Lacombe to become the home of the World’s Largest Fishing Lure

Lucas Reid, 7, casts his line into Len Thompson Fish Pond on June 2, 2018 during the annual Kids can Catch event, which marks the opening and stocking of the catch-and-release pond with rainbow trout. The pond will be where the planned "World's Largest Lure" monument will be placed. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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The City of Lacombe will soon have a new way to bait and catch tourists’ attention with the World’s Largest Lure.

This summer, the Lacombe Fish and Game Association, in partnership with Len Thompson Lures and the Echo Lacombe Community Grant Fund, are planning to unveil a one-of-a-kind, permanent landmark in the form of a monument at the Len Thompson Fish Pond.

While details, including the monument design, fabrication, installation and an unveiling ceremony are being kept under wraps for the time being, the project is geared towards promoting tourism, as well as commemorating the 90th anniversary of Len Thompson Lures.

“The city is pleased to support this project with the recent issuance of a development permit,” said City of Lacombe Mayor Grant Creasey in a statement emailed to the Lacombe Globe. “Once complete, the World’s Largest Lure will become a must-see attraction for visitors and help cement the already established legacy of Len Thompson Lures in our community.”

Len Thompson Lures is a fourth generation family business that moved from Abernathy, Saskatchewan to Lacombe in 1958. Len Thompson himself, a First World War soldier and farmer, set out to make a better spoon for fishing in 1929.

Soon, Len Thompson Bullet and Bait became a part time, winter business Thompson ran off his farm until 1945 when he decided it was time to make a career change and Len Thompson Bait Company began full time production in Abernathy.

Brad Pallister shows daughter Elizabeth, 2, a ranbow trout on June 2, 2018, during the Kids can Catch event at Len Thompson Fish Pond. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

He and son-in-law Cecil Pallister  then formed Thompson-Pallister Bait Co. Ltd. and in 1958, they both made the decision to move their families and business to Lacombe, which was not only closer to suppliers and customers, but offered “many excellent fishing and hunting opportunities,” as per the Len Thompson website.

Thompson died in 1979, but his name appears on 500,000 fishing spoons used by anglers every year. Pallister continued to operate the business until the early 1980’s, when it was turned over to his sons, Richard, Syd, and Greg.

In 2012, Richard Pallister became the sole owner, and now the company is run by Thompson’s great grandson and granddaughter Brad and Jessica. Every year, they host a Kids can Catch event, where the Len Thompson Fish Pond is stocked with fish for the season and youngsters have opportunity to try their hand at fishing.

It’s estimated that approximately 45 million lures have been produced since the company began in 1929, with many anglers believing them to be some of, if not the best in the world.

Soon, the largest lure in the world will help mark that success.

According to Guinness World Records, the current largest fishing lure in the world was created by Ethan Sparks in West, Texas. It has a length of 4.74 metres, a width of 67.97 cm and a height of 48.77 cm and achieved the record on Aug. 8, 2013.

Before that, with the record set in 2011, the largest fishing lure hung in the Village of Baytown Wharf Marina at Miramar Beach in Florida, and measured 10 feet, 10 inches tall and weighed 355.2 lbs. It was reported as being missing for refurbishment in 2016.

More information will become available as the project moves forward.

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