A heretofore-unknown cache of south Florida's angling past was recently discovered within the archives of the West Palm Beach Fishing Club (WPBFC). The venerable Club, founded in 1934, will mark its 75th anniversary next year. Big game historian and author Mike Rivkin from La Jolla, California is currently writing a history book in celebration of the organization's milestone. During Rivkin's most recent research trip he uncovered several dust-laden boxes and one 1950's era suitcase full of old angling movie reels.
"In the Club's early history, exotic fishing movies were commonly shown during regular meetings. The Club also had movie shorts produced and nationally distributed for the purpose of promoting marquis events like the Silver Sailfish Derby. I'm sure there are some real treasures here that will give people a unique glimpse of this region's rich angling history," commented Rivkin.
The WPBFC has donated the movie reels, along with some vintage LP recordings to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA). In a win-win arrangement the IGFA will transfer the old recordings into a digital format, supplying the WPBFC with copies of the productions. The original movie reels will reside at IGFA headquarters in Dania Beach, Florida, in a climate controlled archival storage area.
"Some of the films may be too brittle to transfer, but many of the reels look like they are in pretty good shape. We won't really know what we have until we get into the editing room. These kinds of mysteries are always exciting," said IGFA Librarian Gail Morchower.
For more information on the West Palm Beach Fishing Club go to: http://www.westpalmbeachfishingclub.org