Rural Missouri - October 2012 - (Page 14)

O U T D O O R S by Jason Jenkins jjenkins@ruralmissouri.coop hey hide in attics and outhouses, in basements and back rooms. They’re tucked away in musty old tackle boxes on garage shelves and hiding in plain sight on the walls of old fishing cabins. Antique fishing lures are seemingly everywhere, and hunting them down is a pastime for a group of collectors as passionate as those who search for old baseball cards, coins or comic books. Lures produced in the first half of the 20th century — carved from wood and meticulously hand-painted — are regarded as folk art and a slice of Americana. For many, they rekindle childhood memories of simpler days spent fishing. Mention a Heddon Lucky 13, an Arbogast Hula Popper or Pico Swimmin’ Minnow to Ed Bryant, and he’ll immediately take you to the banks of the Lamine River where he fished with his father, uncles and cousins. “I started collecting when I didn’t know I was collecting,” says Ed, owner of Bryants Osage Outdoors in Laurie. “When I was 12, my mom and dad divorced. Every weekend, Dad would take me and buy me a lure, and we’d go fishing. That was a big deal. I still have those lures.” Today, Ed’s collection includes more than 10,000 lures, making him one of the more prolific collectors in the Show-Me State. He’s regarded as one of the experts among those who collect lures manufactured by Heddon, one of the “Big Six” companies in vintage lure collecting that also includes Paw Paw, Creek Chub, Pflueger, Shakespeare and South Bend. Ed began collecting in earnest in the mid-1990s after attending a tackle show where he admits to being “mesmerized” by what he found. “These guys had all these beautiful lures laid out on the tables, and the next thing you know, I’m getting all enthused,” recalls the Co-Mo Electric Cooperative member. “I bought a book, joined the club and started buying old tackle.” As is true with other hobbies, collecting antique lures can be economical or expensive, depending on what you decide to collect. Age, rarity, condition and popularity all determine the value of individual lures. Lures still in their original boxes that have never been fished are some of the most valuable. Sometimes, the boxes are more valuable than the lures inside. “All lures are worth a certain amount of money, unless somebody needs it for their collection,” Ed says. “Then, the value is whatever someone is willing to pay.” Because lures were built to catch fisherman in the store as much as they were to catch fish at the lake, there are thousands of designs and patterns. With so many, no one can collect them all. Ed recommends that collectors find their own niche, such as a specific company or lure on which to build a collection. In his case, he focuses on lures manufactured by Heddon and specializes in a group known as “seconds.” These lures, each marked with a “2nd” stamp, were those whose hand-painted markings were flawed in some This way. Rather 1940s-era than being Heddon Punkinthrown away, seed lure was likely the blemished stamped “2nd” lures — and because its pupil their boxes — isn’t centered. were stamped Ed Bryant displays his collection of Heddon River-Runt lures, part of his collection of more than 10,000 lures. What treasures lurk in that old tackle box? Rebecca Green recommends coming in on Friday. “2nd” and then used as salesman’s “If you really want to have some fun, check samples or sold at a discount to emout the room trading that goes on the night ployees. Finding “seconds” in pristine before,” she says, explaining that a wing condition is tough, and collecting them Laurie of the hotel will be cordoned off so that provides Ed with a challenge that keeps • collectors can socialize while displaying, his passion for the hobby burning. buying and selling lures in the rooms. “You’ve got to get yourself a mission, “You almost have to be a night owl the find yourself a path, because it’s just too night before and an early bird the next big,” he says. “Then, get educated. Get the morning to gather the full experience.” knowledge because if you don’t, it’ll cost you.” Both Ed and Rebecca say it’s best to arrive early While online sources — such as AntiqueLures. for a tackle show. Peruse the tables, and if you find com, JoesOldLures.com and many others — can proa lure you’re interested in, Ed advises picking it up vide a wealth of information about practically every and holding on to it until you can talk to the seller. lure ever produced, Ed says the best investment you “If you set it back down, the guy behind you can make is joining the National Fishing Lure Colmight scoop it up,” he says. “Also, never butt in on lectors Club. Organized more than 35 years ago, the another guy’s deal, and when you find what you’re NFLCC is the largest organization devoted to vintage after, buy it. They ain’t making any more of them.” fishing tackle with about 4,000 members worldwide. These days, Ed is working on a collection of Hed“Get in the club and go rub up against some don Punkinseed “2nds,” which he says will keep of us old guys who would love to train somehim collecting well into retirement. body on old lures,” says the 62-year-old. “For me, it’s the thrill of the hunt,” Ed says. “Once you create your knowledge, it’s “When you find that one you’re after, it gives you a all about getting your feet wet and findgreat feeling.” ing some friends you can trust. Build yourself a network.” Those interested may contact Ed Bryant at 573-374The NFLCC sanctions tackle shows 2278 or heddoned@yahoo.com. around the country, including several The 17th annual Lake of the Ozarks Fishing Tackle in Missouri. Next July, Kansas City will Show is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 20, at host the national show and meeting. Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach. Admission is $10 per Upcoming this month is the 17th annual Lake of family. For more information, call Rebecca Green at 573the Ozarks Fishing Tackle Show. While technically 280-5726 or Jeff Green at 573-480-3939. scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20, show co-organizer 14 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.JoesOldLures.com http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - October 2012

Rural Missouri - October 2012
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
The future of food
A grotesque spectacle
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Summon your stomach
Soothing suds
Hearth and Home
Out of the woodwork
Marketplace
Around Missouri
A heart to serve
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - October 2012

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