Are you a pro angler, keen fisherman or woman or just looking for something to do on the weekend? If so, you should check out this year’s Australian Lure Fly and Outdoors Expo on 8-9 July at the Ipswich Showgrounds (about 40 minutes from Brisbane).
Not sure what it’s all about? Here is my guide to what’s hot at this year’s expo:
1. The exhibitors
The quality and craftsmanship of the lure makers in Queensland and Australia are phenomenal and many of these will be exhibiting at the show. Some of them are up there with the best in the world!
For the first time this year Chilton Tackle Co. will make an appearance. It has been a long time coming. For the past four years I have attended the expo and admired the passion, dedication and skill on offer but with a young family and a full time job have not been previously able to commit. This year however, I bit the bullet (albeit only a few months ago) and decided why the heck not. With only two weeks to go I have some long days ahead!
2. The concept
It’s not often you get a crowd of such liked-minded people in the one space and we have Garry Fitzgerald to thank for that. Four years on after the first in Fernvale, the expo has continued to expand each year and 2017 is set to be the biggest yet. Not only are there handcrafted lures available for purchase, the expo boasts antique and collector lures. You can even bring along old lures to be identified by a team of experts. Its honestly everything a lure nut could want, all in the one place!
3. The Price
Most expos these days cost an arm and a leg just to walk in the door but at $10 each (or a two day pass for $15) and free for kids under 16, it’s a bargain. Not to mention the fact that parking at the show grounds is free! You can also pre purchase your tickets to avoid the queues.
The price of the handcrafted lures is also reasonable – buying direct from the creator helps eliminate some of the overheads. That said, keep in mind the time it takes to hand cut, carve, paint and seal a lure. An average hourly rate would be well under a buck!
4. The learnings
If you are looking for a new hobby or already into making lures this is also a great place to learn from one another. There will be live demonstrations on carving, shaping, moulding, painting and fly tying as well as a casting tank so you can witness the lures in action. Ask questions and take notes (but don’t copy!)
‘Competition makes us faster, collaboration makes us better’ Author unknown
There are also a range of awards on offer for the exhibitors including:
– Best bibbed diving lure
– Best swimbait
– Best blue water lure
– Best top water/surface/wake bait
– Best bladed/metal lure
I’m thinking I might even throw my hat in the ring (or lure in the water) for a few of these.
5. Your next big break
For the exhibitors this is an opportunity to show our wares to the world. It’s kinda like a sporting match where the talent scouts are out – create something they like and who knows what might happen….
For the customers, you may just find the perfect lure to catch your first big barra or cod. Or at least give the fish something new and unique to look at. Plus how can you beat first hand information on how to get the best out of your lure from the one who created it. Oh, and not to mention the warm and fuzzies you get from supporting small businesses.
Come and say hi at stand 29 – we look forward to seeing you all there!