George Hommell Jr., renowned as President George H.W. Bush’s flats guide and co-founder of Islamorada’s World Wide Sportsman store, died Saturday. He was 88.
“George brought presidents to us,” said Gary Ellis, founder of the Redbone Celebrity Tournament Series.
“In Mangrove Mike’s, there’s a photo of Ted Williams holding up a bonefish. George is polling the boat,” Ellis said. “Those two probably did more for this fishing community than anyone can imagine.”
“My father dedicated his life to promoting and perfecting the sport of backcountry fishing and conservation,” said Mariellen Hommell.
“It was just fun being with George,” said World Wide Sportsman manager Mark Klingbeil, who worked with Hommell for 15 years. “He was an inspiration to everyone here.
“He had 100,000 different stories,” Klingbeil said. “If you were planning a trip somewhere, he had a story about it.”
Ellis recalled how Hommell willingly shared advice and customers with a young crew of budding guides in the 1960 and 1970s.