BIG IS BEST: Event helper Duncan O'Connell holds a hand crafted timber show lure made by Mt Crosby lure maker Ollie Hardt of Stingray Lures.
BIG IS BEST: Event helper Duncan O'Connell holds a hand crafted timber show lure made by Mt Crosby lure maker Ollie Hardt of Stingray Lures. David Nielsen

Anglers hooked at lure and fly expo

THOUSANDS of fishing enthusiasts were lured to the Ipswich Showgrounds, hook, line and sinker for the return of the Australian Lure and Fly Expo.

The two-day event featured about 80 exhibitors from across Australia who showcased lures of all shapes and sizes; from spinnerbaits to spoons.

Among the lure makers was Ollie Hardt of Stingray Lures who has been crafting the artificial fishing bait for the past 25 years.

At the expo, the 44-year-old showcased an extra-large wooden lure he hand-carved, which won second place in the event's Most Artistic Lure contest.

"Making lures has long been a hobby of mine," he said. "It relaxes me." Mr Hardt said the expo first began in 2012 at Fernvale Hall and had gone from strength to strength since.

"The expo is still fairly new but it's attracting a growing number of exhibitors and visitors each year," he said.

"I enjoy it because it's always a great opportunity to meet others with a shared interest in fishing."

Visitors were also able to view casting shootouts, fly tie-offs and learn how to make their own lures and flies.

Organiser Gary McDonald said the event was created to revive the art of lure-making in Australia.

"The expo celebrates and showcases Aussie lures over other Chinese, Japanese, European and US imports," he said.

"We want to keep this expo as a rural event...this year more than 2000 people attended."



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