Anyone who was involved with Garry ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald’s inaugural Australian Lure Expo at Fernvale in the Brisbane Valley would happily tell you about the positive attitudes and great experiences had by exhibitors and visitors alike. In fact, it’s fairly rare nowadays to have a show that doesn’t generate its fair section of negativity, so there’s very few attendees that aren’t proud of their involvement.
Fast-forward 12 months and Fitzy is busy working away behind the scenes to bring the 2013 iteration of the show into existence. And by all accounts, it’s setting up to be bigger and better than the first. There are already more exhibitors booked than 2012 and more space taken.
“This will definitely be the greatest gathering of Australian lures under one roof,” Fitzy said, “And if you miss this opportunity it’s likely that you’ll have to wait a full 12 months to have another one like it. It’s a celebration of Australian lures and lure making.”
Nearly every exhibitor will be selling lures – from their masterpieces to factory seconds, so remember to bring your pocket money to stock up for the year ahead.
Adding to the atmosphere is the location. Brisbane-ites will know where Fernvale is – it’s the place you stop for a pie on the way to Somerset or Wivenhoe Dams – sitting in the Brisbane River valley and gateway to some of the best big-bass fishing Australia has to offer.
Just as importantly, the Fernvale epicentre of the Show boasts country values – including free parking and warm hospitality.
So, it’s no wonder that plenty of visitors choose to couple their lure fetish with a few days of river or impoundment fishing. With the recent overflows of Somerset and Wivenhoe, there’s awesome yellowbelly fishing in the Brisbane River nearby and also the chance of accidentally encountering a 50cm bass that you’ll quickly have to release in the closed season.
As well as an industry-leading congregation of Australian lure making talent, the show acts as a convention for some of the keenest collectors and buyers of Aussie-made hardware – in particular, Australian-made timber lures. If you have no sentimental attachment to your unused Newells, StumpJumpers and Deception Lures – if fact any handcrafted timber baits – you’ll most likely run into someone at the Expo who’ll want to buy it off you!
We stress it a lot throughout this feature, but the best source of advice you can get about how to fish a particular type of lure is directly from the maker who designed it.
Of course, you may have discovered a way of fishing a particular lure that knocks ‘em dead, and that feedback is also invaluable to makers.
You may also see a gap in the market for a particular type or action of lure. There’s no better place to stress this point than to the guys and girls who make a business of making baits that catch fish!
Jamie Judd from Gobsmacked Lures is bringing along his lathe and will be making timber lures on his stand. If you’ve never seen a timber lure maker in action, then this will be a must-see for you at the show.
Peter Cherrett will be fly tying continuously throughout the Expo. Previously a commercial tier, he’ll be an excellent source of advice to help you improve your fur and feather creations.
Although there’s no definitive list of seminars yet tabled at the time of publication, seminars from the likes of Brian Power will improve your spray painting out of sight. Keep an eye on the official website for seminar timetables.
All of these lure makers had to start somewhere and you’ll find plenty of contacts at the Expo who can sort you out with all of the componentry you need to get you headed in the right direction. Who knows…you may be the next Newell or McFeeters just waiting for an opportunity?
The process can be as simple or complex as you like. If you want to knock up your own spinnerbaits, you can source nearly every component you need at the Expo.
Alternatively, you can start with a carving knife and a section of cedar and let your imagination take control. You’ll be able to source all of the ingredients for your home-made lures at the show.
There’ll be more than a handful of keen collectors on site who will be able to identify your old collectable lures. Why not bring in your prized baits for an evaluation?
There’ll be some lures that are worth nearly as much today as when we bought it, but others will amaze you. Collectors paying $200 to $400 for rarer baits is pretty standard in the world of lure collecting. Your old tackle box may be a goldmine! Best of all, evaluations are free.
Not only will there be a range of fly tying materials on sale at the show, there will be tyers there who can show you how to use it. Rod Harrison’s primary role is to promote this side of the Expo.
“Harro is well known both in Australia and internationally as a fly fishing master, so getting access to Rod and his wealth of knowledge is a bonus for all attendees,” said Fitzy.
“It’s not every day you get to rub shoulders with a living legend of Australian fishing.”
Like 2012, readers who choose to subscribe to or renew their subscription to their favourite Fishing Monthly magazine at the Expo will get a Limited Edition, collectable, Twin Rivers barra lure.
There’s a limited run of only 80 of these that will be made and each lure will be individually numbered.
“The Gidgee Lures that we ran with last year were really popular and we expect the same of Nick Stock’s Twin Rivers timber lures this year. Nick is a writer for the Queensland magazine in the Cooktown region,” said Greg Livingstone, Fishing Monthly Subscription Selling Extraordinaire.
Space permitting, the Fishing Monthly F150 and Phoenix tournament boat will be on display, so you’ll have no problems finding the guys on-site.
Charlton’s Fishing is a long running local business that’s located in the gateway to the Brisbane Valley. Craig Charlton from will be at the show and will be retailing a broad range of Australian made and also Australian Designed lures. He’ll also have his shop staff at the show to help with local fishing advice.
“If you’re visiting the Australian Lure Expo and want to extend by a few days, we can point you in the right direction to use your Aussie made lures in the local lakes and rivers,” Craig explained.
“As well as a range of fly tying material and lure accessories, we’ll have brands like Classic Lures, Predatek, Halco, SMAK Lures, Kingfishers, Mac’s, Warlocks, TT’s and Impact Tackle baits at discounted prices.”
If you need to tee up anything special for the Charltons Fishing guys to bring to the show, give them a call on (07) 3818 1677 b/h.
Anyone who doubts the effectiveness of Aussie-made lures only needs to watch the success of Carl Jocumsen on his USA bass campaigns. Bassman Spinnerbaits are made in Australia and are one of Carl’s sponsors.
“The things Carl is doing with our spinnerbaits over there are just unreal,” says Glen Casey, Bassman chief.
But, closer to home, there’s plenty of new stuff from Bassman to pique your interest.
They’ll have the full range of their new bass and yellowbelly jigheads there – built on Gamakatsu hooks and available in 1/4oz and 3/8oz sizes.
Also, there’ll be Bassman’s improved Beetle Spins, made with a different, stronger eye and quality ball bearing swivels.
But most interesting will be the range of saltwater spinnerbaits made for trolling for mackerel. Built on 7/0 and 8/0 hooks and weighing in at around 2 1/2oz, these baits feature saltwater componentry and willow blades for higher trolling speeds. Check them out at the Bassman stand.
At last year’s Lure Expo, Lively Lures’ Alan Dolan released his online store. For those who don’t know, Lively Lures went online-only (and direct from the manufacturer to you) a year ago and hasn’t looked back.
The show is a great place to catch up with Alan (who has now been making lures in Australia for 26 years) and check out his new offerings.
“We’ll have some new models at the show: two new poppers in the estuary/bass sizes and a 90mm Arafura. Something for everyone who fishes in the southeast,” said Alan.
Of course, Alan will have lures on sale (and on special) at the show, although his full range won’t be there – there isn’t enough wall space.
“Our super-popular Micro Mullets will be $10 each. Make sure you stock up for the year,” Al said.
If you want to do your homework before the show, you can check out www.livelyluresonline.com.au .
Anthony Curtis from AC (Australian Crafted) Lures is making the trip up from the Wagga Wagga to display his lures and to meet his loyal customers.
“We’ll have a large range of AC lures on display and for sale at the show, so you’ll be able to stock up,” said Anthony.
“I’ve also got some of the limited edition collectors’ model crayfish that I’ll have for sale at the booth.”
When pressed a little harder, AC revealed that he’s knocking up some of the 120mm Invaders in timber and that there’ll be a limited run of 11 of these available.
Also, he’s planning a limited run of 20 collector sets for the 20th Anniversary of his lure making. Sold in a custom-made, two-tier river gum box, these will sell fast, so you need to register your interest with him at the show if you want to indulge.
Otherwise, study up at www.aclures.com.au .
It’s been four years since Terry and Tere Barnes acquired AusSpin Lures, they are still assembling the finest quality spinnerbaits - that was the trademark of AusSpin Lures - since its inception, now more than 10 years ago.
Tere says that the show last year was excellent and that they’ll be at the Lure Expo again with their range on display – and for sale.
“We’ll be putting together some ‘value packs’ this year with samples of our various product types at great prices,” Tere said.
Don’t confuse value with quality, however, as AusSpin strives to maintain the highest of quality standards that have been set since the company’s inception.
Based at Laurieton on the mid-north coast of NSW, AusSpin are obviously bass experts, but can do custom baits and colours to suit your own particular need. AusSpin is flexible enough to be able to customise.
“We’ve been around longer than most and we’ll continue to make quality spinnerbaits into the future,” Tere said.
To check out their range, visit www.ausspinlures.com or call (02) 6559 5051.
Nick Stock from Twin Rivers Lures is a keen barramundi angler. After catching his first barra at age seven out of the Barron River on a timber lure that his father made, he grew up perfecting the art of casting timber lures, like Leads, Wild River and T.M lures in Lake Tinaroo. He has targeted barra over the last 20 years while living in Atherton, Deeral, Cooktown, Weipa and Broome.
Knowing just how hard it is to get your hands on quality suspending and slow-floating barra minnows, he decided to make his own.
All Twin Rivers Lures are hand-made from timber and feature VMC hooks. They are available in both floating and slow-suspending models in half a dozen sizes.
Although Twin River Lures (named after the Russell/Mulgrave River system just south of Cairns) are available in nearly a dozen tackle stores across the north, he’ll be at the show giving southern anglers the chance to add a few to the collection.
And, of course, you’ll get your own, numbered Fishing Monthly collector Twin River lure if you subscribe at the Lure Expo!
Like several of the smaller makers, Twin River doesn’t have a web page, but it does have a presence on Facebook – just search for TwinRiverLures and hit the ‘Like’ button.
You can also contact Nick on 0412 360 634 or --e-mail address hidden-- .
We remember seeing Mick Butcher and the Secret Creek crew working furiously last year, selling a lot of their excess stock at great prices. The guys will be doing that again this year and they don’t want to take any of the overstocked items back down to Newcastle!
They’ll also have factory seconds that need new homes.
Secret Creek’s full range of spinnerbaits, surface lures and hard baits will also be on display and Mick is especially proud of the 120mm Bloodbath Billy.
“The water in Newcastle Harbour is around 55ft deep and this bangs the bottom when we’re trolling up big jewies in there. It’s a lure that has the potential to get down to between 40-60ft in the right conditions,” Mick said.
In business since 1998, nowadays Secret Creek Lures are available at only around 20 tackle retail stores, so the Lure Expo presents a chance to see some of the models you’d usually miss at your local.
If you need anything special, --e-mail address hidden-- will be able to help you out.
Laserworx, who cut all types of bibs with remarkable accuracy, has been supplying lure bibs to manufacturers for 12 years, offering a competitive, consistent and quick service to Aussie makers.
The benefit of having your bibs laser cut is consistency in shape (every bib will be identical) and reduced labour in the whole manufacturing process.
And although Laserworx does a lot of business with established lure-makers, like Alan Dolan’s Lively Lures, they do also cater for the hobbyist via a standard range of bibs that can be ordered in smaller, non-commercial quantities.
In fact, drop in and see the Laserworx staff and you’ll find that they may well have some small, mixed bags of bibs that you can use to get your hobby up and off the ground.
Gidgee Lures is an Australian-owned and operated business run by Tom and Natalie Barratt in Brisbane.
From simple beginnings, Gidgee Lures is gaining a wonderful reputation as a usable and effective lure, as well as a sought-after collectable. And when you see the finished product you will understand why these lures are being regarded among the modern day best lures. They are top quality; each and every lure is hand finished and has been individually tuned and tested for optimum performance, ready for immediate use. Gidgee Lures are built to last and finished to impress.
Gidgee Lures will have a great range of freshwater and saltwater lures on display and for sale at the Lure Expo. Tom will be on site carving lures, so make sure you drop by and have a chat with Tom and Nat and check out their amazing range of fish-catching lures. But be warned you will want one of every lure he makes!
For more information on Gidgee Lures visit www.gidgeelures.com or visit their Facebook Page. Trade inquiries call 0428 147 035.
|WHEN:||Saturday June 8 and Sunday June 9, 2013|
|TIMES:||9am to 3pm.|
|WHERE:||Fernvale Community Hall, 32 Banks Creek Road, Fernvale, QLD|
|ORGANISER:||Garry Fitzgerald 0423 464 311 or --e-mail address hidden--|
|ADMISSION:||Adults $10, children under 16 accompanied by a paying adult are free. 2-day pass, $15|
EXHIBITOR LIST AND SHOW LAYOUT
(current at time of publication)
• Ace Spinnerbaits (39)
• AC Lures (26 & 27)
• AK Lures (15)
• AusSpin Lures (11 & 12)
• Bassman Spinnerbaits (6 & 7)
• Bass Action Nets (41)
• Beardy's Lures (34)
• C & S Horsey Lures (40)
• Cooby Cobba Lures (37)
• Charlton's Fishing (0)
• Chamo's Lures (31)
• Deep River Lures (2)
• D & S Lures (33)
• Evolution Jigheads (10)
• Diztek (8)
• Fishing Unlimited (1)
• Fugly Lures (16)
• Gidgee Lures (48 & 49)
• Gobsmacked Lures (57 & 58)
• Hook Eze (47)
• Illusion Lures (5)
• JH Lures (46)
• Kezza Lures (28)
• Kneebone Lures (45)
• Laserworx (1)
• Lees Lures (9)
• Lively Lures (13)
• Macs Lures (13)
• MJT Lures (35 & 36)
• Mudeye Lures (29)
• Nicho's Maulers (16)
• Ollies Stingray Lures (15)
• Power Lures (14)
• Raymack Lures (7)
• Rio's Lures (43 - 44)
• Secret Creek Lures (6)
• Smithy's Lures (30)
• Stalker Lures (38)
• Steve Moody Lures (54)
• Storka Lures (32)
• Twin River Lures (3)
• U Make Em Soft Plastics (52 & 53)
• FFSAQ - Live Fish Display. Freshwater Fishing and Stocking Assn of Qld
• SWFSA - Somerset & Wivenhoe Fish Stocking Assn
• Fly Tying (00)
• Fishing Monthly Group (50 & 51)
• Ipswich United Fishing Club
sharing a lifetime of fishing know-how.
Artistic Lure award.