Readers’ Letters: Lure collectors can be a slippery bunch

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Dear Editor,

Your Dec. 1 issue arrived yesterday (see the cover story Angling for Antique Fishing Lures). It brought to mind my experiences with men – so called sportsmen – when purchasing lures at two local auctions. The memories made me laugh for a day, week, month and several years each time I see lures for sale.

At an auction, a male wearing at least four Cabella’s decals or patches came up to me once and said, “You should go downtown for lunch. Lures won’t sell till later.” I had spoken to the clerk, who told me the lures sell at 10:30 a.m. and a friend works at the local café, wherein I know it takes forever to get a hamburger, etc. I told this fine sportsman that I’d eat a hot dog at the Girl Scout stand. I did purchase all the lures in offered by the clerks. All had no zip codes or addresses and no product codes – 1960s is my guess.

I watched this so-called sportsman open a box, remove the lure and replace it with a cheap, cheap new China-made one (all were Creek Club types). Since I lost track of this box, I paid big money. I purchased all 22 boxed lures. I had my son check and we found the “Made in China” lure.” I also watched [the sportsman] fiddle with one of seven tackle boxes, also full of used lures. So I purchased all those. Yet this [fellow] came to me and offered me $50 for one lure in one of the boxes. I told him, “No thanks. I saw your switch game.” I also purchased every lure he bid on – even if I didn’t want it.

Just a month later, at another auction, a sportsman took me by my elbow and walked me to the door, saying, “This is a sportsman’s auction – why not go somewhere else?” I surprised him as I didn’t leave and again purchased ALL the lures and tackle boxes of such. A $42 box had 77 lures mixed and hooked together like a bowl of spaghetti.

My father was great at fishing and being the middle child of 10, I was sent with him often. He gave me his “mouse” black, etc. – Heddon Meadow – a few weeks before passing (this was years ago). This mouse remained in my treasure box till my children were grown and gone and I decided to collect lures instead of jewelry.

Oh, there were five tackle boxes full and many singles. Since both were local [auctions], I am known and I did stop the crowd! One auctioneer had called me and told me about all the lures at this auction days before hand.

My “Cabella’s Sportsman,” just this spring, was ordered off an auction of 42 tackle boxes full of lures. Again I knew the auction service and spoke to one auctioneer: he watched the old “switch” at work.

I haven’t purchased many since, as they must be unusual, near mint or in-box condition-new. I didn’t want but just to have a “pumpkin seed” purchased from the above auctioneer. The 42 boxes were a mess and condition not good but they sold pretty well.

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes and lures are common – never those rare and spendy [lures] as this article stated. It made for me a reminder of sportsmen and laughs. Next time, do an article on useable, pretty (woman’s point of view) not pricey lures.

I had considered letting my subscription run out, but maybe you’ll provide me with another smile or laugh!

I’ve been in the antiques and collecting business since 1968. I’m not a dumb broad – even about lures. I did renew. Thanks.

Happy Holidays

Beverly Peterson,
Ivanhoe, Minn.


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