On Saturday, April 25th, the Garrett Historical Railroad Museum hosted an event for fisherman, history buffs, readers, and everyone in between.
The well-known, highly collectible, Creek Chub Bait Lures were on display, appraised, and observed by many. Not only did visitors enjoy glancing at the lures, but they also had the opportunity to meet an expert on the subject of Creek Chub Bait.
Dr. Harold E. Smith was avalialbe to talk and discuss the Creek Chub Bait company and lures, and most importantly, sign his newest book, A Field Guide to Creek Chub Lures. This book was also available for purchase, you can still do so by clicking here.
Over 150 people headed to the Historical Railroad Museum from 9am to 3pm, including a member of the National Fishing Lures Collectors Club. Over 3,000 people are members of the club, and they find Creek Chub fishing lures to be amongest the highest collectible.
Also present was an appraiser to examine what people have, whether it was Creek Chub lures and boxes, duck decoys, or other dated fishing gear. The appraiser would tell the owner what value it has, if they should use it, keep it to collect, or could trash it. Ron Matthews, of the Historical Railroad Museum, said they like to host an appraisal clinic every 2 or 3 years to give people access to knowledge of what they possess.
Creek Chub Bait Lures, in specific, can range from $5 to $500 or more, depending on condition, date of production, and if the orignial box is included, so knowing what you have and getting an appraisal can be helpful.
This company, Creek Chub Bait, was started and run in Garrett, by Henry Dills and his two partners, George Schulthess, and Carl Heinzerling. It started production in 1916, of the first lure, the “Wiggler”. The C.C.B.Co. lures are considered special because they are made up of hand painted wood with glass eyes (until 1961, then they were changed to tack eyes).
By the 1920’s, the Creek Chub Bait Company was a central producer in the industry and ended up creating 145 different lure models. The company must have been doing something right, because the world record bass was caught using a Creek Chub lure in 1932 by George Perry.
In 1978, Creek Chub Bait sold to Lazy Ike Corporation in Iowa. However, today, you can purchase Creek Chub Lures on Lurenet.com. The name has remained the same, but the models have changed quite a lot compared to the orginial lures.
Creek Chub Bait Compay remains one of the most collectible antique lure brands, not only because of the lures themselves, but because of what they came in: the boxes. In fact, some boxes, specifically from 1915-1921, can range from $300-$500 and up, it just depends on the model of lure the box held. Check out the guide for selling boxes here.
Learn more about the Garrett Histoical Railroad Museum and upcoming events here!