FORT WAYNE — The National Fishing Lure Collectors Club’s National Convention starts today at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd.
The event runs today through Saturday. This is the first time the national convention — the world’s largest display of collectible fishing tackle — has been held in Fort Wayne.
The NFLCC is a nonprofit, educational, international organization founded in 1976 with over 3,000 members. The primary objectives of the NFLCC are to foster an awareness of fishing tackle collecting as a hobby and to assist members in the location, identification and trading of vintage fishing-related equipment. The NFLCC encompasses every aspect of collecting fishing-related tackle and ephemera — reels, rods, catalogs, advertising, minnow traps and buckets, creels and more — not just fishing lures.
The Fort Wayne convention will see over 500 members and their families gather for this once a year event. Members from all across the United States and several foreign countries will be in attendance. Over 500 tables will display tens of thousands of fishing lures. Rods, reels and miscellaneous fishing related items will fill the Grand Wayne center.
Indiana has a rich history in the fishing tackle industry. Creek Chub Bait Co. of Garrett was formed in 1916. John J. Hildebrandt Company of Logansport was formed around 1894. The South Bend Fishing Tackle Co. opened around 1897. Dickens Bait Company of Fort Wayne was formed around 1918. This is to name but a few of the many Indiana companies. All of these companies will be represented by displays, said Bob King, co-host of the national convention.
The show starts at 10 a.m. today; admission for all three days is $35. which includes spouse and children under 21 plus one guest. Also included is a one-year membership to the NFLCC and free entry to the October Fort Wayne lure show, plus other benefits.
As part of the Three Rivers Festival, on Friday, from noon to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., there will be a free exhibit of Fort Wayne fishing equipment from the last century outside the exhibition hall at the Grand Wayne Convention Center.
Free appraisals of old fishing equipment will also be offered by appointment by calling 403-5391.