Tributes are flowing for well-known local fishing guru Jim Allan, who died last week. Albany Rods and Tackle, the long-standing fishing store which Mr Allan bought in 1991, will not be the same without his familiar face behind the counter. The 75-year-old was a mine of information for many local fishers who would visit his store looking for some bait, equipment or advice. Mr Allan’s daughter Kylie Allan reminisced about a childhood full of camping and fishing. “He was very into fishing, he made his own rods, he would do rod binding — it was such a big part of his life,” she said. Despite his friendly service, Ms Allan said her father “did not suffer fools lightly”. She said he became hooked on fishing as a young boy when he would go crabbing in a small boat with his father in Perth. “He built up a real love for it over the years,” Ms Allan said. Western Angler magazine editor and The Sunday Times fishing writer Scott Coghlan knew Mr Allan for 40 years. He described his good friend as a “pioneer of bream lure fishing”. “When I was getting into fishing, I spent a lot of time in Jim’s shop driving him mad — looking at hooks, sinkers, rods and reels for hours on end, then just buying $2-$3 worth of gear and leaving,” he said. “He had one of the best selections of bream lures in Australia and became quite well known for it ... Jim was one of the pioneers of lure fishing for bream — it was never really done 30 years ago. “Now it’s very popular.” While Mr Coghlan described his late friend as “feisty”, he said you just had to get past his “gruff exterior”. In 2019, the Advertiser listed Mr Allan as one of Albany’s 18 most influential people. Mr Allan started working at Albany Rods and Tackle in 1979, when the closure of the whaling station forced him to find a new job. By his own conservative estimates, he helped thousands of people with tackle, bait, technique and locations. He was the one person who knew all of the “secret” fishing spot along our stretch of coastline. Mr Coghlan said the fishing guru was always happy to help people who shared his passion for fishing. “He was great for people who didn’t know about fishing, and he was more than happy to pass that knowledge on and point them in the right direction,” he said. “If they were going in the wrong direction he’d be pretty blunt and tell them.” Mr Coghlan said the store was like a “drop-in centre for fishermen”. “It was a good little meeting point for everyone,” he said. “He didn’t seem to mind and wouldn’t care if you bought a heap of gear or just came and said, ‘hello’. Jim loved the shop. “When he got crook, I said ‘are you going to retire and just go fishing?’ “But he just wanted to keep running the shop.” The Allan family will hold a public wake at the Albany Boating and Offshore Fishing Club on Thursday from 1pm. Ms Allan said people were invited to wear their most “hideous” shirt in honour of her father’s “terrible taste in shirts”.