Doug Ware is a longtime police investigator with the City of Guntersville. It’s a stressful line of work as you might imagine.

He enjoys fishing and now he’s found a fishing spin-off that’s also an enjoyable stress-busting hobby: Painting custom fishing lures.

“I’ve only been doing it a few months,” he said. “But I really enjoy it. My kids even enjoy it and paint a few lures.”

He’s had success with his baits too. A blue lure with black stripes – pretty unusual in that you don’t see many commercial patterns like that – was dynamite fished on riprap banks earlier this year.

He made some special lures in a blueback herring pattern for a friend fishing a tournament on Smith Lake. The friend had luck with those lures too.

He enjoys experimenting with color and maybe finding something a little off the wall. And it’s extra fun when his creations fool a wary bass. He’s got some shad patterns painted up and is just biding his time, waiting until some Guntersville Lake bass start schooling in a well-know place.

Doug said he spent less than $100 to get set up with an air brush.

“I can buy the blank lures for little of nothing,” he said.

If he messes up, which is rare, he just paints over it.

He has noticed if he paints a lure black, then goes over it with silver, he gets a “scale pattern” on his lures, the same as a real baitfish.

He doesn’t fish “deep divers” a lot but his boxes of custom lures are full of them now with different patterns he has painted.

“I’m really a shallow water fisherman,” he said. So there are lots of squarebills as you can imagine.

He spends an evening or two a week turning out his creations. But if he gets busy with other obligations, it’s easy enough to set aside and return in a week or two.

“It’s a cheap hobby really,” he said. “And custom lures are just fun.”

His wife Chasity is totally supportive. Their children age 15 and 6 even paint a lure with Doug from time-to-time.

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