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One man's fishing castoffs is this man's treasures
By Mike Jackson | Daily Herald Outdoors Writer

Historian, collector and fishing aficionado Dan Basore attends a lot of outdoors shows to showcase pieces of his collection. This folk art tackle box is one of his treasures.

 

Photo courtesy of Mike Seeling

Dan Basore's extensive collection of old lures includes this Haskell Minnow model.

 

Photo courtesy of Mike Seeling

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Published: 7/30/2009 12:01 AM

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I jokingly told photographer Mike Seeling that Dan Basore has more ink than a regular at a tattoo parlor.

Of course, I was referring to all the newspaper columns pertaining to Dan's hobby and tackle museum.

Basore, a 67-year-old Warrenville angler, is more than a collector of fishing lore and antique lures, as well as other accoutrements of the sport. He's also one of the country's top authorities on when and where the gear was made.

I've known Basore for a lot of years and when I entered his rustic-like home to see what he's been collecting for over five decades, I was chastised for not showing up years ago.

I know many of you have seen Dan's antique lure and tackle museum at the various outdoor sports shows, but believe me when I tell you what he put on display was a mere speck of history compared to the mega-thousands of lures and gear he has in his home.

Basore says he is open to trading some of his gems, but in reality he's more inclined to hold on to his finds because he admits to being an obsessive collector.

"There are times once in a while that I'll 'weed my garden,' so to speak, by selling a few pieces someone else wants," he said.

Seeling's mouth hung wide open as Dan took him on a private tour. It was then I suggested we "air" Seeling out on the back deck since he looked mesmerized by the sight of all the angling hardware.

So we sat there enthralled with stories I never heard, even though Dan and I have been friends for years.

"I get very excited when I hear about a load of old stuff, and I mentally prepare myself to wheel and deal," he added. "And there are times I can't sleep because I have a good idea of what awaits me the next day in regard to the antiques."

His "museum" collection contains a massive gathering of Creek Chub ancients from Garrett, Ind., along with lures and reels from the James Heddon and Sons Company, formerly of Dowagiac, Mich. Massive amounts of South Bend gear sits in boxes.

Not too long ago an auction was held to find buyers for rare lures, including a Haskell Minnow. It was purchased for about $100,000 and then quickly resold for double that price to another collector. Basore himself is the proud owner of one of those Minnows, but his is valued far lower than the six-figure one.

My experience has taught me that many older anglers have been accumulating lures and tackle much of their lives, and when it's their time to move to the great beyond the survivors are at a loss as to what they should do with the lures and other items.

That's where Basore comes into the picture. His telephone is constantly ringing, and his eyes light up when he hears about some stuff tucked away in an attic or basement. That's how a bloodhound like Dan lives his life, collecting lures and catching big bass during his many excursions.

If you think you may have something Basore would be interested in, contact him at (630) 393-3474. He's got the cash if you have the right stuff.

angler@mikejackson.com