Karl White developed an intense interest in fishing tackle while fishing with a stick, a string and a “dug worm.” He happened to be near another young fisherman who was using a red and white plastic plug known as a “River Runt.” As a seasoned fisherman, 9 year -old Karl thought he should inform this young man of his error. Just as he told the young man to leave his cork in the water — a fish hit the plug. This happened several more times and Karl was hooked. He had to have one of these miracle devices. It took him weeks to save enough of his allowance to purchase the elusive plug. That was 1948 and the “Heddon Crazy Crawler” is still a part of Karl’s collection today.
Throughout his school life he would pick up a plug occasionally, but fishing tackle was very elusive to him during this time. In 1961, Karl married Beverly Wright. Beverly was very much aware of his love for fishing tackle and has been known to say,”I knew I was not just marrying a hubby, but I was also marrying a hobby.”
In 1962, Karl graduated from Central State College (now University of Central Oklahoma) in Edmond Oklahoma. He received a degree in Biology and Chemistry and immediately began working for the Oklahoma State Health Department. He would soon join the Army where he served as a medic. After leaving the Army, he began a new job at the Anchor Serum Company in St. Joseph, Missouri.
Karl found much better collecting and fishing environment in Missouri, but when a job opportunity opened in Oklahoma City, Karl and his small family took that chance to go home.
Once back in Oklahoma, he opened Crystal Laboratory, Inc. in 1967 where he manufactured and supplied source material to large medical laboratories for the testing of treatment of allergies and asthma.
Karl became one of the founding members of the National Fishing Lure Collector’s Club (NFLCC), which has grown from only a few men to over 6000 members. Through this organization Karl was able to search out and purchase many complete and fantastic collections and including many one-of-a-kind items. Karl is the Antique Tackle Consultant for BASSMASTER magazine with a monthly column entitled,”What’s It Worth?”
Over the years, Karl’s collection has come to be known as the largest, most complete and most comprehensive antique tackle collection in existence.
Karl and Beverly have three daughters, Crystal, Leesa and Holli and 9 grandchildren, Jessica, Clint, James, Jaxon Jadie, Jacie, Julie, Shelby and Kodee.
When Karl and Beverly aren’t at home or at their lake house, you’ll find them somewhere on the road. Looking for that one item… that got away