By Scott Meeker
Globe Enterprise Editor
CARTHAGE, Mo. —
Fishing enthusiasts will want to take the bait and get reeled in to the 26th annual Ozarks NFLCC Vintage Lure and Tackle Meet this weekend.
The show will open at 7 a.m. Saturday at Carthage Memorial Hall, 407 S. Garrison Ave.
It’s a chance for collectors to buy, sell and trade fishing tackle. In addition, identification and appraisal of items will be available to the public, said Duane Neumeyer, one of the hosts for this year’s event.
“Last year, we had over 50 people come in off the street as well as our club members,” Neumeyer said. “One fellow brought in an old tackle box and left with a pocketful of money.
“What he had were plastic lures, which you wouldn’t think were that old. But they were an uncataloged color, specially made in a color that they don’t make anymore.”
The National Fishing Lure Collectors Club was founded in 1976. Its focus is on the hobby of collecting fishing lures and related items such as rods, reels and advertising, according to the club’s website, www.nflcc.org. It also works to “assist members in the location, identification and trading of vintage fishing-related equipment.”
It’s the vintage aspect that will be the hook for Saturday’s show, said Neumeyer, who has been a member of the club for more than 10 years.
“Uncataloged colors, old wooden lures, glass eyes ... everybody in our group collects a little bit of something,” he said.
Neumeyer and his wife, Carole, are serving as hosts for the event, along with Springfield resident Bill Bates.
“If you don’t want to sell something, you don’t have to,” Neumeyer said. “But all the money (made from a sale) goes right back to the person. You’ll never get a chance to sell lures for any higher.”
But the chance to buy or sell vintage items isn’t the sole reason people come to the shows, Bates said. Many people get caught in the deep nets of nostalgia.
“I read about a study done by a university about the psychology of collecting,” he said. “In the surveys they had done, they found that people often collected things that related in some way or another to fun childhood memories. A lot of people, both men and women, have fond memories of fishing with relatives or friends.
“That’s certainly true for me. I have memories of fishing with my grandfather, father and an uncle in the 1950s when I was just a little kid.”
Bates said he sees many collectors his age who enjoy finding the classic lures of the 1950s, such as Lazy Ikes. Lures and reels from before World War I are also highly collectible.
“There are 100-year-old reels that spin better than what’s made today,” he said.
Bates said that in the 1970s, many of the small manufacturers of fishing equipment foundered and then folded as production turned toward plastic items that were mass-produced and sold via big box stores or massive mail order businesses.
They’re gone but not forgotten, he said.
“There will be people at this show who collect lures that were made in Oklahoma, and people who collect C.A. Clark Water Scouts because they were made here in Springfield,” he said. “You name it and people collect it.”
While the event is geared toward club members, one-day memberships will be available for $5 at the door. Bates said annual memberships to the organization will be sold for $35.
APPRAISALS OF ITEMS for the public will be offered from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday. The appraisal is free and there is no obligation to sell, so there shouldn’t be any carping over the results.