Antique tackle connection

Most of Joe's regulars are seasoned anglers and collectors looking to share a story, swap an old fishing relic or simply find out what others in the hobby are up to. Yeah, Joe's does draw its share of curiosity seekers. But for the most part, those that show up are there for a reason, and they come from all walks of life.

Newcomers are usually there for one of two reasons: because they caught the collector bug or because they want to sell off a relative's old fishing tackle. Most disappear as quickly as they show up, but a few end up hanging around for awhile.

The true regulars are hardcore collectors, always on the prowl for something new to add to their collections. They see themselves as historians or preservationists, protecting the heritage of fishing by securing its keepsakes. They find beauty and value in almost anything that relates to the sport — like early photographs, product catalogs, casting trophies, minnow buckets, creels, licenses, you name it. If it has anything to do with angling, you can bet there's someone on Joe's message board interested in it.

Meet the maker

Joe's Old Lures is the brainchild and namesake of North Carolina resident, Joe Yates. Joe is a longtime collector and historian on the subject of vintage fishing collectibles. Like many in the hobby, his interest was sparked at a young age, when he was gifted with some of his grandfather's lures. He found them intriguing, and it wasn't long before that interest became a full blown passion.

Joe's first exposure to computers came early in their development. He took a mainframe programming course in college during the 1970s, and began working with personal computers in the early '80s — around the time they were first introduced. He served as VP of Operations for a southeastern computer services company and was charged with developing their corporate web presence. Soon after, he decided to set up a personal site that could connect him to others in the hobby. And so, in November 1996, Joe’s Old Lures went live on the Internet.

His initial goal was to simply share information and any available resources with others in the hobby. He also wanted the site to serve as a showcase for his personal collection. Soon after, he introduced the message board.

At the time, there were only a couple of websites dedicated to vintage fishing tackle. But with a booming interest in fishing collectibles, the site's popularity grew at a phenomenal rate.