Caffe Luna Rosa chef’s lures catching on across fishing circles


By: David DiPino Contributing writer
Caffe Luna Rosa chef Ernie DeBlasi has a unique labor of love in making handmade, wooden, fresh and saltwater fishing lures. When chef DeBlasi gets away from the cooking line he can be found in his workshop carving balsa, cedar or pine woods into his Impact Lures. Known for their castibility, buoyancy and virtually whatever chef DeBlasi designs Impact Lures for including catching peacock bass in Lake Ida or snook off of the City of Delray Beach’s Municipal Beach, it is evident he has the end user in mind, the fisherman. Boat captains, fishing guides and the avid fisherman, are keeping Impact Lures alive as one of the last surviving handmade lure companies in the U.S.
Deblasi’s focus is to build and produce quality baits in the “Old American Style.” The woodless materials used in Impact lures only include stainless steel eye screws, double strong split rings and hooks for the hardwood lures. DeBlasi tests each and every lure. To this day each and every wood lure is handmade, sanded and painted. According to DeBlasi, the lures are actually mini art works that have caught plenty of fish.
“Most lures out there are molded plastic. That’s the majority because they are easily fabricated. The Impact Lure is different because the focus is on wooden lures which makes for a better casting ability and buoyancy. I use anything as soft as cedar or pine up to oak for density and floatability,” he said.
Each lure is personally hand turned, hand painted and hand assembled for lifelike action as well as durability. Even the Bucktail on Impact Lure hooks are natural and hand tied. All of the lures have been rigorously tested on some of the toughest and toothiest fish in Florida, from Peacock Bass in the Miami Canals to Black tip Sharks off the Beaches.
“I’m very confident in our lures and offer an array of colors, shapes and sizes. Even the choice of exotic hardwoods is also available for special order,” said DeBlasi.
Testimonials available on DeBlasi’s website echo the detail, durability and functionality.
“The top chubs have the best Walk the Dog action I have ever seen. I am very impressed,” Kyle Meyer, of Alpharetta, GA wrote.
“I finally retired the top chub lure I purchased after catching eight fat redfish and 80 speckled trout. It is on my mantle now,” said Gus Papous of Panama City Beach.
“Dude, these poppers are incredible they cast a country mile and spit the perfect amount of water. Keep em’ coming,” said Ty Southerland and “Host of 30 Miles Out Fishing Show” TV show.
DeBlasi also takes special requests for lures. With Father’s Day right around the corner, or to get a head start on a thoughtful, useful gift for a loved one, or the holidays, an Impact Lure could be the perfect gift without breaking the bank. Impact Lures can be purchased at X Generation Custom Rods, 410 N. Dixie Highway, Lake Worth. Online orders are available at
“We’ve had orders from as far as France and Israel,” he said.
DeBlasi grew up in North Miami Beach where he made handmade wood lures as a teenager. He now lives in Boynton Beach and is the chef of Caffe Luna Rosa, 34 S. Ocean Blvd., Delray Beach. He caught a crevelle jack (fish) off of one of the lures that weighed a whopping 49 lbs. DeBlasi’s favorite fishing off the beach is snook fishing in the Fall just south of the Boynton Beach Inlet. Inshore it’s the Lake Worth Mangroves or the Everglades in West Boynton Beach.
“I like to get away from the day-to-day grind of being a chef at a busy restaurant by making lures. For me it provides balance, it’s a creative process, the design that exercises my mind and keeps me refreshed. It’s a creative flow when I’m making lures,” said DeBlasi.
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