Lacombe residents attempt to reel in world record for oversized fishing lure
The massive replica of the Len Thompson Five of Diamonds lure marks company's 90th anniversary
Residents of Lacombe, Alta. are hoping to catch the record for the world's largest fishing lure.
The 28-foot tall lure and its accompanying 14-foot tall hook are a replica of the classic Len Thompson Five of Diamonds design.
The fishing product is made in Lacombe by Thompson-Pallister Bait Company.
The oversized monument was built to celebrate the company's 90th year of business.
Pallister's great-grandfather Len Thompson began selling his "fishing spoon" design as a part-time business in 1929 before opening up a factory in Abernathy, Sask. in 1945.
In 1959, the company relocated to Lacombe where they continue to operate as a family-run business.
At the unveiling on Friday, Pallister told the crowd the hook and lure were made in Lacombe after businesses in Red Deer and Calgary turned down the large-scale monument project.
"They were like 'Oh no, we can't do that' or 'It's going to be expensive.' So we just went to the local welding shop up the road and they said 'Oh yeah, we can do that. No problem.'"
But Comet Welding general manager Devon Hulsman said his team weren't initially convinced that they could do a project of this size.
"We made the prototypes," Hulsman said. "From there, as we started getting more knowledgeable in building those, we decided that this was possible."
The raw steel was brought into the shop where it stayed for about eight months as they worked to complete the monument.
Big things in Alberta
When the lure and hook are installed this summer, Lacombe will join a roster of Alberta communities with large monuments.
Drumheller boasts the world's largest dinosaur, Beaverlodge has a beaver monument and Glendon's well-known perogy are just some of the other oversized monuments found in the province.
"I tried to make it as an artist in Vancouver," Riopel said. "I wasn't making any money so I came back to Alberta to start welding. I found myself in Lacombe working at Comet, then this job came into the shop and I thought 'I'm going to build this.'"
The oversized statue inspired others in the city. Lacombe-based Blindman Brewery named their latest brew "Five of Diamonds Pilsner" in honour of the famous lure.
The hook and lure will be installed June 1 at the Len Thompson Pond in Lacombe.
Pallister says they will be reaching out to the Guinness Book of World Records to verify their claim to fame.
Lacombe is located approximately 120 km south of Edmonton.