Lacombe is now officially home to the unofficial world’s largest lure — a title that will be cemented in after documents are sent to the Guinness Book of World Records.
“I have a huge smile on my face today,” Brad Pallister, general manager and co-owner of Thompson-Pallister Bait Co., said. “It has actually been kind of a stressful project because we didn’t know if it was going to work and then we got it to a point where we were pretty confident it was going to work and now that it is up, it is extremely exciting.”
The lure, which is based on the famous Len Thompson red and yellow 5-of-Diamonds lure, is mammoth which left everyone in attendance in awe.
“Every one here is pretty surprised with how big it is. That is the thing I have heard most — ‘Wow that is bigger than I thought’,” Pallister said.
The dimensions of the lure smash the previous Florida record holder.
“The spoon is about 27’ by 10’. The hook is pretty much bang-on 14’ long and 8’ wide. It is just over 40’ and the current record is 16’, so hopefully we got it,” Pallister said.
Pallister, who’s family business has been operating in Lacombe since 1958 and for 90 years total, hopes the sight of the lure never gets old.
“I hope it doesn’t blend into the environment. I hope it will be a great source of pride for a lot of years — hopefully decades,” he said.
The total cost of the lure, which was fabricated by Comet Welding in Lacombe, has not be tallied up yet but there were several partners involved including support from the Lacombe Fish and Game Association, the Echo Lacombe Energy grant Fund and the City of Lacombe.
“It was not cheap, but it is well worth it – every penny,” Pallister said.
Jonathan Jacobson, councillor for the City of Lacombe, said the monument is phenomenal to see and will help put Lacombe further on the map.
“To be honest, I am more impressed with the hook than anything. The whole thing is tremendous, but that hook is a tremendous piece of fabrication,” he said.
Jacobson paid tribute to the long-standing work at Thompson-Pallister Bait Co.
“They have been a tremendous corporate citizen this whole time and I wasn’t even aware until I started researching this file just how popular this brand of fish hook has been throughout the entire country,” he said.
“I have heard stories of people backpacking through Europe and staying at little hostels where the owners know about Lacombe because of this fish hook. It is very interesting seeing how recognized worldwide this hook is.”
Jacobson said it was a different sort of request that came across the table of the Echo Lacombe Fund.
“Normally we are looking at things like beautification projects an then the ‘World’s Largest Fishing Lure’ comes along. The more you think about it — ‘Yeah, why not. When would you get a chance to do this again?’,” he said.
Jacobson was also happy to see the hundreds who came out for the lure unveiling, which was set during Kids Can Catch Day at Len Thompson Pond.
“I got to a lot of City events and not all of them are exactly well attended, so this is phenomenal. I am really glad to see this many people come out,” he said.