Goshen News, Goshen, IN

July 28, 2013

OUTDOOR COLUMN: Your old tackle may be worth something


GOSHEN — Looking for some extra cash? Dig around in the garage or attic for old fishing tackle.

If you have some oldies in good shape, take them to the Niles, Mich. Riverfest Aug. 2-4 and have Rick Ladonski and Doug Bucha appraise them.

You won’t be pressured to sell, but at least you’ll get an idea what they’re worth.

As they have for 22 years, the two antique tackle collectors will be exhibiting some of their prized items at the Riverfest, which offers other exhibits and activities as well. Ladonski specializes in rods and reels while Bucha is a lure guy with a deep interest in lures produced in Michiana.

Both men are always looking to add to their collection and will pay you if you’re willing to sell.

The most valuable lures were made of wood during the 1880s and into the 1930s and are worth more, especially if in good shape or original packaging.

However, Bucha says, some items produced later are beginning to draw interest from collectors.

“A few Heddon and Creek Chub plastic baits and the early Bagley baits are becoming collectible,” he offered. “Some of the older Mitchell 300s and Alcedo reels are, too.”

The Niles men are interested in more than seeing your old tackle.

The two researchers seek any information you may have about former companies like the Michigan City Bait Works or the Tony Darby Lure Company of Whiting, Ind. as well.

The Riverfest runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Eagle access update

The Michigan DNR’s proposed community park and boat access to Eagle and Juno lakes is moving through the system and gaining support — despite continued resistance from lakefront property owners.

The proposed development, just across the stateline near Edwardsburg, Mich. and north of South Bend, was approved by the Michigan Waterways Commission recently and now awaits final approval from the DNR Natural Resources Commission. That meeting is Aug. 8.

But first, the DNR must present a preliminary review of its plans to the Ontwa Township Planning Commission Aug. 7.

The Waterways Commission recommended the DNR make the site fee-based, meaning users would have to purchase a recreation Passport sticker that also provides access to state parks, campgrounds and other fee-based boat launch sites.

Once the DNR Commission gives its approval, officials can finalize the $600,000 purchase from 1st Source Bank and start developing.

The property sits across from the Eagle launch ramp and served as parking area for boaters before 1st Source Bank obtained it in a foreclosure. It consists of 9.62 acres on the east side of Eagle Lake Road.

“Our goal is to secure the property and develop health and safety plans immediately,” said Paul Yauk, DNR Lands Program Manager, who added he is working closely with local governments to make that happen.

Yauk and his staff met recently with the Cass County Road Commission to discuss the plan and how the DNR could improve traffic flow and safety along Eagle Lake Road where the current boat ramp exists.

The DNR would clean up the property and, once developed, provide a safer environment than what exists presently.

A pond on the site would be rid of cement chunks and stocked; a dilapidated building would be torn down and replaced with restrooms and a pavilion. An additional launch site would be added on the channel along the north side of the property for access to the Juno Chain.

It’s a beautiful project, yet nearby residents are still trying to slow, if not prevent, the project.

They have contracted attorneys and reportedly have collected enough money to buy the land if the DNR deal falls through.

At the Waterways meeting, Eagle spokespersons opposing the development encouraged the DNR to “do the right thing.”

Yet, in the eyes of the public who wants and deserves better access to Eagle and Juno Chain, the DNR is doing the right thing.

So, why doesn’t the association “do the right thing” and partner with the DNR and use some of its war chest to add other amenities to a great facility that will benefit everyone?

R&B results

South Bend native Greg Mangus (Fremont, Ind.) and Kevin Fletcher (Elkhart) sacked an 18.88-pound limit to capture the R&B Circuit title on the Randall Chain last week.

The winners ($766) used homemade black/blue 3/8-ounce jigs on hard bottoms near weeds.

They also weighed the second heaviest bass of the tournament, a 4.88-pound largemouth that earned them an additional $88.

Tom Montague (Elkhart) and Aaron Likens (Wolcottville, Ind.) caught an 11.83-pound limit by flipping a Reins Hog bait into thick weeds to finish second ($464).

Doug Roher (South Bend) and Dan Frederick (Granger) were third ($348) with 10.84 pounds by fishing topwaters in the morning and shifting to jigs later.

The Money Mouth Big Bass Award ($352) went to Jake Lisenko (South Bend) and Don Miles (South Bend) for a 5.07-pound largemouth caught on a Senko along a drop-off. The C Flash Award went to Andy Buss (North Liberty) and Mark Fennell (LaGrange, Ind.) for a 4.85 pounder fooled on an Xtreme Bass Tackle Canadian Mist Tube in 15 feet of water.

The next event will be held August 17 at Austin Lake. Visit www.randbbasscircuit.com for info.

Contact Goshen News outdoor writer Louie at stoutoutdoors@comcast.net.