Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Allure of Old Lures; Collectors Set to Gather for Show in St. Augustine

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

The Allure of Old Lures; Collectors Set to Gather for Show in St. Augustine

Article excerpt


Most collectors of antique fishing crafts will tell you the lure of the hobby isn't the lure itself.

It's the hunt.

Finding old tackle boxes in flea markets and in-laws' attics is what it's all about. Then it's a matter of going through the old plugs one by one and figuring out what they are - their histories.

Often, many of the items in an old tackle box are junk. But it takes only one lure to make the hunt worthwhile. And unless you're an expert, there's no telltale sign to differentiate a $5 "beater" from a rare plug worth hundreds of dollars.

It's blowing off the dust and finding that angling jewel that brought members of the Florida Antique Tackle Collectors together in 1988.

The club hosts antique fishing tackle shows at least four times per year and next meets Saturday, May 3 in St. Augustine. About 80 exhibitors will display their particular niches of the antique tackle world.

Many of them will be from out of state or displaying tackle and gear manufactured out of state. But the bulk of the interest will be in Florida-made tackle. And that's not the only lure. You'll see reels from big-game monsters to the tiniest fly reels. There will be handmade rods, old boat motors, tackle boxes, angling books, display cases and more.

If you have an old tackle box yourself and always wondered what its contents might be worth, the show will feature members appraising old tackle. The appraisal is free, and an impromptu auction follows, with members bidding against one another. The owner is under no obligation to take the bid or sell the lures. Owners can simply have their old lures identified.

Among the more sought-after lures in the state are those made in St. Augustine in the early to mid-1900s by men such as Bert Hernandez Sr. and Ben Smith.

The show is scheduled to run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mark Lance Armory, 109 San Marco Dr., in St. Augustine. Call (904) 725-0785 for more information. The public in invited to attend.


Few things ruin a fishing trip more quickly or unexpectedly than finding yourself on the wrong end of a fishing hook. Usually, there are three options when this happens: tear the hook out, push it through barb-first or cut the hook off the lure and head for the emergency room. …

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