06
Mar

It’s been almost one year to the day since I posted ‘lured good and proper‘, so an update would be a good idea. I’m still chipping away making lures, although production should ramp up soon to more than 15 lures a year.

Here are some of the fruits of my labour, and these have been painted by Mark Dunham (MD Lures). A huge thanks to Mark, your help is invaluable mate!! Many of the blanks below Mark gave me, legend!

2012

The big barra lure is probably the one I’m happiest with, swims well, big yet light (red cedar). A couple are rather average in the water and some have nice tight actions. Overall I’m pretty stoked about the outcome and I don’t really want to fish them as they are my first. The green and gold one has some nice mangrove jack teeth marks across it 😀

2013

These ones are some of my latest creations. I live in a unit so no area for painting, hence the lack of paint. The silky oak popper was made last year and is pretty nice. The scorpion will be dismantled and re-done because it swims like a cod lure, fat slow wobble – need to get that fixed by modifying the shape and bib, which is a shame because the finish is quite good. Top left doesn’t even swim, so needs some serious bib modding. The four on the bottom are ready for paint!

image

Some test lures ready for glue…

bibs

I hated making bibs so much I got some made up at a joinery shop. 400 ready to go!

photo

Some ready for bibs and glue, some a way off yet! Yes I like my air con at 26 degrees!!

table

The bat cave, well almost 😀

As you can see there is progress with around 90 lures on the go in various stages of production. I just need to finalise a name for the lures, so if anyone has a good name for my lures, please leave a comment.

01
Mar

The first time I went fishing with Mark Dunham a distinct memory formed. Mark loved nothing more than strapping on his favourite hand made timber lure, usually the one most scared with teeth marks. Each time a new lure went on, he’d tell a tale of the last fish he pulled off the current snag using that lure and the size of the fish. It was clear that nothing beat the feeling of catching a fish on a lure you made yourself.

Mark has been fishing lures since he was a small boy and has made lots of lures that adorn most pieces of furniture throughout his home. He was inspired by none other than Peter Newell and his lures have a distinct style and are characteristically North Queensland.

I’d mentioned to Mark that I would like to have a go at carving some lures and he didn’t say too much at the time, but when we next went fishing, he gave me some lure blanks to finish shaping. So I finished them off staying as true to the original shape as I could. And surprisingly it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, although getting perfect symmetry can be challenging at times.

Recently it’s been raining quite a bit in Cairns and I was growing more and more antsy, I couldn’t really go fishing and nothing else was keeping me interested. So I made a budget of $100 odd and set off to Bunnings to see what I could afford. I spent about $105 on a drill, a jigsaw, drill bits, good jigsaw blades, and a fixed blade Stanley knife with good blades. On the way home I stopped by Wren Timber to get some wood and Jayson was helpful selecting me 3 pieces that fit the bill.

I ended up with a piece of silky oak, western red cedar and some white beech. I haven’t used the white beech yet, but it looks pretty dense. The silky oak was a mission to carve down to shape but the finish is well worth the effort for nudes. But the red cedar is a dream to work with, easy to carve, but sometimes a little to easy and you need to watch it working when cutting with the grain as sometimes entire chunks go missing (grrrrzz…)

So here are my shapes. I’ve based these very roughly off other lures I like with a few changes and a couple are just made up shapes. They don’t really have names yet, but I’m thinking of some for them. Should end up something wacky like ‘Master Killer’, ‘Devil Game’, ‘Fish Hell’, ‘Life Ripper’ corny Japanese names like that.

Ok, these are Marks blanks I finished. Nice wood, very easy to work, yet solid.

Mark Dunham Lure Blanks
Unfinished MD Lures

The first blank I ever carved what this guy, the ‘Life Ripper’ (I am making these names up as I go here…) I really like this shape and hope it swims ok, it was made with Mangrove Jack in mind. I am stoked with how this turned out for my first ever try. No drawing lines, or shaping lines, just a jigsaw and Stanley knife.

Life Ripper, BTW Lures
Life Ripper unfinished timber lure blank

The second one I carved stuffed up and I took a big chunk out of it and ruined the shape. I was trying to get it to similar dimentions as the ‘Life Ripper’ above, only slimmer. But things went south fast and now I have an unfinished blank that will become a prop bait, or fizzer. This one can be dubbed ‘Fish Hell’

Fish Hell, BTW Lures

Third Lure carved was in Silky Oak and was a mission compared to the first two. It will remain nude and has no name yet besides ‘Master Killer’.

Master Killer, BTW Lures
Master Killer Wood Lures

Next is the ‘Devil Game’, I have always really liked this shape and I’m very happy with the result. Will end up with a curved bib and will be a fairly shallow runner targeted at the mighty Barramundi.

Devil Game, BTW Lures
Devil Game unfinished lure blank

Here is a group shot to compare the sizes and shapes:

BTW + MD Lure Blanks

Next time I will use a thinner jigsaw blade for the bib slots and remember to actually cut the bib slot, unlike on the 2nd one I did :/

Will be interesting to see them all painted and haunting the fish of Cairns 😀 Can’t wait!

Also big cheers to Mark for the blanks and getting me started!!

07
Oct

Lures are not cheap. Good ones anyway. I had never even owned a lure until about two weeks ago when I found one. I was fishing in a local Broadbeach, Gold Coast canal with soft plastics flicking a minnow over the edges of a sandbank hoping to snag a flathead when I spotted something floating near a small rocky outcrop. As I made my way closer I noticed what appeared to be a lure. So I ripped my shorts up, put the rod down and carefully made my way over with a pair of scissors in tow. Sure enough here was a lure alright, rigged to some heavy braid and leader coiled around a rock.

Turns out it was a mint Lucky Craft PT78XD172SXCRSD (no it didn’t come in a box!) Sexy Chartreuse Shad. The only markings on the lure were ‘Pointer XD’, once again the Internet to the rescue:

Pointer 78XD ~Extra Deep~

This little sucker retails for $15 USD and The Pointer 78XD is an extra-deep diving jerkbait, diving to a depth of 7ft.

  • Length: 3” (78mm)
  • Weight: 1/3oz (9.5g)
  • Class: Suspending
  • Belly: #4
  • Hook Tail: #6
  • Max Diving Depth: 9-10ft
  • Line: 10-12 lbs

So I had my first lure. I’m going to keep this one as it’s special.

Speaking of special, I’ve since bought a lot more and started fishing with them for at least half of each session. You’d think finding a $15 lure would save you some money, but nope. Now I need to try and catch fish on all sorts of the bloody things. I’d always wanted to try swim a lure but one of my good mates growing up was always too tight to let me play with his beloved Calcutta 400 baitcaster for fear of me stuffing it and he used to get enough birdsnests himself!

Shortly thereafter I was researching a guy by the name of David Green, David is a flathead expert and as this has been my beginner target species I have been following the dots and reading all I can that he has written. Some good examples here and here. He suggests using blades and Lipless Crankbaits/Rattlers/bibless minnows, and as I was getting sick of just using soft plastics all the time I thought I’d get some. Long story short, I have a swag of them on the way purchased and sent to my missus in USA. Can’t wait to see them and not long now 😀 Back to David Green for a second, if you want to learn more about Flahead, go start reading all you can find in Google, try ‘David Green Flathead’ and when you find some good articles in one site, search deeper using the search term ‘site:website.com David Green’ and it will pull up all the pages in that site. Plugging something like ‘site:fishingworld.com.au David Green’ into Google should get you started!

Back to the topic at hand: purchasing lures continued when I bought some lures of ‘MicksGoneFishin’ from the Nugget Fishing forum. 7 tiny lures for $35 bucks, Evergreen super sledge CBS, Lucky craft bevy shad 50f, Evergreen spin move shad 50mm, Nilsmaster (can’t remember model name but it’s the smallest one), 2x rmg scorpions, Killalure 45 mm unsure of name (no hooks). All used except the clear evergreen. Micks a legend and gave me some good local tips and I look forward to wetting a line with him someday up North.

Tiiiiiiiiimmmmmmmmbbbbbbbbeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

OH NO! I also decided that I needed to have an Aussie timber lure and that I needed to start collecting them. This amazing revelation was bought about after reading a blog by The Rambling Expat, which I in turn found after reading this fantastic fishing blog by Secret Barramundi (an amazing mostly rock fishing diary from Darwin by Hiro). So I firmly blame The Rambling Expat for introducing me to LureAndMore.com where I started getting all these BAD, BAD ideas that I needed a collection of lures too.

Off to ebay and find something reasonable, timber and signed I came up with this (sellers words not mine):

“Here is three very hard to come by collectible lures from Rockhampton.
First is a new one still on the card, “Little Terror”. The Little Terror is without a doubt the best lure from the Richo stable.
The pink one is a mid 90’s model with what I believe to be his wife’s hand writing on the belly, hard to read.
The one with it belly up is the oldest, and clearly has the name Little Terror writen on the belly by Richo himself.”

The seller is from Gympie and I even got a copy of the Gympie Times as well (now that is a bonus). I bet the seller Craig would laugh if he knew grew up in Kandanga and went to kindy at Upper Kandanga Creek school and my sister was born in Gympie!

I’m hooked: Like a hook embedded in your finger, I can’t get lures out of my mind!

So since that fateful day of simply finding a lure, I’m proud (and not so proud) to say I’m hooking myself on far more lures than fish. I’m trying to buy with Cairns in mind to as when I move there it will all change. I have 8 more in my possession with many more on the way (you could safely say more than 35), in addition to the above. Now the next step will be to make sure I’m catching more fish than lures. But we all know lures catch more fishermen than fish!

Thanks for reading and tight lines to you all!