A Sure Lure

A Sure Lure— Tracy Louthain

The Emerald Coast can make many claims — the world’s most beautiful beaches, the world’s luckiest fishing village and now, thanks to one Gulf Coast family, the area adds another: home of the world’s largest fishing lure.
Mark Davis, 51, the team leader responsible for the Guinness World Record creation, credits his wife with the inspiration. “My wife, Mary Ellen Pike Davis, is a Fort Walton Beach native, whose family has been in this area since the late 1800s, and is deeply rooted in the fishing and tourism industries,” shared Davis.
The couple manages the S.S. Mercantile Spitfire in The Village of Baytowne Wharf at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. “When we got the offer to name and manage the store, we thought, ‘What’s our hook?’ ” said Davis.
And hook is just what they did. Recreating a flatliner lure made by local David Partridge, the lure is 10 times the size of the original, measuring 10 feet, 10 inches in length and weighing in at 355.2 pounds. The giant poplar hardwood lure with three two-foot steel treble hooks became a reality after eight weeks of gluing, sawing, sanding and shaping.
When asked what size fish a lure of this magnitude could potentially catch, Davis said with a smile, “We usually pull in the 36-inch to 78-inch-tall variety.”

  Photo by Scott Holstein