For over a decade now, Swan Boat Hire has stocked one of the most unique and effective lures on the market, the locally made and designed, aptly named 'Maroochy Minnow' by JH Lures.
Jeff Hobart, long time coast local, took his passion for fishing and turned it into a little more than a casual leisurely passtime. He has spent much of his spare time over the past twelve years making and designing lures that have been crafted and adapted to best suit Sunshine Coast estuarys, creeks, lakes and dams.
"I developed a passion for lure making after meeting a fellow fishermen and lure maker who crafted unusual shaped lure bodies which caught fish in our favourite haunts. After becoming intrigued by his design ideas, I made my first lure out of some pine, 120 mm long with a set of strong hooks. At this point, my target fish was barramundi - not long after this I landed and brought home a 105 cm barramundi with my handmade creation and thus I was hooked!" Jeff explains.
This was the beginning of Jeff's hobby-turned-business in tailor-made tackle. Since the late 90's he has been inspired to make and design many different shapes and sizes to suit the variety of species in local waters. After many years of refining designs and using different timbers he came up with some proven winners. Most notable is the ever successful Maroochy Minnow which comes in colours specifically to target flathead, mangrove jack, trevally, cod, jew and barra.
"I have become a perfectionist in lure making, with no less than 2 hours spent on every individual lure including handcalved and shaped timber (cedar, beech and pine), sanding, buffing, inserting lead, spraying artistically and hand-machining eye sockets for inserting 3D eyes. This doesn't include the testing which I do by swimming every lure in a friend's pool before packaging it to ensure performance".
What makes Jeff's lure stand out from the many, many varieties of hardbody lures in the market, is his attention to detail such as weighting down to body to help slow buoyancy rise and keep the belly down as they hit the water, making for optimum quick and deep nose dive, handmade stainless steel tows glued and screwed for strength and durability, as well as robust computer cut polycarbonate bibs which are tough as nails.
"To me a timber lure has more character than any two-piece plastic lures from China. Most plastic hardbody's have internal rattles that deter fish rather than attract them. Swim action and colour attraction will get a fish to strike, so my lures closely resemble a bait fish at the right size and shape as those in local waters, then you're more likely to have a hook up".
For the full range of lures Jeff has made, loads of fish from the catch gallery with the lure that caught them, plus some great images of the lure making process - check out www.facebook.com/JHLures. And there are plenty in stock at Swan Boat Hire where the staff have all given them a red hot go and claim they're the best local lure to use in the Maroochy River for under $20. Jeff's lures are also exclusively sold online at https://www.swanboathire.com.au/shop.html and for a limited time buy 5 or more JH Lures for free shipping!
Tried and tested on flathead, the 65mm Maroochy Minnow in Suncoast Holo.
Jeff Hobart with a Maroochy River flathead caught on one of his Maroochy Minnow lures.
Jeff in Bli Bli testing out a newly made lure and jagging a nice flathead - a sign of success!
4. Minnows drying after being sprayed with their realistic colourings to attract fish.