Monday, February 20, 2017

Master lure maker has some new creations

Have you ever seen anything like this? The Weasel

Squirrel-hair whiskers, wooden fur

Our lure-making neighbour, Dwayne Kotala, just showed me his latest batch of hand-made wooden lures. I can see a 20-pound pike attached to just about all of them this summer!
We had contacted Dwayne about this time last spring to see if he could paint lures to look like baitfish in our lake. These were plastic lure bodies that he painted to look like emerald shiners, red-bellied daces, chubs, smelt, perch and other forage fish. Now he is making only hand-carved wooden lures. All the hardware is made of stainless so that the lures can also be used on saltwater.
I have the honour of getting the very first of what is probably the most unique surface bait I will ever use. It is called the Weasel and looks like a six-inch long brown weasel (or mouse). It has a baffle-lip that will make the floating lure jitter across the surface. It also has a genuine squirrel tail and squirrel tail whiskers!
The surface of the lure looks as though it is made of fur but is actually hard wood. I can't wait to try this on Red Lake's monster northern pike.
Six-inch perch and walleye sink a foot a second until retrieved

Primo floating lures for musky and big pike
Dwayne also has a six-inch double-jointed sinking lure in perch and walleye patterns that I predict will be gobbled up by trophy pike and walleye. These lures are weighted so that they sink one foot per second until retrieved and then wobble in a double-jointed fashion that looks incredibly like a swimming fish.
Another innovation this spring is a double-jointed version of the floating six-inch lure I caught a big pike on last fall. See Original Art Pieces and also Artist's Lures.
If you are interested in any of his lures, contact him directly at
He also has a blog.
All of his lures are custom-made. You can pick the style you want and then ask that it be painted in a pattern that is best for your lake. Great patterns for Red Lake include: perch, emerald shiner, red-bellied dace, smelt.
Just to make sure you understand the difference between Dwayne's lures and what you buy in Wal-Mart, each of Dwayne's lures are carved by himself, tested in a tank with weights added internally, fitted with top-of-the-line hardware like stainless lips and swivels, and given six coats of air-brushed paint or more. These things are so beautiful you feel like framing them rather than taking them fishing. There is nothing like them, literally.
Medium diver Emerald Shiner has shiny, not mirrored, sides

Paint job is fantastically detailed
If you are a serious big pike or musky angler, in particular, or if you want to give someone an outstanding gift, this is for you.
Other blogs about Dwayne's lures were Customized Lures and Oh Man!
He is only making wooden lures now and only by order. There will be quite a few of his plastic lures from last year for sale at camp this summer but none of his new wooden ones.
Assorted lures, all handmade from wood

Pumpkinseed or sunfish
Surface thrasher

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1 comment:

Dan Baughman said...

When you request your lures, make sure you ask Dwayne to sign them. These are real works of art and I believe will be sought by collectors in years to come. Take them fishing, sure, but maybe keep on or two in mint condition as well. Just a thought.