Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

This week we have Part III of the history of Alvey Reels.

Things I Would Buy If I Could Afford Them

We here at Fishing History are all about the trade tackle. Here is a nifty Tyron Kingfisher minnow made by Pflueger.

People are always somewhat surprised at the prices brought by the pink Johnson Princess fishing reels, like this one here. So why aren't the pink Great Lakes Holiday reels worth anything?

Lots of nice lures available right now on eBay. Here is a nice W.D. Chapman & Son spinner.

I was speaking with Doug Carpenter and John Caldwell at the Cincinnati tackle show about the rise in prices on made in Kentucky lures. For example, this nifty Falls City Jinx has attracted a lot of interest.

The Heddon of the Week is this sweet 5-hook in green crackleback in a wood box.

A nice fly rod up this week is this later H.L. Leonard salmon model.

I once owned six of these later Paw Paw Bait Co. display cards. They are long gone and I wish I could replace them.

Many of you know I am a bit of a hook maniac. Here is a neat one seldom seen; an Edward vom Hofe 14/0 Tarpon hook made by Mustad. Most vom Hofe tarpon hooks I've seen were made by Pflueger or Van Vleck.

Finally, from the "Annoying Attempt to Cash In on Celebrity Tragedy" comes the Anna Nicole Smith spinner. What made them think this was a good idea?

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Review: The Autobiography of Dr. James Henshall

Many of you are familiar with Dr. James Alexander Henshall, the father of modern bass fishing. After all, 400,000 reprint copies of Book of the Black Bass have sold through Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society (B.A.S.S.) alone. But what do you know of the life and times of one of the most important people in the history of fishing? Likely very little.

One of the reasons I founded The Whitefish Press was for books just like this one. It was serialized in Forest & Stream from 1919-1921, but Dr. Henshall died before it could be released in book form. Since Forest & Stream by that time had switched to a monthly format, and had seen its circulation dip well below 100,000 (1/10th that of its competitors like Field & Stream and Outdoor Life), very few people got a chance to read the fascinating story of Henshall's life.

Clyde E. Drury, noted bass fishing historian and Henshall scholar, thought this was a shame. He worked extremely hard to put together a rough photocopy of the autobiography (which was still missing one part), and kindly distributed this to hundreds of historians and collectors alike over the years. A few years ago he was lucky enough to purchase a complete set of originals off eBay, and now had the images to go with the text.

The first book on fishing history I ever owned was a reprint of Henshall's Book of the Black Bass given to me for my 10th birthday, so I was always interested in Henshall's background. Like Clyde, I put together a complete photocopy set of Henshall's autobiography with the intent of one day making it widely available. Bill Sonnett put Clyde and myself together, and since Clyde had spent great amounts of time digitizing his copy, I proofed his work from my copy and we got a definitive corrected edition as a result.

The book is the story of American fishing written against the backdrop of the panaroma of history. Henshall's early memories include "Tippecanoe and Tyler Too," (one of the most important presidential elections in history in 1844) the Mexican-American War, the Great Comet of 1843, fishing in the pre-Civil War era, and much more. Later, he would be directly involved in other great events, and of particular interest is his work as a physician during the Civil War in Kentucky, where he had direct contact with Morgan's Raiders, was friends with David Snyder (Kentucky reel pioneer George Snyder's son), and first learned the joys of bass fishing. His post-Civil War life is the history of sport fishing in America.

This is a big book--over 100,000 words--and I just don't think you can be truly knowledgable on the history of fishing or fishing tackle and not read this book. Details are available from The Whitefish Press. Its eminently readable today, comes with an introductory biography by Clyde Drury, 60+ original black-and-white images, and 57 detailed explanatory end notes to help make sense of some of the more obscure references.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Voices from the Past: John E. Harris

Today I want to share with you my favorite piece of vintage fishing writing you've never seen before. Written by John E. Harris, an author of whom I have no information, it captures perfectly the nostalgia and beauty of angling. It is simply fishing writing at its best. It was first published in 1909 in The Hardwick Gazette and republished in the March 1911 edition of The Vermonter: The State Magazine. As The Vermonter declared: "If it doesn't warm the cockles of your heart, you were never a boy--like other boys. The boy who is being brought up today without knowing all the pleasures of sliding, skating, fishing, hunting, swimming, and berrying will never have any good times to look back to. No amount of pleasure seeking, all over the earth, will compensate for joys lost as a boy."

Going Fishing

by John E. Harris

Old men frequently tell in a hopeless and reminiscent way of being a boy again, but nothing under the blue dome of the limitless ether will actually accomplish it except a day on a trout brook. Then the man of any age goes back into boyhood.

Trout fishing is not a recreation, nor a sport, in the sense that other things are. It is something in the nature of an hypnotic trance, a transformation, a dream. When the brook is reached time is at an end. The world with its cares and worries recedes and fades away. It is as a tale that is told.

Time ends and eternity begins. How hardly earned and longed for and infrequent were the half days off in those far gone years when the boy was permitted to go fishing. The final little jobs and chores were done in a hurry.

The bait was hastily dug out behind the barn, and with a cheap cotton line and a couple of treasured hooks and a roll of sheet lead for sinkers a bee line was made for the nearest brook. Not a step was taken to the right or left and not a moment was wasted. Every second not spent in fishing was time worse than lost.

Arriving at the bank of paradise regained for only such a little while, a pole was hastily cut from the nearest clump of alders or other suitable growth, the line was attached, hooks tied on, a small section of the lead foil wrapped around the line near the hook to steady it and an obstinately wriggling worm was impatiently impaled.

Then the boy entered into dreamland. With good luck, poor luck, or no luck at all, he fished. The minutes and the hours floated by until the boy suddenly awakened to a dreary sense of the realities of life. The sun was sinking and home was a long way off.

With a sigh of sobbing regret he cut off the pole just below the wound string, shoved the relic into his pocket and tried to get home in time to help do the chores as he had promised. On the issue of the fulfillment of that promise depended his being allowed to go again during the entire season.

Forty years after, the same boy goes again to the same brook. There is no father then to remind him of chore time. There is no mother to watch him hurrying away across the fields. The old farmhouse is gone or changed. Some woods are cut off and some are grown up on the old place, and the boy looks about him with the sense of a great void somewhere.

Although there is no father and mother to control his hours, although he has a nice new fishpole now, there seems to be something indefinable which is broken or out of joint or lost out of his life. The world has grown old, and unsympathetic and chilly, and just over there he remembers so vividly of once seeing a beautiful rainbow, is now only a bank of cold and gloomy clouds.

But he knows well where the brook is and the nearest way to it. And he takes the same old once familiar way to the brookside. He looks at it and listens to it and the weight of the years begins to slip from his shoulders. The brook whispers and gurgles to him that it has not forgotten him, that it has been watching and waiting for him all these years, remaining faithful to the early friendship and waiting while the shadows longer grow. The boy again thrills with the infinite charm of the old days, as he hurriedly prepares his outfit and begins.

The hours come and go while the dream is on him. Two-score years are as a watch in the night, while the course of time has run backward by the mighty compelling force of memory. He is in the land where it is always afternoon, where thoughts outrun the ages. Along the rippling brookside he wanders, heart and eyes and soul intent only on the rippling waters. The only concession to the influence of earthly things is to light the pipe as an antidote to the too numerous familiarity of the mosquito.

Slowly the sun sinks toward and behind the treetops, and the deepening shadows at last bring the awakening. The weight of years has returned. The little boy has vanished into the backward years, and slowly and wearily the man plods back to the old house on the hillside.

For a moment the thought comes to him that he must be home in time to go after the cows and bring in the wood for the night. But it is only the echo of a dream. There are no cows any more and father and mother are over there in the churchyard. But he has been a boy again in spirit, and in truth, and by the only means which can accomplish that mighty magic. He has been fishing.

Thus the boy vanished and the man again takes up the burden of the years.

"Lest we forget," let us push back the curtain of the generations and go down to the brookside and listen to the welcoming murmur of the rippling waters over pebbly reaches.

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

History of T.J. Waters Fishing Tackle

Recently on Joe's Board, a mystery lure was posted in a box marked "Jumbo Fishing Tackle" and "T.J. Waters, Auburn, New York." I thought that a few readers might be interested in the history behind this interesting central New York tackle firm.

T.J. Waters "Jumbo Tackle" Spinner, courtesy Chris Labuz

Thomas J. Waters was an icon of the sporting goods community in Auburn, New York--a city probably more famous for being the home of the Shoe Form Company, makers of Bill DeWitt fishing tackle. In the early 1930s (his obituary stated 1935 but this is incorrect), Waters founded the T.J. Waters Sporting Goods Store on 50 Francis Street in Auburn, and quickly became the center of fishing activity in the region. For the following two decades, the pages of the Auburn Citizen Advertiser were replete with notices on the firm; the 03 April 1933 edition noted "At the T.J. Waters Sport Shop, 'Ed' Morse, Thomas Doyle, and Maynard Williams weigned in six lake trout averaging two and one-half pounds. The same shop reported two fine brown trout weighed in by Raymond Kahl..."

The first advertisement I can find for the firm is a classified ad in the Citizen Advertiser declaring "Guns, ammunition, fishing tackle, live bait: lowest prices. T.J. Waters, 50 Francis Street" and dated 06 October 1933. Classified ads over the next couple of years were all variations on this theme; for example, some noted Waters' shop was open evenings, that the shop offered free fishing calendars, and that it was an authorized dealer for Elto and Evinrude Motors and Thompson Boats.

Typical T.J. Waters ad, from the 15 February 1935 Auburn Citizen Advertiser

By 1937, the firm was advertising a 46 Francis Street address, implying that the shop had expanded (multiple street addresses, for example 46-50 Francis Street, denoted large buildings).

Each successive year found the Waters store more prominently featured in the local paper. By 1938, the paper was full of notices like the following one from 30 April 1938:

Beauty from North Brook

Frank J. Bauer of 230 North Hoopes Avenue, a member of the Cayuga County Sportsmen's Association, had a three pound, three ounce brown trout, which he caught in North Brook, on exhibition today at the T.J. Waters Sporting Goods store, Frances Street. The fish is the largest of its kind to be shown at the Waters store thus far this season.

Thomas Waters was also a member of the Cayuga County Sportsmen's Association.

By 1938, Waters was advertising in many local newspapers; typical of these ads is this one from the Moravia Republican-Register dated 10 March 1939:

Beginning as early as 1933, Thomas Waters also worked as a manufacturer of fishing tackle. In the back of the T.J. Waters Sporting Goods Store, Thomas manufactured lures under the name "Jumbo Fishing Tackle," and was successful enough to register a trademark in this name with the Patent Office. The trademark was a diamond with the words "Jumbo Fishing Tackle" stacked in the middle, and "trade" and "mark" on each side.

Like the spinner owned by Chris Labuz, pictured above, this tackle came in attractive orange boxes with black borders, clearly marked "Manufactured by T.J. Waters, Auburn NY" on top and "Jumbo Baits are manufactured in The Finger Lakes Region of Central New York." The Waters Spinner has been seen with both single and double hooks, and although other lures have been found in this box, it is unlikely that any lures other than the Waters Spinner belong in these boxes.

Waters is also known to have tied flies, and it is likely these flies and other spinners (likely with unmarked blades) were sold on T.J. Waters cards.

World War II brought an abrupt end to fishing tackle manufacturing in America, and thus the war years were tough on Waters, as they were on most Americans. But with the cessation of hostilities in August 1945, things slowly got back to normal. Even the restocking of popular tackle was a cause for minor celebrations, as evidenced by this 21 December 1945 advertisement:

There is no evidence that Waters continued his tackle manufacturing after World War II.

While Waters had always operated a fully stocked sporting goods store, it was in the immediate post-WWII era that he fully expanded into baseball, football, toys, etc. that could be found at most other sporting goods dealers. Fishing was not ignored, but the advertisements no longer featured tackle as prominently as in the pre-WWII years. A good example of the expanded line carried by Waters is the following ad from The Skaneateles NY Press dated 19 December 1947:

Then, abruptly, in 1956 T.J. Waters sold his shop and retired. The rationale for this decision is lost, but it probably had little to do with health reasons, as Waters would live another two decades. More likely he had earned enough money to retire, and decided to spend the remainder of his life pursuing his passion of outdoor pursuits. Having retired to West Genesee Road in Aurelius, Thomas J. Waters died on February 4, 1975.

The name T.J. Waters Sporting Goods Store disappears following the retirement of the founder, and whether the store closed or was renamed is as yet unknown.

Waters left behind nifty fishing tackle that is hard to find, and if you are lucky enough to own a piece of Waters tackle, you truly own a slice of Central New York fishing history.

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, September 24, 2007

News of the Week, 24 September 2007

A happy homeless fisherman...a fluke of a world record...the stupidity of Manatee fishing...catching a flesh eating disease instead of fish...bass fishing as a college sport...and a fishing love triangle set up by The Today Show's Matt Lauer between Greg Norman, Laura Norman, and Chris Evert...It must be THE NEWS OF THE WEEK!

NFLCC Member, outdoor writer, and collector legend Dan Basore is profiled in a nifty article in The Chicago Sun-Times. More good press for collecting in the Chicago region.

New Jersey woman who caught world record fluke denied world record by IGFA on a technicallity, loses hundreds of thousands of dollars in endorsements and prizes. The New Jersey Star-Ledger will now have to find something else to write about. Or maybe not.

The definition of fluke

Think carefully before inviting Matt Lauer on your next fishing trip; Lauer of The Today Show is the catalyst in the nasty fishing-inspired love-triangle of Tennis legend Chris Evert, PGA pro Greg Norman, and Norman's now ex-wife Laura. Oh the drama!

That idiotic million-dollar lure is still getting press. This idea was never cool, and gets more uncool every day.

Bass fever strikes again, this time in Florida. It is officially a pandemic now.

Hey, now! The Banjo Lure System is the best selling lure in America.

The Kansas City Star reports that female guides are making inroads in Missouri.

The Sun notes that British housewife Bev Street breaks British record for largest freshwater fish when she landed 66 pound catfish. And no, unlike most of the The Sun's pictures of women, she is not pictured in a bikini. You'll have to find the Page 3 girls on your own.

The Santa Fe New Mexican profiles the Lady of the Lure, who got her job thanks to Jane Fonda. No, really. That's what the article says.

DUMB: Two really, really stupid South Florida men are arrested for fishing for Manatee. DUMBER: They posted video of their stupidity on YouTube. DUMBEST: They work for Bass Pro Shops.

The Langley Times shows a 300 pound sturgeon caught in the Fraser River. The fish was released.

NFLCC member Ray Rodgers is profiled in the All About Arkansas segment on KATV.

Danish artist got his start putting flies in shadowboxes. World eagerly awaits the unveiling of "Sure Strikes in Peanut Butter" at the San Francisco MOMA.

The Chicago Sun-Times teaches you how to fish in downtown Chicago. No word on how to find a parking spot.

Forbes Magazine releases the top ten fly fishing destinations for you to fly to in your private Cessna and fish with your fourth trophy wife. Remainder of fishing world rolls its collective eyes.

The Green Bay Gazette reports that fishing tackle theft is on the rise. Lock up your tackle, folks.

Australian government comes to its senses, says no to tax on fishing tackle. Aussies no longer spit the dummy; collectively chuck a sickie in celebration.

Ray Sasser of the Dallas Morning News tells us that breaking fly fishing records is a snap. Red snap, that is.

Teenage Texan fishermen contracts flesh-rotting bacteria from small cut administered by crab. You may now shudder.

Young man recovering from flesh-eating virus

The Tallahassee Democrat orders us to grab our nets and stock up on mullets. 'Cuz hockey season is right around the corner. Buh-dump-bump.

Floridian mullet fishing; ironically, he does not have a mullet declares bass fishing catching on as a college sport. NCAA's greedy, soul-less eyes flash dollar signs as cronish men cackle in dimly-lit, smoke-filled back rooms figuring out ways to get their bloodsucking claws into the sport of college bass fishing and screw it while in its infancy.

Be honest: you've thought about quitting everything and just fishing. Well, homeless Florida keys fisherman happier than you are fishing the Keys, living out of his 1985 Toyota truck and bathing at Circle K.

Homeless fisherman Jay Grant is living the dream--if your dreams revolve around fishing all year round and living off food stamps

Baltimore's Diamond Jim fishing contest goes awry when Governor Martin O'Malley, trying to select finalists at random, loses track of the number of ping pong balls in the hopper. Audience laughs at buffoonery, which just goes to show you that very few elected officials can count.

Z.G. Muhammad in The Greater Kashmir remenisces about fishing the Pukharabal River during Ramadan.

The Florence, AL Times-Daily reminds us that Pres. Bush declared Sep. 21 as National Hunting & Fishing Day, cautions us to leave shotguns and tackle at home when confronting non-hunters and fishermen.

From the DUH files: The Bethel Island Press tell us the secret to fishing is picking the spot.

Once again, to leave on a high note, the inspirational story of Bass anglers who take soldiers fishing.

Thanks to those who emailed me links! Keep 'em coming!

-- Dr. Todd

Friday, September 21, 2007

Friday Funhouse

Video of the Week

This week we have Part II of the history of Alvey Reels.

Things I Would Buy If I Could Afford Them

One of my favorite articles I've written in the past five years dealt with the tackle sold by the J.F. Schmelzer Arms Co. of Kansas City; this raised gear box Schmelzer reel is one of the nicest to come to market in some time.

Want to see a beautiful example of nineteenth century reelcraft? Check out this auction.

Another outstanding early reel is this Meek & Milam Kentucky #3.

I am a sucker for old catalogs, even if the ones I covet usually go for a ton of money. This is a really cool old Swedish Abu catalog that has attracted a lot of attention.

For those interested in getting their very own 1958 Heddon Sonic Mini-Comic Book, check out this auction.

Another astounding Heddon lure is sure to bring some serious coin.

A great Bud Stewart lure in box should find a nice home.

-- Dr. Todd

Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Review of the September 2007 NFLCC Gazette

The September 2007 NFLCC Gazette (Vol. 31, No. 113) arrived earlier this week, bundled with the latest directory. The evolution of the color Gazette continues, and this issue contains some interesting articles.

There is a nifty photographic review of the NFLCC Nationals in Louisville, including four full pages of color photos. A nice overview of the events for those unfortunate enough to have missed it.

The Reverend Bob Dennis offers a transcript of his Memorial Service from 13 June 2007--and it is a very moving sermon. So many collector friends of mine have weathered their own storms of late, and can find inspiration from this article.

Perhaps my favorite piece comes from over the pond, from Juha Wall in Espoo, Finland. Written in English, the title is Lauri Rapala and Born of Finnish Lures. I truly respect people who have written articles in other languages (I've done it in myself in German, Swedish and Norwegian and know the pratfalls first hand) so I recognized the title in English is actually "Lauri Rapala and the Origins of Finnish Lures," That's irrelevant, however, as there is tons of cool information on the origins of the Finnish Minnow of great interest to American collectors, and we can hope this is the first of many cross-Atlantic (and even cross-Pacific) articles.

Jack Looney offers a fascinating glimpse at the intersection between tackle companies and the public in "Watta Life! Jerry Schimmel, Field Tester" which covers the life and career of a field tester for the major tackle companies. A great article.

James M. Vermeulen gives us an original piece entitled "Milton Poe," detailing the originator and manufacturer of Poe's Lures. Don't miss the full color photos of Poe and his tackle which, unfortunately, are disconrguently placed on pages 36 and 38. It is a piece that covers many original aspects.

Kurt L. Munden of New Mexico and myself contributed the article "The History of T.S. Skilton, Part II," which may very well be the last article of the George Richey era, as we submitted this to George about a month before his untimely passing. It chronicles lots of new information on the Skilton company, and is a supplement to the original Skilton article from the September 2007 Gazette.

The final feature is a reprint of an article on fishing lures from the April, 1913 Outer's Magazine. This article takes up four pages, and one could question (considering the poor quality of the images taken from a photocopy) whether this should have been run in place of an original piece of research. Perhaps it would have been better to place this interesting piece up on the NFLCC Web Site, particularly considering the Gazette has over thirty articles awaiting publication.

All of this is peppered with regular features such as Secretary/Treasurer and Parliamentarian corners, a review of Wayne Ruby's The Pflueger Heritage, and the NFLCC Calendar and want ads.

Overall, a solid issue containing information you aren't going to find elsewhere.

-- Dr. Todd

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Voices from the Past: Lincoln Werder

One of my favorite outdoor writers of the 1920s and 1930s was Lincoln Werder, who wrote regularly for The New York Times and other august publications. Werder was a conservationist, but more than that, he understood that American's greatest fishing resource was not fish or fishing tackle, but the children who would grow up to be anglers. Here is a typical article from his Woods, Field and Stream column, dated 09 March 1937. I have bolded the section that is as apropros today as it was 70 years ago.

Wood, Field & Stream

by Lincoln A. Werder

Some statistics pertaining to the activities of fishermen and hunters during the past year have been announced by Frank T. Bell, Commissioner of Fisheries, Department of Commerce.

They are presented not as an argument to convince the doubter but rather as a commentary. According to this data, approximately $500,000,000 was put into circulation during the last year by anglers.

Reviewing this estimate, Commissioner Bell adds that the fishermen is buying more and better equipment than he did three years ago, for example, and that "the sea craft of the angler," among other things has improved. Interest in deep sea and salt water fishing is reflected in the equipment of more and better cruisers and fishing boats.

What the Sportsmen Spend

Here are some of the rather impressive figures contained in paragraphs of the department's statement:

"Visiting fishermen and hunters bring into the state of New Hampshire an annual income of $6,000,000, while New York enthusiasts of field and stream spend $47,000,000 annually and about $2,000,000 is spent annually in that state on fishing tackle alone. Michigan accepts recreation as its third largest industry.

The sportsmen of California spent $63,000,000 in that State in 1936, an average expenditure of $116.80 per angler. In Utah the anglers spent $3,000,000 whipping mountain streams of that state."

Still Room for the Boys

Nevertheless, fishing, we believe, can still be enjoyed by the barefoot boy, though perhaps the sight of him is disappearing.

A rather striking current editorial in the bulletin of the famous organization of the Angler's Club seems more appropriate in discussing one phase of this subject:

"It has remained, however, for one of our veterans to remind us that we have been remiss in our duty to stock the streams with the most important of all creatures, the young angler who shall take up our pursuit of the sportsman's pleasures and ideals and carry them forward.

We need to be reminded, as he has reminded us, that a boy is not a common sight on the trout streams; that the growing scarcity and shyness of 'finny denizens' make the cut pole, string and worm a venture which is seldom profitable; and that the skill and money necessary for successful and pleasing fishing with the fly are beyond the reach of the average boy, unless we interest ourselves in helping him.

It would take a courageous and long-suffering angler to embark on the sort of philanthropy involved in leading groups of 'under-privileged' youngsters to the Beaverkill to work havoc with his fine tackle.

But there is no reason why each of us should not do the thing which lies nearest to hand by seeking to interest, and then to instruct, some likable youngster of his own family or acquaintance. It will involve an undeniable amount of tedious work at first, and undoubtedly will curtail the amount of fishing done in a day, but it will also impose a salutary restraint on the teacher's vocabulary.

It is hoped that the good work started by our anonymous fellow-member will be supported and augmented by all."

-- Dr. Todd

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Cincinnati Tackle Show, Sep. 14-15, 2007

The Cincinnati Tackle Show

Having a tackle show in your own home town is a very good thing, but for some reason for the past two years, whenever the Cincinnati Tackle Show was held, I was out of town. This past Friday, I put aside meetings and made a point of making the 20-mile drive out to King's Island to visit the show. I am very happy I did.

The Cincinnati show is one of the unique tackle meets in that it does not have a convention hall where sellers set up; instead, people open their rooms and there is a parking lot set up for people (like John Nunn) who have overflow tackle. Many people enjoy not having to haul their tackle to a distant convention room, and so there is always lots of neat stuff lying on and even under beds.

There were some neat displays; Mike Hines had a great case of contemporary lures and a nice Heddon case, while John Birchfield brought his black and white shore minnow collection and a nice case of Tulsa Tackle lures. Doug Carpenter brought a portion of his Kentucky and Ohio lure collection, and I had a great time conversing with Doug and John Caldwell about the rising interesting in made-in-Kentucky tackle. I also enjoyed listening to Mike Hines talk about one of his incredible recent field finds, part of which included a few Gulf Reel Co. reels new in shipping boxes--something I (and likely most everyone else) has never seen before.

As for myself, I ended up buying a few nice pieces for my collection. I got four nice books for my library, including a first edition of Harlan Major's Fishing Behind the Eight Ball which I had been looking for. I also ended up with a new Maine-made Rangeley spinner I didn't know existed, and a great Montague Pickering reel.

All in all, the Cincinnati show is the most laid back meet going, and if you want to go to a low-stress environment filled with tackle, this is a must on your calendar. It is held twice a year (Spring and Fall) and the show host is John Nunn, who took over for Mike Hines this year.

Mike Hines reposes at the Cincinnati Show

A sight to see: a room full of tackle

Interesting display in the parking lot

Is that a Meek No. 3 in the bottom of that pile?

John Caldwell peruses tables of tackle

Doug Carpenter with his neat display of Kentucky tackle

John Birchfield

John Birchfield's display of Tulsa Tackle lures

John Birchfield's display of black shore lures

Mike Hines' collection of contemporary lure makers

Mike Hines' collection of Heddon lures

A close-up of Hines' experimental Heddon

Ultra rare Gulf Reel Co. Reel in original shipping box

John Caldwell's VL&A Fly Rod

My favorite find: a Montague reel marked "Pickering"

-- Dr. Todd

Monday, September 17, 2007

News of the Week, 17 September 2007

A baseball hall-of-famer turned fishing jerk; the theft of a dying man's fishing rod while EMTs try to save him; immigrant fish in California targeted for must be The News of the Week!

Baseball hall-of-famer Wade Boggs is a bad fisherman and, astoundingly, an even worse human being.

Kevin Van Dam did not win Bassmaster Angler of the Year.

California declares war on immigrant Northern Pike by using 17,000 gallons of poison. Locals burn 13-foot pike in effigy. Midwestern stereotypes over insane Californians increases.

Barry St. Clair opines on the psychology of fishing. Good thing he did not write on the psychosis of collecting.

The Philadelphia Inquirer tells us that fishing fever is contagious. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta is notified.

Keith Elliot (of the journal Classic Angling) is is invited to join an exclusive club.

News: The L.A. Daily Breeze reports on the doings of the Tuna Club of Avalon. Bigger news: Zane Grey not mentioned in article.

Ray Sasser of the The Dallas Morning News reports on the upcoming NFLCC show in Dallas. God blessed Texas with great football, beautiful women, and one of the best outdoor writers in America in Sasser.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegam reminds us to go back to basics when it comes to fishing.

The Wlimington Star details the Bug-Em Bait Co.

The Courier Press tells us its fun to fish with your best friend. Read with dramatic music in the background.

The Hampton Pilot reports first-time fisherman catches 1000+ pound Marlin. In other news, thousands of deep water anglers give up the sport at the same time.

Lucky SOB and his grander

Phoenix Bass Boats is back from the dead, complete with requisite "rises from the ashes" quip (Page 147 of the Standard Trite Phrase Handbook).

Michael Wilson thinks the Pinfish is a bait stealing thief. Later arrested for taunting a game fish.

Former fishing tackle company owner arrested for stealing $7 million from investors. Defense claims he only stole $6.3 million. Really. That's his defense.

New "Rocket Rod" automatic casting machine responsible for killing dozens of minnows.

Albuquerque's KOAT tells us that a good place to find fishing tackle is behind the Farmington, NM Car Wash; but look out for the prosthetic arms.

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise alerts us to the importance of understanding our outdoor heritage.

Wal-Mart donates fishing tackle to local Muskogee, MI fishing derby, hopes no one notices its all made in China. Local Wal-Mart reputation improves from "Horrible" to "Terrible."

Lang's Auctions gets a nice bit of press from the Maine Antiques Digest. Let the drooling commence.

The Washington Times reports on the on-going controversy over the IGFA World Record Flounder. Polygraph test may settle the issue. NOTE TO SELF: Don't keep world record fish over night in an open cooler in the garage.

Australian rod maker Ian Miller designs and builds fishing rod for President Bush. Who says outsourcing is only limited to technological fields?

West Virginian started carrying camera because people thought he was lying about the fish he caught. Now he uses camera in his tackle box to take pictures of UFOs. West Virginia, you must now take one full step backward.

The Republican Herald reports that Solar Innovations, Inc. will begin manufacturing fishing reels in Pennsylvania. No word on whether they will run on the power of the sun.

The Kitchener (Ontario) Record reports that Jamie Harland Gross allegedly stole a dying man's fly rod while paramedics tried to revive him. Gross allegedly also steals candy from babies and Christmas presents from orphanages.

And finally, lest you think we have become too jaded here at Fishing History, we bring you this touching blurb about a giant lure made to honor a 20-year old avid fisherman killed tragically in a car crash.

Thanks to Ken Schneider for the link. Send in your links please so I can list them!

-- Dr. Todd