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History of Fishing Museum

History of Fishing Museum in Branson, MO
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225 N Wildwood Drive
Branson, MO 65616

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The “History of Fishing Museum” is the largest collection of antique fishing lures, rods, reels, boats and motors entirely collected by one man and his wife, Karl and Beverly White. Karl began collecting at the age of eight when the bought the James Heddon Crazy Crawler (the most expensive lure to produce at the time). The lure is still in the collection today – nearly 70 years later!

The “History of Fishing Museum” is comprised of more than 40,000 pieces and valued at nearly $5 million. The museum showcases the private collection of Karl & Beverly White and includes lures, rods, reels, boats, motors, and everything else having to do with sport fishing – including one of the first pairs of sunglasses. The collection is considered to be the world’s most complete and diverse tackle collection. While many collectors specialize in one area (i.e. ice fishing) or one company (James Heddon & Sons), the Whites’ collection represents everything that is “collectible” in antique tackle and fishing paraphernalia including the first of many.

Items that you just shouldn’t miss are the Spike reel from the 1730’s, the Snyder Reel from 1840, the 1859 Haskell Fish Hook, the Comstock Flying Helgramite made in 1883 and the first Skeeter boat to come off the line. The oldest patented piece in the collection is a Buel Trolling Spoon that was patented in 1852, but the collection also includes fishing artifacts that date back pre-colonial, Native Americans and Eskimos. Newly added to the expansive collection are aquatic dinosaur bones and fish fossils.

Shows, attractions, and lodging: