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‘Mystery’ Lure Has Tackle Collectors Baffled

By Louie Stout

‘Mystery’ Lure Has Tackle Collectors Baffled

Antique lure collectors are an inquisitive bunch. Sure, they like to add old-time baits and tackle to their collections. The rarer and harder an item is, the more collectors treasure it.

But there’s more to avid collecting than perceived value of relic lure or gear. These folks are historical buffs and can tell you the story behind each lure in their collections.

Where and how it was made, how many were made, where it was tested and even background on the man who created it.

And it’s that part that is driving Mike Kechkaylo of Berrien Springs crazy.

You see, Kechkaylo recently purchased one of the rarest lures of all. So rare, in fact that not even the most experienced antique lure collector can identify it.

“As far as I know, it’s the only one in existence,” he said. “I’ve been collecting and studying antique lures for 40 years and I’ve never seen one like it.”

And that drives an avid collector crazy.


By Doug Bucha

Collectors Have An Eye for Antique Ice Spearing Gear

As the temperatures drop, we start to think of the upcoming ice fishing season.

However, one method of ice fishing that is seldom remembered is spearing fish beneath holes cut in the ice.

Historically, spearing goes back centuries to Native Americans and most of the methods they used would still apply today.

They may have used something as simple as a sharpened stick as their spear and they also used some type of decoy to lure the fish to their hole in the ice.

Today we use multi-pronged, hand-forged, weighted spears that are forged of steel. Smaller, lightweight spears would be used to spear smaller fish, such as perch; heavy spears would be used for Pike and musky, and because of the sturgeon’s armored backs, very heavy spears would be used.


A group of antique tackle collectors will be gathering for an informal get together at the Heddon Museum Nov. 14.

The gathering is open to anyone interested in old antique fishing tackle or who has old gear that he or she would like to be appraised.

The group meets monthly at 6:30 p.m. at the former Heddon factory, 414 West St. in Dowagiac, Mich., that now serves as a museum. It’s located two blocks north and two blocks west of the McDonald's.

The get-together of antique lure collectors is mostly a show-and-tell with some selling, trading, and buying of old tackle taking place.

For more information, email Doug Bucha at ndBucha@yahoo.com.