fish the Snagless Sally through are treetops and bushes. The Sally can be angled through the coverClick to enlarge much like the spinner bait is fished. But I believe that because of the Uncle Josh trailer the Sally has more action on the fall than the spinner bait. Once again, I like to crash the Sally into the structure, bouncing it off limbs and logs, because I know that it calls bass to come to dinner. If there is a tree lying in the water, I will usually cast to the outermost branches first to try and trigger a strike away from the cover. However, if that tactic fails, I cast all the way to the bank, come down beside the trunk of the tree and cross over into the heart of the tree. Most of the times I will keep the lure close to the surface so that the blade makes a wake to call the bass up out of the structure. However, if the fish won’t come to the bait near the surface, I will allow the bait to fall into the tree and try and bounce the lure off the bass’s nose.

Boathouses, especially the type that have piers from the bank to the deep water, are excellent Snagless Sally-fishing areas. I still like to cast my bait all the way out on the bank, bring it into the water and let it crash into pilings as it comes through the boathouse. When a Snagless Sally with an Uncle Josh pork frog on the back swims through a boathouse, it has the same appearance as a 5-pound steak being dragged through a kennel full of hungry dogs. A bass just can’t resist the Sally. If the fish doesn’t take the bait inside the boathouse, often the strike will come just as the Sally comes out of the shade and into the sun.

Farm Ponds and Shallow Sloughs:Click to enlarge
I’ve watched bass come from 10- or 15-yards away to take a Snagless Sally with a pork frog trailer just under the surface in farm ponds and shallow sloughs. If the bass can see the lure or spot the wake it leaves, many times in the warmer weather, the bass will come from great distances to attack the lure. I also have found the Sally to be an extremely-effective bait when fishing for pre-spawn bass and even bedding bass. There just seems to be something about the action of the lure that bass can’t stand.

Another advantage that the angler has when fishing a skirted bait with a pork trailer like the Sally is that the lure can be completely saturated with scents. Most professional anglers agree that at particular times and under certain conditions bass will strike a lure that has some type of scent on it quicker than they will a lure that has no scent. However, often the problem is having bait that will soak up enough scent to be effective for a long time. Because the skirt will take on and hold scent and because of the porous nature of the frog, this lure can capture and hold more scent than many other lures do.

When hanging on the sporting-goods dealer’s wall, the Snagless Sally may appear much like Sleeping Beauty – lifeless and good for very little. Old Uncle Josh, preserved in his jar motionless in the oil, also presents a lifeless, dead, emotionless appearance. But when Sally and Uncle Josh are freed from their containers, hooked together in a marriage to delight both fishermen and bass and allowed to swim through grasses, bushes, stumps, logs, lily pads and boathouses, the show they put on will excite the fish and make many a fisherman’s dreams become reality.

For more information on the Snagless Sally, visit

Tomorrow: Snagless Sally’s Family Tree

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 3