I stumbled on to Eddie Douglas by sheer accident a few weeks ago while researching wake baits for big Speckled Trout. How I missed this gentleman, and his customized wake baits over the years is beyond me. Over the last 6 decades, Eddie has earned a reputation not only as one of the best saltwater wade fisherman on the middle gulf coast but has also garnered a sizable underground following as a lure maker, with a customized bait he refers to as the E.D. Special. Eddie's lure consists of an off the shelf Rebel jointed minnow with some custom modifications, one of which is an unconventional hand-painted color scheme, that as word has it, will catch fish when nothing else will. And, according to Eddie, it's so productive and reliable, it's the only lure he's used for the past 25 years. The lure however is not what this essay is about.
What this essay is about, is the fact that at 87 years old Eddie is still customizing hundreds of lures, all by hand for the local hardcore anglers, and is still fishing every chance he gets. And when I say fishing, I am not talking about sitting in a lawn chair on a pier somewhere falling asleep in between bites. The man is wade fishing the Matagorda Bay complex for trophy Speckled Trout, which as those of us who have done it can attest to, is a style of angling that is not for the faint of heart. And to do it in Matagorda where the current is strong, the sharks are thick, and the wades are measured in miles is impressive and inspirational, to say the least.
I phoned Eddie this afternoon to place an order for a couple of these hand-painted lures, and the man kept me on the phone for what amounted to one of the most enjoyable hour and a half long conversations I have had in a very long time. Not only is he a walking encyclopedia of Texas fishing knowledge, with which he shares freely and generously but he has the mileage on the water, and skill set to back it up. Additionally, his flair for telling a good fishing story is second to none. I had to laugh when Eddie asked me how old I was, to which I replied "I just turned 50". He quickly retorted "oh you're just a baby son"
It's men like these that despite their age, continue to push themselves to fish as hard and as long as they can with a real "never say die" attitude because they simply love to fish.
Hope you all have a safe and healthy holiday,