Sailor lures in the ones that got away


Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

With this year’s freshwater fishing season opening up across the country, despite social distancing measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, a recreational fisherman from the base is in his kitchen making lures.

LS Adam Leach has been fishing since age 12, casting a balsam spinning rod to catch pan fish off the dock at his family’s cottage. From that point, he developed a keen interest in fresh water fishing.

As he got older, he moved from the dock to a 12-foot aluminum boat with a 4hp outboard motor looking to hook pike, walleye, musky, and smallmouth bass.

Having a decent selection of rods, reels, and lures is essential to success, he says.

“I have a large selection of equipment I use for different applicants.”

Lures, he says, are an important part of a fisherman’s tackle box, and require practice and experience to use them well.

Four years ago, after learning about the cottage industry of making lures in Sweden and Europe, he decided to make his own.

His kitchen is his workshop.

He designs lures by drawing them on graph paper and then augmenting details with a paint program on his laptop. The process of making a blank begins with the lure sculpted in polymer clay and then baked in the oven. It is then sanded and epoxy putty is applied to create more detail in the eyes, gill plates, mouth and fins. LS Leach then seals the blank with spray paint and uses this as his mold blank. He mixes a two-part mold making silicone, which acts as the negative for what will eventually be a lure made from soft pliable rubber. This is where his art takes off. Before pouring the molten plastic, he adds colorant, glitter, and mica powder to the liquid rubber to enhance the attractiveness of the lure.

“The end result is my own fishing lures,” he says. “I get a lot of self-satisfaction from being able to catch fish with something I built myself.”

His favourite places to fish here on the Island are Prospect Lake, Shawnigan Lake, and Durance Lake where he targets smallmouth bass and rainbow trout.

He spends most of his leave time with his family fishing in Ontario. He caught his personal best Northern Pike while vacationing on Lac Seul in Ontario’s Sunset country following his return from a deployment to the Asia Pacific in 2016 with HMCS Vancouver.

Now that he has gotten better at building his mold blanks, he’s going to perfect using an airbrush to apply more articulate colors and patterns that simulate what fish want to eat.

“This hobby has given me a better understanding of basic graphic design and sculpting, as well as small-scale fabrication, things I never thought I would ever learn about. It will take a few more years of practice before I get good at producing good-looking bait and even sharing or selling them on my Instagram page. I don’t have a particular lure that I am proud of yet, but I am pleased to be making progress towards this goal of building my own product line of rubber fishing lures.”

LS Leach is a Naval Communicator and is currently attached posted to Base Information Services from HMCS Nanaimo, where he works rotating shifts helping to maintain the flow of message traffic of the Pacific fleet. He joined the navy seven years ago and previously worked in the snow sports and outdoor apparel industry in Whistler and Ottawa.


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