Fishing in Branson can be enjoyed best if you angle at some of the three pristine lakes in the Ozarks region that include Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals Lake. If you are one of the fishing enthusiasts who come to Branson for fun fishing, don’t miss to visit the History of Fishing Museum that features tons of fishing items from the past. The History of Fishing Museum in Branson has the largest collection of antique fishing lures, rods, reels, boats and motors that are entirely collected by Karl White and his wife Beverly.
Karl began collecting those items at the age of eight. Karl first bought a lure called James Heddon’s Crazy Crawler (the most expensive lure produced at that time). Nearly 70 years later, the lure is still on display today. The museum is comprised of more than 40,000 pieces and valued at nearly $5 million. It showcases the private collection of the couple and everything else having to do with sport fishing – including one of the first pairs of sunglasses. The collection of Karl and Beverly White is considered to be the world’s most complete and diverse tackle collection.
While other collectors are specializing in one area (i.e. ice fishing) or a company (James Heddon & Sons), the collection of the Whites represents everything that is “collectible” in antique tackle and fishing paraphernalia. The museum has several first fishing items on display. The reel that is first known to exist – Spike Reel from the 1730s (made in Europe) were used by American Anglers. Snyder Reel from 1840 (first casting reel made in the United States by George Snyder from Paris, Kentucky). As a watchmaker and silversmith, Mr. Snyder made 12 reels for his family. There are only 4 known to exist today. Snyder Reels are the first precision free-running bait casting reels in the world.
When Karl White bought the Snyder Reels in 1997, the purchase price set a world record as the most expensive fishing tackle item ever sold at an American Auction. The Haskell Fish Hook that was made in 1859 by Riley Haskell is the first American plug-type bodied bait. This hook features a metal body and a revolving tail. The lure was made in silver copper, brass and bronze. The only Haskell that was found with the original box was 10 inches copper (musky size) which was sold for $101,200 at auction in 2003.
Comstock Flying Helgramite made by Edward Comstock in 1883 is another great fishing items on display in the museum. As the first wood plug ever made, Mr. Comstock took his idea to Pflueger to maker and Pflueger copied it. A lawsuit was filed quickly. The lure collection of Karl was used in the court case. The Buel Trolling Spoon is the oldest patented piece of collection in the museum that was patented in 1852.
Fishing in Branson can be more interesting if you first visit the History of Fishing Museum where you can find great display of fishing items.
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