John's Journal...

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

Uncle Josh’s Family Tree

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

The Uncle Josh pork frog was much older than Miss Sally before their marriage. As a matter of fact, he was born about the same time that Miss Sally’s great granddaddy – the inline spinner – was born. But rather than go into detail about the good ole days, I’ll let the family of Uncle Josh speak for themselves and give some history about the family before the big marriage took place. As the Uncle Josh Bait Company explains, “In the early 1920s, the organizers of our company – Alan P. Jones and Urban J. Schreiner – used to fish in a remote little lake in central Wisconsin, remote not because of the distance involved but because of the terrible roads leading to it. The sand was so deep you had to put hay on the roads to prevent the car wheels from burying themselves up to the hubs. Consequently, nobody went there – except Jones and Schreiner. Every June they went there to fish. The lake teemed with black bass. Since the bass is a fickle fellow, like many other fish, they used to take many of them in the early morning on plugs; then when the sun rose higher, the fish would stop taking the plugs. So, the men switched to live frogs with good success throughout the day. However, eventually there were no more frogs to be caught. Either they had become too elusive, or the men had caught them all.

Jones and Schreiner thought about making a frog out of pork, since they’d been having a little success with pork-rind strips attached to a spoon hook. So, they went to the village butcher shop for a slab of pork back fat with the rind on it. “After cutting, whittling and experimenting with shape after shape, eventually they came up with a reasonable facsimile of what is now the famous Uncle Josh Click to enlargeFrog. The Uncle Josh Frog was so successful that Jones and Schreiner decided then and there to go into business. The bait was named after an old fellow on the lake who used to rent Jones and Schreiner boats. He talked so much like a stage comedian who went by the name of Uncle Josh that men always called him that, too. So when the bait was perfected, they named it the UnclClick to enlargee Josh bait.

“Josh and Schreiner had plenty of headaches getting started in the bait business. First, they decided to dye the bait green to look more like a frog. The dye wouldn’t stick and caused the bait to spoil in the jars. One old fellow in their town, an ardent fisherman, commented: ‘Boys, you have a wonderful bait, but it stinks so much.’ Then the first big shipment to a large Minneapolis jobber, over $300 worth, a lot of money at that time, all came back spoiled. Jones and Schreiner had to make that good, but the jobber was patient. Gradually, the Uncle Josh Bait Company licked all of its problems. Today, the company feels that it produces the finest pork rind baits made. Although our operation is not large, we make more pork rind baits than any other manufacturer in the country.”

To learn more about the Uncle Josh Bait Company, visit

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 5