Colorful lures, colorful stories and other fishing gear, were on display last weekend at Carthage’s Memorial Hall.
The National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club held its 25th annual show and sale on Saturday in Carthage.
In addition to swapping fish tales, antique and exotic lures and fishing gear, the group honored one of its own for his efforts on behalf of the club.
Duane Neumeyer, an organizer of the show and member of the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, said Larry Ross, a former Carthage City Council member, was an avid collector and organized these annual shows in Carthage until the past two years.
Poor health kept him away from Saturday’s show, but Neumeyer said members and visitors honored him for keeping the show and the group together and alive in the years leading up to this 25th anniversary show.
Neumeyer said fishing lure collecting is a big deal in the U.S. and around the world.
He said the National Fishing Lure Collectors Club, or NFLCC, has members from around the world.
“It was formed by some men who started out lure collecting, helping each other find rare lures,” Neumeyer said. “One guy had a collection from one company, another guy had a collection from another company, one would call the other and say hey I found this over here. It started out to be a trading deal among friends and it’s grown from there. It’s a worldwide organization, we have members from Japan, Switzerland, Norway, all the provinces of Canada, so it’s not just a little deal anymore.”
Bill Bates, Springfield, another organizer of the Carthage show, displayed a wide variety of lures from the early 1900s and older.
He displayed Pikaroons from the Moonlight Bait Company, which operated in Wisconsin in the early 1900s, Clark Water Scouts, manufactured by C.A. Clark Manufacturing in Springfield from 1926-1958, and others.
“I don’t use them for fishing but I do collect,” Bates said. “I have a large collection of head and shiner scales, I collect Tourinos, one I have here is one I upgraded. I collect a few old reels. Most people here have their own personal collections in addition to the stuff they’re selling.”
Neumeyer said hundreds of people came to Saturday’s show to swap stories and have their own lures appraised. Some even sold their lures at an auction held during the three-hour show.
“The weather helped a lot,” Neumeyer said. “We have a lot of people from Ohio, Arkansas, other places. When you have nice weather, you can get a crowd here.”