Retiree finds the time to solve a fishing lure problem

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 13, 2013 - 5:31 PM
hide

Doug Erbeck, 77, of Crystal loves to catch bluegills, so he invented the Fisherbeck Easy Thread lure, a jig with a funnel-like hole instead of an eye to attach the line.

At 77, Doug Erbeck is retired — technically — but you won’t find him sitting in a rocking chair killing time.

When he’s not angling for panfish on Twin Cities-area lakes, which is frequently, or competing in long-distance running races, or gardening, or volunteering with the Fur, Fin & Feather Club in Osseo, the former veterinary pathologist peddles an easy-tie fishing jig he invented and sells.

He calls it the Fisherbeck lure.

“I guarantee you’ll catch more and larger bluegills with the easiest-to-thread jig on the market today,’’ said the gregarious Erbeck, of Crystal.

Fumbling while trying to tie 2-pound-test fishing line onto a small jig one cold winter morning several years ago, Erbeck had a light bulb moment. “Those darn little bitty jigs have such small eyes, they’re hard to thread,’’ he said.

And paint must first be removed from them — a tedious affair. Erbeck figured he could do better.

In 2010, he made a clay model and brainstormed with son-in-law Marty Stone of Arden Hills, an engineer. The result: Fisherbeck Easy Threading Jigs, which have funnels to thread the line through instead of a small eye. He got a patent, found a manufacturer and began making and selling them.

“It’s easier to thread for everybody, but it’s particularly attractive for elderly people, for handicapped people, for kids and for ice fishing, because your hands get cold,’’ he said.

But Erbeck found it difficult getting into the tackle-making business; there’s lots of competition.

“I did the patent all by myself, without any lawyers,’’ he said proudly. “The first lawyer I talked to wanted $15,000 to do it. So I went online. The patent office people actually helped me.’’

He sells the jigs three for $5 on his website (www.fisherbeck.com), at fishing shows and a few bait shops, including Frankies Bait in Chisago City, Capra’s Sporting Goods in Blaine, Harty’s Bait Shop at Medicine Lake and Vados Bait in Spring Lake Park.

Sales have been good, but Erbeck laughs when asked if he’s getting rich.

“It’s coming slow but sure,’’ he said. “I’m not making a lot of money, just enough to put back into the business.’’

He’s adding a second jig, one to target big crappies. “It will be the same as the Fisherbeck, only a different color, white glow-in-the-dark with pink eyes. Hopefully, this will take off.’’

His jigs originally were made in China, but he’s found a manufacturer in Illinois to make the next batch, including the new crappie jigs. All are made of tin instead of lead.

“It’s environmentally friendly,’’ Erbeck said. “And with tin, it sinks a bit slower and the fish will grab it.’’

The orange and black jigs are meant to be especially effective on bluegills, Erbeck’s favorite fish.

“To me, bluegills are the premier eating fish of Minnesota,” he said. “And it’s so much fun.’’

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

Click here to send us your hunting or fishing photos – and to see what others are showing off from around the region.

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 7:25 PM
Carolina
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 6:00 PM
Orlando
Detroit 7:00 PM
Minnesota
New York 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Utah 7:30 PM
Dallas
Oklahoma City 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Boston 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Chicago 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Arizona 6:30 PM
Florida
San Jose 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Anaheim 7:00 PM
St. Louis
NY Islanders 8:00 PM
Colorado
Montreal 9:00 PM
Vancouver
(2) Florida State 6:30 PM
Louisville
Troy 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Cincinnati 10/31/14 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 10/31/14 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
Sporting Kansas City 7:00 PM
Red Bull New York
Hamilton 10/31/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should the lake where the albino muskie was caught remain a mystery?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close