• Published:December 6, 2017
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I first met Capt. Andy Moyes in Costa Rica in the early 2000s. A truly imposing figure, Moyes stands well over six feet tall, and with his bald head, dark goatee and back full of muscles, he looks like a man that could tie you in a knot without breaking sweat.

As intimidating as he looked physically, however, I soon found out that Moyes was a gentle giant, and he eagerly passed along his knowledge with grace and good manners that I've since learned is just Andy being Andy.
He’s also the only guy I know who was yanked out of the cockpit on the leader, hit by the props and lived to tell the tale -- but that’s a story for another day. 

Along with his salty air of invincibility, Moyes possess a creative side, and from his enormous hands spring some of the prettiest and most exquisitely detailed trolling lures made today. During the winter months this Fort Lauderdale, Florida native comes home to the States to split his time between chasing deer and gearing up for the next run of lures from his immaculate shop, Moyes Big Game Tactical.




“I’m in the process of making a bunch of new masters [molds] right now for the big spring push. I start making stuff in January, February and March and I’ll sell the majority of the lures in those three months — close to 15,000 lures,” says Moyes. “I’ve got two helpers working for me now.”

Moyes started making lures when he was just 13, long before he ever saw a blue marlin. “I was intrigued by making stuff. My father was a machinist at one time, so we had drill presses and lathes around the house. I just started asking him about it and he said that we could probably figure it out. I started by using pill bottles as molds and then turning the shapes on a lathe. I did that for a while, but the materials were so toxic I just gave it up. I can’t believe that a lot of the Hawaiian guys are still doing it the same way with all that dust and crap. I just got away from it for a while and started fishing.”
"He's also the only guy I know who was yanked out of the cockpit on the leader, hit by the props and lived to tell the tale..."
-- Dave Ferrell
Moyes travelled the world, fishing on private boats from Central and South America to the Cape Verde Islands and all of the great spots in between. It was that time on the water combined with an obsession of lures that compelled him to start making lures on his own once again.

“I got to use pretty much every lure made. I was a junkie. I would get a lure from every person I ever saw making lures and use it. I’d figure out what I liked about it or didn’t like about it and then change it. I’d drill a hole in the backside and add some lead shot to it. Just trying to make something out of somebody else’s stuff.”

GOING FULL TIME

After getting off of the Never Say Never, Moyes was looking for something to do while he took a much-needed break from the private boat gigs. A friend of his suggested that he start making lures again and he began exploring the idea. “I started looking into materials, processes and actually studied with a plastic’s engineer for six months. I just started doing this new process and began making some stuff. I was still fishing and I was out testing them. People started buying them and it kind of took off. I figured out pretty quick that this wasn’t just a hobby anymore.”

An early creation Moyes made became quite a hot number for one legendary Caribbean captain. “One of my first lures was made out of a really big pill bottle and it was called the VI Express,” he says. “The guy that made it famous was Capt. Paul Ivey on the Megabite. It had a black head, with a green Mold Craft underskirt and black lawnchair webbing tied on backwards. The skirt kind of flowed back over the lure, kind of like the skirts on a Iland lure. Paul would buy those things by the dozen. That was the first one of my lures that was recognized. That was the one that got me going back then.”

I’ve watched lures for countless hours, and I’ve often wondered what these large pieces of plastic are supposed to represent, a fish or a squid? “The lures are supposed to resemble a fleeing or feeding fish for sure,” says Moyes. “We are trying to emulate nature. But as far as the skirt part goes, I don’t know that they see the skirt as a tail. I think it’s more of a prey driven thing. Marlin have a prey drive, and basically if you pull something from it, or if something runs away from it, they’re going to attack it. They are programmed like a cheetah or anything else, if the prey is moving they are going to chase.”

“You are trying to make your lures look like that school of skipjack the marlin are feeding on,” says Moyes. “When the tuna feed up on top, the marlin can take advantage of the tuna’s focus on feeding and ambush them. The lures emulate that school of skipjacks. I try not to over think it … my Dad always told me not to out think something that doesn’t think.”

CHOOSING A SHAPE

Moyes’ favorite shape from his most recent lure making efforts is a head with an interesting style. “My Blaster is a kind of a bubble-shaped slant head that’s very versatile,” says Moyes. “It runs in any position -- long or short, rough or calm. You can pull it anywhere and that’s what I like about it.”

And as far as color goes... “Color wise, if I had my choice it would be green and black.”

As most lure fanatics know, coming out with new shapes that do not border on the absurd and that can still perform is part of the art form. “It’s hard to come up with new shapes because there really are only so many,” Moyes says. “I try to set myself apart by paying close attention to the weights, how much to add and where it is placed in the lure. Quality really sets you apart from those who cut corners. I’m not saying that somebody else’s lure won’t catch fish, but if I’m putting my name in it, I want it to be the best lure I can possibly make.”

MOYES BIG GAME TACTICAL
954-560-0598
Aquamoyes1@yahoo.com

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