Here's an article from the Feb 2011 issue of Hawaii Fishing News featuring our own George Lewitzki:
George Lewitzki has two passions in life and they are fishing and golf not necessarily in that order. He fishes on the SPLASH official lure research vessel, the Force 21 Mo Bettah. His day job is his Hilo golf shop Golf Treasures. It’s on his golf work bench where he combines fishing and golf and dreamed up the Gripper Grabber lure. “I was just fooling around having difficulty cutting off golf grips off shafts. I got this feeling. I saw the vision of this lure. Then I started grabbing clubs and started making symmetrical cuts in half, quarters trying to duplicate squid skirts. Then I thought OK how about multicolor grips.”Lewitzski begins making red and black, orange and black and yellow and black golf grip lures. He secretly takes the prototypes to Mo Bettah mate, Kris Duerr, who christens them Gripper Grabber. Kris who regularly puts 8” purple Softheads in the lineup likes what he holds. He has one suggestion and adds a 3 ounce egg sinker. Lewitzki holds out a golf grip lure: “Here check these out. More durable than latex skirts. Natural rubber is virtually indestructible especially the corded ones. Basically, a Softhead run as a popper at slow speed. Egg sinker gives high speed smoke like crazy.” Kris runs them on the maiden run to Hakalau buoy. Mahi mahi hits the Gripper Grabber on the long rigger. It’s a cane knife to the boat, wrapped and tossed in the box. Not satisfied running one golf grip lure Kris makes a daisy chain. The daisy chain is 18 feet long and has 3 purple Gripper Grabbers placed in 2 foot interval at the top and a rigged 7 inch Ahi P at the end. The lure does create commotion and has caught ahi. It also works as a teaser drawing fish into the pattern. But the Gripper Grabber is not the only Lewitzki lure. “I created the Frog and the Ahi Spam playing with compression fittings one day. All I did was take brass connectors that connect copper pipes and fit them together. Both the Frog and Ahi Spam I added egg sinkers for weighted nose basically is what it was and stretched skirts over them. The Frog has brass caps for eyes that I soldered on. Brass fittings are expensive but one thing they don’t corrode and they hold up and they are heavy. You can have $10 dollars into a lure head. Still not bad.”The Frog and the Ahi Slam act like chrome heads. They both catch. Serve mahi burgers with the Frog and with the Ahi Spam just add Aloha shoyu.Then there’s the Copper Spinner.
“This was my first lure. It is a piece of 1/2 inch copper tubing and I criss crossed slit the tail and flared it and made a copper nose cone for it. The closest member of its family is the old fashioned cedar plug. Cost here is reasonable you can use pipe laying around.”
How did George Lewitzki become Hawaii’s mad scientist of lure making? Well, he happens to be the son of George J. Lewitzki deceased top secret rocket scientist. Trained as an electrical engineer, Lewitzki senior went to work in the aerospace industry in Southern California. He starts with Northrop Corporation late 1950‘s where he does rocket propulsion. From there he goes to Rocketdyne the country’s top rocket engine manufacturer. He is involved with Gemini and Apollo. Lewitzki talks of his father: “It was from Rocketdyne that he went to work for the Space Shuttle followed it through development into launch. From there he went to Hughes building defense, weather and communication satellites. Basically, I grew up with a a top secret machine shop in my garage. We had BB gun fights in the back yard using my dad’s grinding shields to protect our eyes. This is where I learned to solder, weld and fabricate. Eventually, I was working with precious metallurgy. Why am I boring you with the details of my past? I use all of this in my lure making.”Back to the GripperGrabber: “When I was cutting off old grips and slicing them I realized they would make a good lure. Now I take a slim jim and ease the grip off with out ruining them. I then take scissors and cut the grip in eight strips. Its an eight tentacled octopus or squid whatever you want to call it.” “Grips come in multiple colors two tone, when I find something unusual then I make a lure out of it. Sometimes I’ll take two colors and use them together inserting a pink golf grip skirt under black for instance. The other thing’ll do is take a black grip and invert it so I’m seeing the undersides and then I’ll spray paint it.”Dabs of red nail polish make for great eyes. Cuz red eyes at night fisherman’s delight. What’s new for Lewitzki in 2011. Well, there’s golf and fishing. Lewitzki has sold the first two of his newly designed Hawaii built golf putters. How about fishing? “Right now I’m having test teams running the lures. I’ve got them on Big Island and Oahu. Paula Kawasugi a manufacturer’s rep for Fisherman Eye Wear.”