Five avid tackle collectors founded the Club in 1987. They felt that a statewide organization would provide more opportunities for residents of Florida to meet and learn more about the hobby, and to delve into Florida's rich angling history. The first "organizational" FATC show was held in February 1988 in Kissimmee, Florida, and was hosted by co-founder Ron Gast. Forty five people attended that first show, and twenty seven tables were sold.
From those humble beginnings, FATC has grown into an organization of over five hundred members. The size of hosted shows has increased as well. The largest of the annual FATC shows regularly attracts hundreds of people and offers over three hundred tables full of old and antique fishing tackle.
Much of the continuing growth for the Club has come from ongoing efforts to cultivate new interest in the hobby and to provide exposure to new people. The public has always been invited to participate in FATC shows. Many who attend a show end up starting collections of their own and joining as new members. In the Spring of 2009 FATC held its first exhibition outside the State of Florida, as it combined forces with the Carolina Antique Tackle Collectors to host a large event in Savannah, Georgia. The Club opened its doors to members of any other tackle related Club. The cooperative principals upon which the FATC was begun have provided a strong foundation and insure the Club's future growth.
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