Home Made Lures, The JFL Story.
Forme I have learned that Fishing is about the family, it?s aboutbeing outside and appreciating nature. It?s about friends andsharing time and building cherished memories with loved one?s. Thisis my foundation the base for everything I do as an angler, fromMaking lures and going to trade shows or fishing tournaments, orteaching the F.I.S.H program at the Junior Forest Wardens.Flea flicking on the bow River with my friend Barry, Check out the Hat! I love it.
Inspirationis a big thing with me, just ask any of my friends, it always hasbeen. Watching legends like Ron & Al Lindner on televisioncatching big fish when I was a young kid. And catching Bill Dance andRoland Martin on T.V catching big Bass and having so much fun on thewater. I remember as a kid, I wanted to be Al Lindner, he Made mewant to be outside fishing. No anglers ever inspired me more than myGrandpa Frank Jackson, My Dad Gary Love Sr. And Al Lindner. These 3men are the foundation on which I build my fishing seasons everyyear with the knowledge I have learned from all of them over theyears. My dad and I have a lot of fishing memories, going back towhen I was 4 years old and caught my first Blue Gill. Dad was andstill is the biggest influence and my best Inspiration when it comesto fishing, and the memories he and I have of over 38 years offishing together are deep and many very funny. I will bet my dadstill has his good luck shirt I put a hole in with a hook one time,and I still have Laura's dads pierced ear bucktail from 1999. Yeahthat was 8 inches of pure sexy for the old fella, a big bucktailhanging from his ear, floro green to boot, and like any truefishermen we never let him live it down.It took both my wife Laura & I to catch this fish, it went for an early proto MM series I made at home.
Ihave been absolutely driven, since I was a small kid to go fishing.That drive combined with all the inspiration I was getting led me tocreate my first fishing hooks when I was 8 years old. Of course Daddid not like that I was cutting up the coat hangers and designinglures out of them but he did not say to much about it. I wasinterested in making my own stuff way back then, hooks lures you nameit. I am going to talk about the drive I had as a kid to go fishing.Of course we know most normal kids like toplayVideo Games at the arcade now day's it's xbox, and watch TV All day,some go to play baseball and others Football some Hockey. Heck somekids just sit there and eat all day and read comic books like mybuddy Ivan, and some just listen to music and day dream until dinnertime. Not me, I was out mowing lawns, raking leaves, digging flowergardens for the neighbors, and getting paid pretty good for it. Iruined two lawn mowers and garden tools to numerous to count all inthe pursuit of fishing, my mom will not let me near her garden toolsanymore. Wintertime I was shoveling walks and drives, I would sit andwatch for the snow to fly and would wish for the snow so I could godo the neighbors walks. My price was what ever my customers wanted togive me, I told them all, I was working for fishing. This went on forsome time, and I got so popular with the neighbors that they startedcalling the house and booking appointments for lawn work. What was Idoing with all my money you ask?Look at this ugly thing, an early lure I tried to get to work but it never got better than a 50% hook up.
WellI subscribed to In-Fisherman magazine and Field and Stream, was gluedto In-Fisherman T.V and do you all remember the In-Fisherman radioshows? I loved them, and the rest of the money I gave to my Dad. Iwould give it all to him and say to him hey we got some fishing moneylet?s go fishing. Dad would give me some of it to spend on myselffor lures and other fun stuff and the rest he would use to take thefamily out fishing. I worked hard, and every time we would go fishingthe more hooked I got. I would try things I learned in the magazinesand would just be amazed at how well the things I was learningworked. And I worked harder, and kept going and over and over again,we would go fishing, every time. It was feeding my Inspiration, everytime Dad would load up the gear and take me fishing the moreInspired I was, and I could not wait to get a lure in the water. Overthe years and learning and being on the water and being outside, andworking for my fishing habit, I learned a lot.Here is a look at some of my early stuff, none of these made the cut for todays JFL.
AsI got older the creativity took a firm hold on me, it was not goodenough to just go fishing and fish with other lures. I had to catchfish with my own creations, of course learning like I did from achild to the time I was in my late 20?s made a big difference. Manybent wires and broken pliers along the way, I created a Bucktailfirst. I started making some for Dad and the family, and we wouldfish with them, and catch lots of fish. The Bucktail, is the lurethat got it all going, my own JFL design and what a great lure thisone turned out to be. I was tired of the spinners available at thestore; they were not durable enough and not big enough to satisfy myneed to catch big Pike. So sitting at Mom and Dad?s coffee table,and taking into consideration all the things I wanted in a spinner, Istarted creating. Well my first lure was quite some kind of ugly. Ihad the idea and now just had to refine it and test it, to the lakewe went and right away I started catching bigger fish with the lure.This started getting popular and my Bucktail started to gain momentumwith folks and well, Jackfish Lures was started. A tackle companyborn from Drive & Inspiration & Creation all of the thingscombined working together.Today's BT-11 JFL Bucktail, this spinner got it all going.
Iwas born to fish, I love it so much, what else would drive me to suchlengths to go fishing. Now that JFL had become a reality and peoplewere asking about the bucktails, it was time to go to a trade showwith the lures I was making. I am a fisherman and not a showman, sowhen I did my first show I was nervous and very worried about it. Iremember my first Sportsman's show like it was yesterday the 1998Edmonton Boat & Sportsman's show, I sure learned a lot of thingsthat year and will always remember it fondly. I was the new kid onthe block a new product and no trade show experience. Had never spokein front of a group of people before and I was in knots. I thoughtabout Al Lindner and how he must have felt when he did his firstspeaking, and thought if he can do it so can I. But the butterfly'swere still there and they were not going away. So I got to work and Imade what I thought was a lot of bucktails in the 9 months leading upto the show. We were in a very large Agriculture and communitycomplex for the show and Dad made us a sign and we hung it from thecurtain that made up the back of our booth, it sure looked small inthat big building. We had no cash register, Mom just had a moneypouch and a small cash box, she says, well boy, she had a smile onher face, she said, your gonna have to take cash and that?s allthere is to it. We displayed the lures on the top of the table andpulledup several chairs as this was going to be a 5-day event and 10 hoursa day of standing is hard on the feet. I remember having 10,000butterfly's in my stomach. It was hard to breathe, and fretting thateveryone would hate my products, you know how it is with nerves. Thewhole time we were setting up, I was a nervous wreck and could notcalm my nerves. As the time grew closer to the show opening, thebutterfly's grew to about 50,000 and the time seemed to take forever,I almost thew up a couple of times. That is when I saw a line up ofpeople I never imagined, I turned around at the concession. They werelined up 10 wide and as long as 2 football fields or more, I couldnot see the end of the line. Literally thousands of people lined upto get in the doors. I remember just grabbing a coke and heading backto the display awe struck, and trying to keep my nerves calm. I toldMom hey you are not going to believe how many people there are outthere, it?s just amazing and crazy.2004 Edmonton Boat & Sportsman's show, moments before opening.
Opengo the doors, and you could hear cheering as the people entered thedoors, guy?s whooping and hollering shouts of joy to finally beinside the center. It was only a few minutes and we were sellinghooks, did I say selling hooks, yeah selling hooks lots of them.Right away we started thinking uh oh we should have made moreproduct, it was non-stop steady people from start to finish that day.At the end of the day I knew I was in low product on hand trouble.The next day I had to bring in a table and I sat there behind theselling table tying bucktails and bending lures and building producton site. One after another, I could not stop, and after the lastpackaged lure sold I was all there was. As soon as I would complete alure it was gone, I could barely keep up making the lures as theywere purchased, and soon I fell behind, and next thing you know wewere taking orders. Day 3 opened up and WOW it was hectic, I was soldout in minutes, and back behind the table working again. I remembershaking my head saying to myself never again will I come here withoutenough stock, and possibly never again anyway.Giving Fly casting instruction at the 2011 Athabasca Outdoor show.
Peoplewere really glad to see the old fashion bucktail lying on my tableand they were willing to spend their money to buy them. after theshow was finally over Mom says well boy guess you know by now peoplelike your lures. I was exhausted and thought about not doing anymorelures, I was tired and thought about just sticking to fishing andforgetting the lures, I was overwhelmed by the whole thing that hadjust happened. I had a photo of a bear that had swum across long lakeone summer, and remember thinking the bear just does what a beardoes. I thought I am what I am a fisherman, and thought about Grandpaand Dad. The response I got from the people was just amazing, theywere starved for a good Northern Pike bucktail, it is a lure patternthat slowly faded away with all of the plastic lures flooding themarket. So I decided to stick with it, and to always do this right, Ihave and continue to keep it real to keep it North American, and tokind of keep it old fashion. Hand crafting every lure and inspectingevery one of them before they leave the shop here in Athabasca. I nowhave a shop, and a field team base of operations up here on our ownacreage, no more coffee table. We have an international competitivefield team, and every member holds the same values, because for usexcellence is not an act; we have made it our habit. We have a 600square foot display complete with casting pond for trade shows, it?sa long way from the humble booth we had at the start, but my valuesare still the same as they were at the first show. My home made lurescaught on, and now even after 16 years we still craft each one asthough our own family is using it. Because as I said above, Fishingis about the family, it?s about being outside and appreciatingnature. It?s about friends and sharing time and building cherishedmemories with loved one?s.The Jackfish Lures Casting pond at the 2011 Athabasca outdoor show.
300+ lure designs later and many thousand?s of fish caught, I am stilljust as Driven as I was when I was a kid mowing lawns. The drive togo fishing is just so deep inside me it?s part of my soul. We allhave some special gift, something we love to do more than anythingelse. I am so lucky that I had a Mom and Dad that recognized mine wasfishing and let me go crazy with it. I hope my designs and the LuresI have created inspire some kid out there to go fishing, and bedriven to work hard and cherisheverymoment on the water. And hey for Al, Ron & James Lindner, youall are the best, your love and passion for fishing so inspires me Iwill never be able to thank you enough for your hard work. And foryou all reading this, Lindner's Angling edge T.V on WFN is must seeT.V and make sure to watch the end of each program it will lift youup. I see in the kid?s we teach at the Junior Forest Wardens everyseason, one unique kid that has that same drive I have. I think aboutthem all the time, with a smile, and I sometimes pray for them, andwonder how they are doing, who?s lawn they might be mowing, andwho?s walk they are shoveling. And then I am taken back to the 70's& 80's when I was a kid and I remember my Dad, Lucky was I,,Lucky was I,, to have him and to still have him today. I love you Momand Dad, Thank you so much, because of you the world is a betterplace, I am a better man, and a better angler.Gary Love WFN Ambassador, Athabasca, Alberta, Canada.