Frank Prokop

Fisheries Scientist, Author, Freshwater Lures Enthusiast

Frank is a giant in Australian fishing circles, having been instrumental in fisheries management in both NSW and Qld. Frank has authored and co-authored 15 fishing books (including “The Lure Encyclopedia” and “Lures In Depth”), has written over 40 magazine articles and penned hundreds of fishing columns for newspapers. Frank is a regular on radio fishing shows and has presented multiple television fishing segments.

Key Messages

This is a somewhat random chat with one of the absolute legends of the Australian freshwater lure fishing scene, Frank Prokop. Some key points of discussion follow.

  • Frank’s first Lure Encyclopedia started when Steve Starling challenged Frank to prove that a particular lure was able to reach 6m in depth. That challenge led to the testing and documentation of the performance of over 1000 lures.
  • Frank found that colour was one of the least important factors affecting whether fish took lures. He coined the term “DAM HOT”, which he uses to rank from most important to least important.. D= Depth, A= Action, M= Mass (size), H= Haste (speed), O= Outline (silhouette) and T= Tone (colour)
  • Vision and colour is only important if you get a lure close enough to the fish, or if the fish gets close enough to the lure. Until that point the sound and vibration are more important.
  • Fish are not always taking lures out of hunger or because they mistake them for food. Sometimes fish take lures from aggression or because they are being territorial or showing dominance over a smaller fish.
  • Australia’s over-abundance of great lure makers reflects that we haven’t always been able to get the lures we’d like and have resorted to homegrown versions. But there’s also a “tinkering” element to the Australian culture which lends itself to designing, creating and ultimately marketing homegrown lures that are every bit as good and often much better than imported lures.
  • Fish aren’t “wise” but they can certainly learn from bad experiences and can become accustomed to lures that they see a lot. 
  • Your lure needs to be in the strike zone, which is usually in close proximity to the fish. They’ll very often move upwards to take a lure but they won’t often move downwards.
  • The fourth edition of Franks Lure Encyclopaedia is currently being prepared and he’s called on all Aussie lure makers and importers who’d like their products to be included to get in touch. The current edition won’t include the data around diving depths for lures as it’s a big undertaking ans is less relevant now that most boats are equipped with high resolution sounders.

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