Palmetto display July 20 at Historical Park & Agricultural Museum

vmannix@bradenton.comJuly 4, 2013 

PALMETTO -- Rachael McClelland handled the fishing lure like it was a piece of fine old jewelry: an antique Pflueger Phantom Minnow Lure made in the 1800s.

"Amazing how fishing has evolved over time," said the 16-year-old angler and volunteer at the Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. W.

More examples were nearby -- wooden rods, wooden reels, wicker fish baskets, etc.

"Everything we use today is fiberglass and steel," McClelland said.

"Fishing sure has changed where we live," said Cynthia Keck, museum curator.

That phenomenon will be part of the focus on the eternally popular pastime 10 a.m.-2 p.m. July 20 when the agricultural museum holds its "Gone Fishin' Summer Social."

It will feature an exhibit of antique fishing tackle and include fishing-related activities and crafts for children. The North River Kiwanis Club will hold a mini-fishing clinic for children, too.

The old fishing gear display promises to be a real conversation piece.

There are more old-fashioned lures and gear, not to mention an old sign from the Snead Island Boat Works started in 1907 by Ed Pillsbury and his four sons.

Mandy Polson expects the exhibit to grow before its July 20 opening.

"We sent out e-mails and requests to members and visitors as well as the Manatee Historical Park to see what they would loan us," said the Palmetto Historical Park supervisor. "A lot of adults are interstested in collecting antique fishing equipment and with the history of our area. It's a perfect fit."

The exhibit will run through September.

Vin Mannix, local columnist, can be reached at 941-745-7055. Twitter: @vinmannix

If you go When: July 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Where: Palmetto Historical Park & Manatee County Agricultural Museum, 515 10th Ave. W. Information: Call 941-721-2034 Admission: Free

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