Q&A Tracey Shirey
This South Carolinian paid a record price for a fishing collectible.
(Q) You spent $101,200 on a fishing lure, the 101/2-inch copper-and-brass Haskell Minnow, made in the late 1800s. Why?
(A) That big Haskell Minnow in its original box is the Holy Grail of fishing lures, the only one of its kind, made by Riley Haskell. I’ve got it in the safe deposit box. I plan to hold onto it and enjoy it. People think it’s crazy to spend that on a fishing lure. But lures are a big part of our history. People spend $100,000 on a Mercedes and you know what they’ve got five years later? A used car.
(Q) Is collecting a big part of your life?
(A) I’ve only been doing it for seven years, but I’m big into it now. My wife, Connie, and my two kids, Blake and Carley, are also avid lure collectors. We focus mostly on high-end stuff, lures that run anywhere from $2,000 to $20,000. When I heard about the Haskell Minnow, I knew I had to have it. All the lures I’ve ever had in my collection don’t compare to this one. It’s the oldest, rarest, and the only one of its kind.
(Q) Were you born into an outdoors family?
(A) I grew up never thinking that my family was poor, just that we hunted and fished for our meals. My grandfather ran a fish hatchery and tied his own flies with bucktail from deer that he shot. I take my kids to the same fishing holes he used to take me to. I want to instill in them the passion my grandfather instilled in me.