A BOONAH fisherman is the brains behind Jackall Lures - the tackle used by some of Australia's leading anglers.
Harry Watson helps design the Japanese-made fishing lures to suit Australian conditions and species.
A tournament angler with many titles to his name, including several Australian Fishing Championship wins, ABT championships and barramundi competitions, Harry stumbled across the brand 10 years ago when he took a group of Japanese fishermen on a tour of Moogerah and Maroon dams.
"I started using them and discovered how good they were," he said. "When the head of Jackall in Japan said why don't you sell them in Australia, first off I said no because I wanted to keep them a secret as they were so good.
"In the end I relented and started importing them and am glad I did."
Jackall has become one of Australia's most high profile lures in the industry, particularly fresh water models.
"Jackall has hundreds of different types of lures and I get to choose which ones come into Australia," Harry said.
"I product test them to see if the lure is going to work, then hand them out to selective anglers to test as well and get their opinions. I'll test them for weeks sometimes months before I work out if the lure is going to be good here. I then select or design colours for our species in Australia.
"I get the satisfaction of being able to bring a lure in that people regard as probably the best lure in Australia. Just about any fishing tournament you go to people will be winning with Jackall lures."
Mr Watson said the floods had set back local anglers with Moogerah, Somerset and Wivenhoe dams dirtied by the recent downpours.
"Flooded dams are putting the fish off," he said. "Maroon is the best place to fish at the moment. Lots of the creeks and rivers below the dams are fishing well.
"In summer time I fish at Maroon Dam because fish there feed on surface lures. The fish are bigger in Moogerah and Somerset but you don't get to see that strike you do at Maroon." He said fish stocks at Maroon were plentiful and he enjoyed the quiet location.
The biggest fish the six-time Australian Fishing Championship holder has caught on a Jackall lure (Squirrel) was a 126cm Barramundi at Gladstone.
Mr Watson said his favourite place to fish for big bass was Somerset Dam. He is also an avid angler for barramundi in North Queensland.
Tips for local anglers
Fish soft plastic lures in winter at Somerset, Wivenhoe and Moogerah dams.
Use lipless crankbaits and metal lures in summer.
Fish surface lures in Maroon in summer.
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