Sister Lakes kids hooked on luresPublished 8:40pm Thursday, July 29, 2010
The National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club is a non-profit organization which promotes the preservation and appreciation of artifacts from the very inception of angling to the present.
Comprised of almost 4,000 ardent collectors worldwide, the club gathers once a year in July in a huge convention center to sell, buy, swap and display fishing tackle and all things related to fishing.
People from as far away as Japan fly in to take part.
To put the scale of the event into proper perspective, one need only to envision an arena big enough to host a headline concert packed from wall to wall with countless tables and all manner of tackle and perhaps then you will grasp its sheer enormity.
To make it through everything in a single day is a real challenge as there are literally millions of things on display.
This year the event was held in Knoxville, Tenn.
Zachary and Alexandria Marquart of Sister Lakes participated in the youth display competition.
They have displayed their lures for the past three years — placing every time with their impressive collections.
Broken down into different age brackets, Zach, 13, took first place with his Heddon River Runt display (tracing its origins straight back to Dowagiac, home of James Heddon’s Sons until 1984) and Alexandria, 9, took first place in her age group with her collection of frogs and frog-spotted lures.
In total, nine children participated in the event and each was awarded club patches, limited edition club lures and other fishing- related items donated by the club and its more generous members.
All the kids are definitely hooked on collecting — that much is certain.
Being from the Dowagiac area, the Marquart children both have fished and collected lures for years as the legend of Heddon was passed down from generation to generation.
They are always on the prowl, tirelessly looking for new lures to add to their constantly growing collections.
And, as time has passed, they have come to realize that collecting lures is practically the same as fishing — patiently trolling the waters trying to land a catch.
Some days they land a dandy and other days they go home empty handed.
They have learned that is why it is called “fishing” and not “catching.”
But to hold a first-place ribbon in one’s hand is a catch that rivals the biggest record fish and is a trophy to proudly display on the wall for years to come.