1999 Convention – Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

1999 Convention – Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania

What tackle show had three great days of sunshine, more fishing reels than lures, a deck on each room overlooking a tree shrouded lake, free lunch and dinner if you rented a table, and on and on? Of course the answer is the ORCA show, June 10-12, at Raystown Lake, Pennsylvania.

The Raystown Lake Resort is located a few miles east of the sleepy little town of Entriken. Raystown Lake is noted for its outstanding fishing for Bass Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Stripers. Muskies, trout and Walleye also prowl the depths, along with all the accompanying panfish.

Tackle collectors started showing up at the secluded Raystown Resort on Wednesday, June 9, but room trading action was a bit sparse that evening. Things began to liven up a bit on Thursday, as tackle collectors from all over the country wound their way through the woods to the Raystown Resort Lodge. There were over 25 rooms open for viewing during the evening, most of which featured reels as the main item on the collector’s menu.

People who were used to frantically running from room to room in a hot downtown or airport hotel had to slow down a bit at this show. It took a while to get rolling each day, for many ORCA members took a bit of time off to fish beautiful Raystown Lake in the mornings.

Even if you didn’t take in the fishing, the morning view from the decks opening from each room, was refreshing. Wisps of fog hung over the lake at sunrise, and the green clad hills surrounding the lodge were cloaked in fog as well. It was a beautiful setting that begged you to slow down and enjoy yourself.

The Antique Tackle Fishing Contest, ably run by ORCA Director Doc Herr started things off at 8:00 AM Friday morning. This event and the subsequent Vintage Casting Tourney, which followed the conclusion of the fishing contest, slowed most of the room trading on Friday. But by 4:00 Friday afternoon everyone was ready for a tackle show.

With its first show, ORCA set a tone all its own. This was a show that stressed congeniality, fun, and learning about old fishing tackle rather than simply buying and selling. There were slightly under 100 official registrants for the show. However many members brought their families, and during peak activity, over 150 people were present at the show. It is gratifying to see our hobby becoming more family oriented, and with all of the waterfront activities available at the Resort, even those not particularly interested in old fishing tackle were entertained.

David Lehmann, of nearby Huntingdon, Pennsylvania coordinated the show, after making all the preliminary arrangements. The show was held in the Marina Caf and Conference Center, which had room for 90 Tables. All the tables were occupied, and again it was fun for an ORCA member to see more reels than lures.

There were many great reels on display or offered for sale. Reels offered for sale included Kentucky reels, New York reels, all of the major manufacturers (with some rare Pflueger and Shakespeare reels standing out), fly reels and spinning reels.

There were some dedicated lure collectors in attendance, with some very high quality lures, and we don’t mean to downplay their importance to ORCA and the hobby. However, without those cranking devises we collect the chunks of wood would still be lying out in the lake with no method of returning them to the fisherman. The understanding and appreciation of all facets of fishing antiques and their history will benefit all collectors.

The show opened to table holders and early bird registrants on Friday evening. Show registrants came from all over the U.S., with the following states represented: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

When have you ever been to a tackle show when all the intensity of the table set-up and the buy, sell and trade session came to a halt and everyone headed for the chow line. Dinner was free if you rented a table, and approximately 100 table holders and guests relaxed on the deck that adjoined the show room. Dinner was a buffet of all the roast beef, Fettuccine Alfredo, sea food Newberg, and salads of all types, that a person could eat, and still hold room for several slabs of pie or slices of cake.

The show lasted until almost 10:00 that evening, when a group of tired collectors finally called it a day and headed for the lodge and a good night’s sleep.

Things started up at a leisurely pace on Saturday morning, with the show opening at 8:00. The public was allowed to attend on Saturday, and several people showed up to see what was going on.

Later in the day, ORCA President Steve Lumpkin presented the awards for the various events that had been held throughout the show. These included trophies and certificates for the casting contest, the fishing tournament, and the awards for the reel displays. These were all well received.

The show started to slow down a bit around noon, but another free meal for table-holders allowed everyone to take a respite on the deck and gather themselves for the auction of tackle brought in by the public, which was held at 1:00.

There was some fine tackle available for those to waited for this event. Many of the ORCA members with long distances to travel or planes to catch drifted away during the afternoon, and finally things came to a close in late afternoon.

The ORCA show received some outstanding publicity. The Outdoor Times sent a reporter, T. C. Flanigan, to cover the casting contest, and interview some of the ORCA members. Flanigan was so impressed that he returned on Saturday to attend the show, and joined ORCA.

As a result of the show, ORCA gained around 15-20 new members prior to the show, and an additional eight members at the show. David Lehmann and his supporting helpers sure deserve tremendous recognition for this first attempt at an ORCA show.

1st Annual Vintage Bait Casting Tourney

Casters from across the country met on the lake at 1:00 p.m. on Friday to cast in four events and to kick-off ORCA’s 1st annual Vintage Bait Casting Tourney. Nine casters took the challenge in this friendly competition using equipment out of our collections. In order to qualify to enter the casting tourney, ORCA members needed to be able to outfit themselves with reels made before 1950 and spools filled with braided line. Rods needed to be either bamboo or steel and the casting weight used was 5/8 of an ounce. Rules for casting was based upon historical NAACC guidelines

There were four events, two using level-wind reels and two events using non level-wind reels. Casters in the Accuracy events got two casts at each of three targets spaced 40, 55, and 75 feet from the casting platform. Demerits were scored against casts for each foot landing away from the target. The Distance/Accuracy Combined event was a floating ring placed 100 feet from the casting platform. Each castor received 3 casts at the ring.

Weather conditions were ideal for the tournament and Dave Lehmann, the show host, arranged a great place to conduct this first casting contest. There were three officials, two judges and one scorekeeper, for the event. Dave Erickson of Conifer, Colorado, and Rod Bolding of Florence, Kentucky were the judges and their consistent calls were all thought to be right on target. Roger Schulz was the official scorekeeper and maintained the pace of the casting throughout the four events. All three officials were volunteers and the casters owe them our thanks for taking the time to help us have this great competition.

The casters started off using level-wind reels and casting for accuracy at three targets. Pat Bianchi of Rochester, New York showed the field the way with his winning casts of 95-98-99-98-98-99 that averaged 97.83. Pat used a Heddon Pal, P-41 level-wind reel connected to a 5’0 Heddon Pal #3151 Steel Rod.

The second level-wind competition was the distance/accuracy combination event casting at a ring set at 100 feet from the casting platform. Phil White of Nampa, Idaho, came in first place in this event using his Coxe 25-N reel attached to a Richardson steel rod. Phil won the event with an average score of 94.67.

The third event was the first of two contests using non level-wind reels. This 3rd event was the accuracy event casting at three targets spaced at 40, 55, and 75 feet from the casting platform. This was a close contest with Steve Lumpkin, of Chicago, Illinois, winning the event with casts of 97-97-98-99-99-94 and an average score of 97.33. Phil White came in a close second with an average score of 97.0. Steve was casting with a Shakespeare Tournament FS, #1740HE connected to a 5’9 Liotta #2550 drop-handled bamboo rod.

The forth and final event was the Distance/Accuracy Combination event for non level-wind reels. Steve Lumpkin won this event with three casts of 94-99-97 averaging a score of 96.6. Jim Scott of Olean, NY livened up the non level-wind events by casting with a Henry Kiest Indiana style casting reel. Both Jim’s father and grandfather had both used the reel for fishing. The reel was mounted on a four sided steel rod made by the Bingham Company of Cleveland, Ohio..

After all of the scores were tallied at the end, two casters came within 3 points of each other for the Grand Champion trophy award. The winner of the trophy was Steve Lumpkin with a total score of 322.60 points. Phil White came in a close second with a final score of 319.70.

A wonderful time was had by all and it was a unanimous comment from all participants and the audience that the club should definitely hold this kind of competition again at future ORCA shows. There is something rewarding and special about selecting the kind of tackle you want to use and then casting with it in friendly competition that makes for a great time and a memorable experience. We all encourage other ORCA members to get involved in future casting contests and enjoy the experience first-hand. If you are interested in participating at future ORCA casting events, please write Steve Lumpkin. He will send you a copy of the tournament specifications and the general tournament rules.

Reel Displays

It is a pleasure to report that there were eight ORCA members attending the Lake Raystown Show who brought and set-up reel displays for all to see. All of the displays were very impressive and educational and it was difficult for the judges to select the winners. To help with the selection of the winners, the judges ranked each display from 1-10 on four categories of merit. The categories were; (1) history, (2) presentation, (3) quality, and (4) content. Roger Schulz, Secretary/Treasurer, Ben Wright, Vice-President, and Steve Lumpkin, President, were the three judges.

The history category was judged based upon how well the person communicated the history of the reels in the display. The presentation category included how well the items could be seen, how the display was organized, and general impact of the display. The quality category pointed to the quality and cleanliness of the items themselves. The final category, content, was judged on how well the person covered the subject he or she was displaying.

If a member received a perfect score, they would get a total of 120 points. To give you an idea of how close the judging was, six of the eight people displaying received more than 100 points for their score. The third place winner for best reel display was Dave Erickson, of Conifer, Colorado. Dave received 107 points for his wonderful display of pre 1900 Ball Handled Reels, which are shown to the right. The second place award was presented to our Editor Phil White for his excellent display of Yawman & Erbe reels and related paraphernalia. Phil’s score for second place was 110 points out of a possible 120.

The first place award was presented to Dave Lehmann, of Huntingdon, Pennsylvania, for his superb presentation of Classic Bass Reels. These reels included rare Kentucky, New York and Midwestern bass reels. Dave’s score of 111 points put him just one point in front of Phil White but his display was the very best at the show.

Other displays were quite diverse. Rod Bolding had a carousel of Kentucky reels (including a Meek 44 and a Talbot Ben Hur). Merv Bortner had a unusual display of reel tin containers. Dennis Roberts displayed Mitchell reels, and Steve Vernon had a display of Kentucky reels.

Future ORCA shows will emphasize reel displays and ORCA will set aside space specifically for displays on the show room floor. The displays help educate fellow members and also allows members an opportunity of showing all of us the results of years of dedicated collecting. Hopefully, more of you will have an opportunity of putting together special reel displays for future shows.

Antique Tackle Fishing Tournament

You shoulda been here yesterday! is a familiar tale of woe heard by fisherman throughout the ages. And it was heard again at Raystown Lake after the ORCA Antique Tackle Fishing Tournament. Len Sawisch had landed several smallmouth bass and a striper on Thursday morning, and David Lehmann caught smallmouth and largemouth bass up to 17 Saturday evening. However, this event took place on a Friday, and we all thought Friday was fish day.

With eager anticipation nine anglers gathered on the docks at the Raystown Lake Resort at 8:00 AM on Friday morning, to test their skill in the first ever ORCA Antique Tackle Fishing Tournament. The fishermen set out on this beautiful morning in four boats that had been brought to the lake by local or far off ORCA members.

The rules were simple. The participants had to fish with tackle manufactured prior to 1940. It was a good excuse to dust off those chipped baits and old spinners and spoons that no one seemed to want in a tackle collection, and put them to the use for which they were designed. The fish were measured in length, and all were added together to give a total length in inches. At least that’s the way it was supposed to go.

The only problem was that the fish didn’t know enough to cooperate. The Raystown Lake bass were in the post spawn mode, and as most bass fishermen realize, this means tough fishing. Despite the use of many great old fishing theories and modern depth finders, the fish weren’t to be found. Perhaps as our cover cartoon illustrates there just weren’t enough fish still alive to remember that good old tackle.

There were only two fish landed and officially measured. Phil White, our erstwhile editor, won the tournament with a 12.5 bass. A picture of a fish similar to the winning fish can be found on the back page of this issue. He also won the Pat Bianchi award, a shallow water depth finder. Show host David Lehmann (a local ringer) boated the only other fish measured, and received a trophy for the largest bass. Luckily local striper guru, Nick Lambert, decided to take pity on his fellow ORCA members and didn’t take part in the tourney.

As always, the fishermen had lots of stories. Len Sawisch reported that he had a foolproof fishing system. You simply catch everything in sight, be it tree, a bush, the bottom, other fishermen, everything except fish! Dick Fogel didn’t even have the typical angler’s excuses, He simply reported that he got skunked! Doc Herr and Ed Corwin had their own contest going, trying to see who had the neatest professional over-run, and they reported some beauts. There was a report of a large Muskie that was hooked but was mysteriously transformed into a log as it reached the surface.

The affair provoked a lot of fun and comraderie and had to be valued a success. With a little more planning and organization, future tournaments will become a pleasant and fun project incorporated with the ORCA National show. And all member’s better watch out, for Doc Herr plans to dust off those Haskell minnows and see what they will produce.

The ORCA Auction

The First Annual ORCA Old Fishing Tackle Auction was well received by all those in attendance. There was some great tackle that came in through the door, and some great bargain were purchased. The auction was called by our own Board member, Ed Corwin, with assistance from several ORCA members.

Although the reels brought in by the public were a bit thin (the best reel was a metal hub Pflueger Medalist in the box which went for the bargain price of $45.00), some of the lures drew a lot of attention. These included a pristine Heddon 20 in rainbow color which brought $500, two fly rod Dingbats ($140 & $180), and excellent Heddon Punkinseed in bluegill (only $140!), a frog Surface Dingbat in the box ($160), a rainbow Creek Chub Plunker in the box ($130) and a VG+ Heddon Tadpolly in green crackleback that reached $140. An exceptionally nice 1940 Creek Chub catalog fetched $250.

As you can see from the above items the lure collectors that attended the ORCA show found some nice items, even if they did have to wait for the auction to do so.

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