Jun 25, 2012, 8:31 PM EDT
One of the good guys has died. Iconic angler and writer Homer Circle passed away unexpectedly early Saturday at age 97.
The web is now loaded with tributes for “Uncle Homer,” who has been a force in the fishing industry for decades, first as an executive with Michigan-based Heddon Lures, and then with a host of top sporting magazines, including Sports Afield, Bassmaster and North American Fisherman, books, television shows and movies
It was the fall of 1987, several months before the planned June, 1988 launch of North American Fisherman magazine, I was a kid barely out of college when I spoke to Homer the first time. Would he be interested in writing for this new publication?
It was clear Homer was interested in the opportunity, though there were some hurdles to overcome. For example, we’d need to use a pen name which he announced would be “Gene Round.” I agreed and so started a relationship that lasted years … and forever changed my view of heroes.
At the time, Homer was one of the most famous anglers in the world. He had already hosted three nationally-televised fishing shows, had authored several books on fishing, and had hosted two films including BIGMOUTH. Yet, he had no ego and clearly loved to make other laugh. Each phone call started with joke, most of them groaners, yet I loved them all. And when we had a chance to meet with industry events, Homer always put his arm over the shoulder of those he spoke to, instantly creating a bond with everyone.
In the early 1990s, Homer invited me to join him near his home in Ocala, Florida, (just north of Orlando), to fish bass on one of the phosphate pits near his home. At day’s end I asked to take a photo with Homer as a keepsake. He immediately winked at his good friend Bing McClelland, and both shoved a plastic worm up their respective noses and proclaimed their readiness to be photographed. The resulting image (above) has been hanging in my office since that day.
Homer Circle was one of the great ones…Steve
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