Florida Keys Angling Aficionado, Passes at 88

George F. Hommell, Jr, 88, passed away at his home in Islamorada, Florida on August 31 following a short illness. Hommell is survived by his wife of 60 years, Doris, his son, George III and daughter, Mariellen as well as a lifetime of friends and fishing buddies.

Hommell served his country in World War II and Korea in both the Navy and Air Force. Following his discharge, Hommell settled in Islamorada and became one of the pioneer fishermen of the Keys. During the next 60+ years, Hommell dedicated his life to Keys flats fishing, and to the conservation of the islands’ natural resources. Hommell helped refine the techniques in fishing for bonefish, tarpon and other species and designing fishing equipment, including one of the first bead-eye flies, called the Hommell Evil Eye. He founded World Wide Sportsman, Inc. to cater to the needs of the world’s anglers who came to the Fishing Capital of the World and other worldwide fishing locations. Following its sale to Bass Pro Shops in 1995, Hommell remained with the company overseeing its operations until his death.

One of the most sought after experts in flats fishing, Hommell fished with such notables as George H.W. Bush, Ted Williams, Dan Rather, Al Roker and hundreds of others. In 1988, Hommell was appointed to head then-President George H.W. Bush’s INTERCOM committee to promote better management of the Nation’s fishing resources.

A celebration of Hommell’s life will be announced. In recognition of his lifelong dedicated interests, it was George’s wish that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust www.bonefishtarpontrust.org or the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center fkwbc.org.