Australian Lure Expo upsizes in Ipswich
  |  First Published: July 2014

Anyone who attended Garry ‘Fitzy’ Fitzgerald’s Australian Lure and Fly Expos at Fernvale in 2012 and 2013 would happily tell you about the 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 with this uniquely Aussie show.

Fast-forward to today and Fitzy is busy working to bring the 2014 show into existence. And by all accounts, it’s setting up to be bigger and better than the first with a change in location, all undercover premises and a host of new exhibitors just waiting to show visitors their wares.

“This will definitely be the greatest gathering of Australian lures under one roof,” Fitzy said. It’s a full-on celebration of Australian flies, 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. There’ll be bargains galore and so much more.

Adding to the atmosphere is the location. Brisbane-ites will know where Ipswich is and the move here allows a much larger population centre to draw visitors from and to provide accommodation and services to visitors and exhibitors alike..

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 lures – you’ll most likely run into someone at the Expo who’ll want to buy it from you! At least that way you’ll have a bit more pocket money to buy some new lures to throw at fish all across the country.


The move to Ipswich has been seen as a massive positive for the show. Bigger premises, entirely undercover and more exhibitors will be attending and showing their wares at the Ipswich Showgrounds located at 81 Warwick Rd in Ipswich.

The fact that this venue is completely undercover is a massive bonus for visitors and exhibitors. It will provide a level of comfort that will allow everyone to take their time to browse and chat with the manufacturers and not only pick out some great lures but learn how to best use them.

This really will be an all-weather event now and come rain or shine, there’ll be the best of Aussie ingenuity on display for visitors.


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!

So let’s get into a bit of a preview on what you can see at this year’s Australian Lure and Fly Expo.

SEE THEM there
Garra Lures

Garra Lures has been quietly making exceptional hand-carved lures for native fish in the borderlands of NSW and Qld for years. Terry Marshall is one of the absolute cottage industry lure makers with a real penchant for designing lures. In fact, he designs lures that not only catch fish, but are appealing for anglers as well.

At the show, Terry will be displaying some of his popular models that include the Pondi, Terra, MandM, Tarki and the Peeli in 3 sizes. He is likely to have some new models and old models on display too for anglers to buy at amazing prices.

Fishing Monthly has also engaged Terry Marshall to supply our limited edition subscriber lures for the Australian Lure and Fly Expo. Terry has put together a brilliant Pondi in a one-off colour that Terry tells me is catching way too many fish – and that’s typical of a lure made by Garra Lures.

AC Lures

Anthony Curtis is again joining the exhibitors at the Lure and Fly Expo and is excited to showcase his great range of lures that are right now taking massive cod in the cold winter waters of the Murray.

With a range of lures that extend from a tiny 50mm right up to 150mm, AC Lures will have a lure that is just right for where and how you fish. The range of colours is impressive and, like a lot of lure makers, the colour range is always being developed to meet the needs of regional anglers.

For the collectors, AC Lures will have the last few of their spectacular limited edition yabbies on sale and Anthony tells me he is hoping to have the first of his 20th Anniversary sets on show – a set of nude lures that covers his range and a collector’s set you should not miss out on.

So drop by AC Lures stand, have a chat to the maker and get the lure that is right for you or your collection.

Bassman Spinnerbaits

Bassman Spinnerbaits has long been established as making the best spinnerbaits for Australian conditions and with a willingness to consistently update colours and models, redesign head shapes and components, the team at Bassman continually come up with offerings that catch Aussie fish.

At the Expo Bassman will be releasing a host of new colours suitable for the bass market, a market that is booming thanks to the overflow bass fisheries in Queensland and the wonderful natural fisheries in NSW. The team will also be re-releasing the bass-sized Mumblers, a much under-used lure that Glen recently used with great success in several NSW impoundments.

Bassman Spinnerbaits has a range of lures from the smallest 1/8oz spinnerbait through to the giant 2 1/2oz spinnerbait that will cover everything from bass and trout through to the biggest cod and barra you will find anywhere.

And late mail suggest that Glen may be releasing a Japanese range of Bassman Spinnerbiats under the title 低音 男スピナーベイト. Look out for these exciting products at the Expo.

Rio’s Lures

Manufactures of the original Australian Rio’s Prawn lure and the new Lethal Action range of offshore trolling lures taking SE Queensland by storm, Rio’s Lures are almost an institution in Queensland and more broadly across Australia.

For the Lure Expo Rio’s Lures will be displaying and selling their full range of lures and Eio will be on hand to explain how to get the best out of all of his lures.

Of most interest will be the showcasing of the new range, the Lethal Action range of offshore trolling lures taking SE Queensland by storm. But they will also be showcasing the original Australian Prawn lures, their Live Chrome range of metal lures, the Big Eye Poppers and they will also be releasing a new offshore metal lure that can only be seen at the Expo.

Still 100% Australian made, all Rio’s Lures at the Expo will be at factory outlet price so you’ll need to check this stand out.

Cooby Cobba Lures

Cooby Cobba Lures is one of the many lure companies emerging from the boutique or cottage lure scene. Manufacture of these lures commenced around the time Toowoomba’s Cooby Dam opened for fishing in the late 80s.

Early models were out of timber, now their lures are manufactured using polyurethane with quality components moulded in, including through the bib stainless steel wire and laser cut polycarbonate bibs. Lures are a slow rise floating lure with the 60mm model being the flagship of the range. Based on the same profile, 90mm and 50mm models were introduced while still maintaining the great swimming action Cooby Cobba Lures are known for. Lures are effective either casting to the fringes or trolling. Pillie and Poddy Mullet are other models in the range.

Although originally designed for Murray cod, golden perch and bass, don’t be fooled into thinking this is the case; these lures have accounted for many a finned quarry including fickle jungle perch, ultra aggressive sooty grunter. Had there durability tested on barra, jacks, fingermark and trevally. Ambushed by big flathead and fooled the wily bream and shy whiting.

Cooby Cobba Lures have proven their versatility and durability and have more applications than you could likely poke a rod at. Do yourself a favour, check out these great Aussie lures at the Expo.

Lively Lures

Lively Lures are an Aussie icon lure that has stood the test of time and keep coming back for more.

At the Expo Lively Lures will be displaying the full range of their lures to show off just how diverse their products are. Best of all though, with Lively Lures recently opening a direct on line store (www.livelylures.com.au) visitors to the Expo can go home, log into the site and purchase whichever lures took their fancy, safe in the knowledge that they have handled the lures and know what they are getting.

To add to this for the collectors, Lively Lures will be displaying and selling a range of historic Lively Lures at the Expo. There are some lures that will be available for purchase that are over 25 years old. This will prove a very popular stand as literally pieces of Australian lure history will be sold off at the Expo.

The late news was that Lively Lures will be selling their range of Micro Mullets at only $10 a pop – that a saving from their already incredibly cheap online price and something all trollers will need to budget for – especially if flathead, bass, bream and trout are on your target list!

With all models on show, the ability to add to your collection with some seriously old and valuable lures, the Lively Lures stand will be a must visit at the Expo.

Have You Been Gobsmacked?

Gobsmacked Lures is a family owned and run business operating out of Goulburn NSW.

Owner Jamie Judd has always had a love of fishing, and loves to tinker with his own lure designs.

Jamie said “When my hobby turned into a business, I was glad I could pass this passion on to others as well as my children, who love helping me make lures. My youngest daughter even had a lure (without hooks) as a baby rattle.

“My main passion is surface lures, especially designed for targeting Aussie natives. While I love fishing in general, there is nothing more exhilarating than that big BOOF, when your lure gets smacked off the top. Hence the name Gobsmacked, because often that's how that sight leaves you, gobsmacked

“I will be bringing my lathe, and will be doing demonstrations on lure turning. In this day and age of mass produced lures, I love the art of taking a piece of wood, and crafting a quality timber lure by hand. I want to show people, that for very little outlay, you can still produce a quality product. And keep the tradition of handmade Australian lures alive”.

Gobsmacked Lures range in size from 50mm bass lures, to huge lures for targeting Murray cod and barramundi. This range is ever changing, so keep your eyes open for some new releases at this year’s Lure and Fly Expo.


Laserworx, who cut all types of bibs with remarkable accuracy, has been supplying lure bibs to manufacturers for the last 13 years, offering a competitive, consistent and quick service to Aussie lure makers country-wide.

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 allowing lure designers to concentrate solely on making the best designs around.

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.

Bumpa Bar Doubled

Bumpa Bar lures will be attending the Lure Expo again with their great range of sized and coloured Bumpa Bar lures, including the new Double Up range.

The Bumpa Bar range has always offered a variety of sizes and weights to accommodate fishing for a wide range of species and fishing conditions. The lures are proudly Australian-made using 316 Stainless steel. They are all equipped with heavy-duty spilt rings and hooks, built to withstand the harsh Australian conditions.

The lures have been getting some strong press of late for being such a versatile lure. The erratic action of the lure produced by the Bumpa Bar is what attracts the fish. Cast, jig or troll – all methods are popular and effective ways of using the lures. With its origins from Northern Queensland – the lures now have a strong following in the southern states using a variety of applications.

So come and say G’day to Steve at the Bumpa Bar Lure Stand and make sure you stock up on a few of their lures. No tackle box should be without some!

Twin River Lures specials

Twin River Lures will be attending the expo for the third straight year and second year as an exhibitor. They will have a selection of colours across all 12 models that they make.

Expo special pricing will be on offer ranging from $12.50 - $17.50 with custom Expo-signed sets available.

Twin River Lures are made by long time Far North Queenslander's Rex and Nick Stock from a selection of native FNQ timbers. Rex first started carving red cedar barra minnows while working in Cooktown in the mid 1970s. On moving to the Atherton Tablelands in the early 1980s and having his own furniture making business meant no shortage of timber to make lures from. While never offering these lures for retail sale, they accounted for plenty of northern estuary species.

Nick has been living in remote communities over the last 10 years and shares his old man’s love of chasing barra on hand-made timber lures. With decent timber barra lures getting harder to find these days, the dedication was made to quit working in the mines in Weipa and continue making lures on a full-time basis approximately 3 years ago. With Twin River Lures supplying over 20 retail stores in Northern Australia they will continue to be many barra angler’s go-to lure for years to come.

Call in and say G'day at the Expo and like their Facebook page for lure giveaways, prizes, updates and photos.

Fishing Monthly Group

With an editor who is a keen collector of Aussie lures, Fishing Monthly Group are excited to come to the Australian Lure Expo and have delved into their bag of tricks to come up with a fantastic subscription offer.

At the Australian Lure Expo, Fishing Monthly will be offering those who renew or take up a new subscription the chance to own a Limited Edition Gidgee Sardinops that is individually numbered and signed by gun lure maker Tom Barratt of Gidgee Lures. There are only 80 of these lures available in a one-off Fishing Monthly Group colour scheme and these will be the centre of the subscription offer.

So come along to the Expo, grab a 12 month subscription to your favourite Fishing Monthly Group title (QFM, NSWFM or V&TFM) and get your hands on a Limited Edition Gidgee Lures Sardinops in the special and spectacular Fishing Monthly Group colour scheme. Please note this offer is only available to those visiting the show as the Limited Edition lure numbers are restricted.



WHEN:Saturday Aug 10 and Sunday Aug 11, 2014
TIMES:9am to 3pm.
WHERE:Ipswich Showgrounds Exhibition Centre, 81 Warwick Rd Ipswich
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

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