Published On: Sun, Dec 14th, 2014

Joho or Sally brass spoon trout fishing lure

Joho or Sally Spoon. Black is by far the biggest seller!

Joho or Sally Spoon. Black is by far the biggest seller!

Joho or Sally Spoon

The Joho is a typical brass spoon lure with a slightly concave face that causes it to wiggle in a fish-like manner as it is retrieved through the water. Its shape is distinctive in that the front half and rear half of the spoon are identical or symmetrical. Most of the actual bend is in the rear third of the lure. The Joho is always painted on the convex side while the concave side is left as unpainted polished brass.

It is an old fashioned lure that is now less popular in this age of modern plastics. However it is still an excellent fish taker worthy of inclusion in your tackle box of spinner baits. Brown trout especially will devour the Joho should it enter their domain. These spoon type lures are surprisingly live-like for a lump of brass when swimming through the water. As the lure is retrieved it gives off a flash from the unpainted side that resembles sunlight gleaming off the sides of a baitfish. Hence the reason that only one side of the lure is painted. You can enhance this feature either by polishing the “back” or better still sticking on a strip of self-adhesive prism tape.

The Joho is only slightly concave on the reverse side. The red plastic tag resembles a fish's gills. Lure length is 60mm.

The Joho is only slightly concave on the reverse side. The red plastic tag resembles a fish’s gills. Lure length is 60mm.

Weight is approximately 12 grams so it casts well on light spinning gear. Like all spoons the correct retrieve speed is essential for success. If fished too slowly the Joho has no action at all. If fished too quickly it will plane to the surface. Practice by casting parallel to the river back and observing the lure and adjusting your winding speed for the most life-like swimming action. It is also a good idea to speedup and pause every so often as this may trigger a following trout to strike! Ideally it should be fished down near the bottom of the river or lake. If you don’t bump the bottom every now and again you are possibly winding to fast.

Joho seen from above. Note most of the bend is in the rear third.

Joho seen from above. Note most of the bend is in the rear third of the lure.

For trolling a Joho from a boat your speed should be between 2 and 3.5 kph. This lure is a poor diver if trolled without lead weight. But it does flutter very well though when taken down deeper with the assistance of a downrigger.

The Joho is a popular spinning lure with New Zealand anglers though perhaps not as much as it once was before the widespread introduction of aquafoils like the Tasmanian Devil and the Cobra.

The Joho is one of a range of lures made under the brand name Whopper Stopper by A & A Gilbert, in Pleasant Point, South Canterbury .

Other names include Sally Spoon which is practically the same lure. The Krocodile made by Gillies in Australia is also very similar. This highlights an interesting point in our discussion on trout spinning and trolling lures, which is that in many cases very similar lures have different names. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, different manufacturers invent proprietary names for their own brands. Secondly, subtle differences of shape and bend in the lure produce quite different actions in the water.

The Joho or Sally is a particularly good lure to use for light weight trout spinning in rivers and lakes. Though there are numerous colours available by far the most popular seller is the version that is painted black with three gold bars running diagonally across the face. These gold bars are applied either by leaving them unpainted, painting on with gold paint, or best of all, applied with three narrow strips of chartreuse prism tape. Strangely an old battered Joho with almost no paint left on it often fishes just as well, or even better, than a new one!

About the Author

- Fishingmag.co.nz website editor.