George Hommell Jr. is one of the founding members of Bonefish and Tarpon Trust, he leaves behind a legacy to fishing. George moved to the keys in 1945, in the early days of fly fishing and began fishing by himself eventually becoming a full time guide. It was Hommell who refined the technique for poling bonefish, important shrimp fly patterns and was one of the first people to troll his boat around looking for fish.
Founded World Wide Sportsman, Florida Keys landmark in 1967
He also designed the Billy Pate Reel that change saltwater fishing forever. World Wide Sportsman helped to grow the sport of saltwater fly fishing. The store was sold to Bass Pro Shops who kept the original name because of the respect for George.
George promoted “catch and release” fishing tarpon and bonefish
In the seventies, Hommell promoted conservation noticing the declining number of fish as a part of the Islamadora Fishing Guides Association, and through restoration and protection of the Everglades and the importance of seagrass preservation, under his leadership the Bayside marina became one of the first “green” marinas in the Keys.
In 2002, George was name NOAA’s environmental heroes for his contributions
One of his most important conservation moves was as Founding Director of Bonefish and Tarpon Trust ( then known as Bonefish and Tarpon Unlimited) in 1998, where he was committed to conserve the flats fishing for future generations. He will be dearly missed.
In his memory, BTT has set up a George Hommel Jr. Florida keys Habitat Fund, which will go to BTT’s efforts to bring back the golden years of Keys flats to health. Donations can be made to, Bonefish and Tarpon Trust 24 Dockside Lane PMB 83 Key Largo, FL 33035 or by phone: 321-674-7758.
To get the latest updates from Atlanta Fishing Examiner Tina Ranieri ‘click’ the subscribe button above. To view her body of articles ‘click’National Holistic Health Examiner, or Atlanta Holistic Health Examiner.