Claim to Fame
Longtime Wrightsville charter boat captain
Custom made Eddy Haneman fishing rod
On any given day, Kit Taylor's attire can tell of a life spent on the water: his camo visor stitched with an outline of a fish, or his gray cargo pants paint-splattered from applying a fresh coat to the bottom of a boat.
Fishing has always been an integral part of Taylor's life. His love for the sport began at the age of 6, when he would spend hours on his grandfather's boat. He's worked the waters off Wrightsville Beach as a charter boat captain for more than 45 years.
He has accumulated quite a collection of fishing gear over the years, but of all his tools, the Eddy Haneman custom-made rods are his greatest treasures.
"I don't even take them on the water because they're so special," he says. "I'm afraid something will happen to them."
Captain Eddy Haneman was one of the first charter boat captains in the area and a Wrightsville icon. He designed and made rods specifically for individual fishermen, depending on their hand and body size, as well as the type of fish they were trying to catch.
"I take a lot of pride and care in them," Taylor says. "Each rod has history and they're something of a collector's item now."
The pleasure Taylor derives from his vintage water-sport equipment is reflective of the passion he feels for the pastime. Fishing is so much more than a few hours spent at sea; it's a way to experience the world around him land doesn't afford and an opportunity to connect with others on a meaningful level.
"I loved taking my kids out on the water growing up," he says. "Now it's great to take out my friends' kids and let them experience it. They are out in nature doing things most kids don't have the chance to do. You'll be on the boat fishing and have a school of dolphins swimming by trying to play with you."