To this day, I can still remember the first time I saw a Hawaiian style lure come to life in the wake of a game fishing boat. It was a rare, glassy calm day wide of Sydney as a 15 year old, fishing on board the 32 Cresta TANTRUM in search of blue marlin. Like many Australian game fishermen I had become accustomed to running a full spread of cup-faced lures that were geared more towards rougher conditions and on this flat day they probably weren’t doing their best work, especially with the heavy leader and hooks we liked to use when targeting blues. It was that afternoon that one of our more senior crewmen pulled in our long corner lure and replaced it with a well-known Hawaiian made “Tube” lure. As he tuned the lure in to the face of the wave I stood there mesmerised as this classic shape did things I didn’t realise lures were capable of – rooster tailing, fizzing and throwing plumes of white water. It wasn’t long before a blue marlin launched itself at it with a violent inside-out crash bite. From then on I had a new life’s obsession. But for me it wasn’t enough to just run these lures, I needed to know why they ran the way they did. I started studying the tapers, angles and weighting of these pieces of functional art. I was intrigued by the different colours and insert materials used from mother of pearl shell to reflective tapes and all the different styles of eyes. I experimented with different skirt materials and hook rigs dedicating every spare minute I had to understanding all the intricacies of what made these lures run to the absolute best of their ability. Unfortunately with only a part-time job packing shelves at the local supermarket and a captain with a real enthusiasm for targeting blue marlin on 30lb line, my beautiful imported Hawaiian lures were disappearing quicker than I could afford to replace them. With this in mind and a belief that I could possibly refine and improve on some of these classic shapes, I went out and put my hard earned dollars towards a metal lathe, a tin of resin and a tub of silicone. And so, in 2004 TANTRUM Lures was born in a tin shed in my parents’ back yard. In the earlier years, TANTRUM Lures were only available to a select few within our circle of friends and family, yet these select few were achieving unfathomable results with tournament wins, records and many giant blue marlin, black marlin and tuna.
I also have to give a huge thanks and recognition to Captain Bart “Black Bart” Miller for sharing some pearls of wisdom that got me through some of my challenges in the early days. There were times that I was almost ready to give up but with Bart’s encouragement and willingness to help, I pressed on and here we are today.
Since 2004 we have been constantly testing, refining and evolving our range of shapes with valuable input from some of the world’s best lure fishermen. Fast forward to 2020 and I am now based in Kona, Hawaii – the home and ultimate testing ground for big game fishing lures – where I continue to test and perfect the TANTRUM Lures range. I am extremely proud of the reputation that the TANTRUM Lures brand has earned amongst the world’s elite lure fishermen and I am very excited to be able to offer our range of hand crafted big game fishing lures to the world and even more excited about the results that lie ahead for those that dare to throw a TANTRUM over the transom!