Well-known outdoor writer and TV host, Homer Circle, died unexpectedly Friday at the age of 97.
Circle, whose column in Bassmaster magazine was titled, “Ask Uncle Homer” was a member of the Outdoor Writers Association of America since 1946 and was perhaps best known to most as the long-time fishing editor for Sports Afield magazine. He filled that role from 1968 through 2002 and remained active in writing and fishing until his death.
Circle wrote numerous books on bass fishing, the last, “Bass Wisdom,” was published in 2000. He also hosted several TV shows including “The Fisherman” and “The Outdoorsman,” as well as starring in two fishing films, Bigmouth (1973) and Bigmouth Forever (1996).
“His is a remarkable life, with simple beginnings. While fresh out of high school, he took a job as a salesman in an outdoor store in Ohio. For the next eight years, he had the chance to see and use every new hook, line and sinker that was introduced to the market,” wrote Jay Cassell in an OWAA Legends piece he wrote about Circle. “The tackle business was in its infancy then. Not willing to limit his fishing to lures sold on the market, Circle decided to make his own instead. The result was a plug, which he called The Walnut Crab…he took it to the president of Heddon fishing tackle and declared he’d match it against any lure Heddon had to offer.”
Heddon didn’t buy the lure, but they hired Circle as the VP of advertising and public relations. In 1964, Circle began freelancing article for Sports Afield.
The former president of OWAA (1967-68), Circle has received countless awards, including OWAA’s 1965 Jade of Chiefs Award, 1975 Excellence in Craft Award and 1979 Ham Brown Award. He was also inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 1981, the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame in 2001 and the IGFA Hall of Fame in 2007. He was also the recipient of the American Sportfishing Association Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996.
He is survived by his daughter, Judy McCormack, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gayle. They were married for 70 years by the time she died in 2007. The family plans a private service for him, according to his granddaughter, Beth Costantino.
OWAA members and supporters are encouraged to send notes about ways he touched their lives to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Uncle Homer” as the subject line. Emails will be forwarded to family members.