Bass Fishing Loses Greatest Scribe in Uncle Homer

Article by Dave Precht

Photo of Homer Circle with a largemouth bass

The bass fishing community mourned the death of its favorite uncle, Homer Circle, who wrote a monthly column in Bassmaster Magazine, “Ask Uncle Homer.”

He was one of the most popular, prolific and influential bass fishing writers and remained active until his death in June at the age of 97. Best known as the fishing editor for Sports Afield magazine (1968-2002), Circle authored numerous books, including The Art of Plug Fishing (1965), New Guide toBass Fishing (1972), Worming and Plugging for Bass (1972), Circle on Bass (1996) and Bass Wisdom (2000).

He was a host of TV’s “The Fisherman,” “Sports Afield” and “The Outdoorsman,” and he starred in two films, "Bigmouth" in 1973 and "Bigmouth Forever" in 1996. Born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1914, Circle began his outdoor writing career at his hometown newspaper in 1940. Following a stint in sporting goods sales, he worked for Heddon Lures, rising to vice president. He retired from Heddon in the mid-1960s and moved to central Florida where he could bass fish year-round.

The former president of the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Circle received countless awards, including induction 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.

During his work on the movie, "Bigmouth", Circle and producer Glen Lau developed a close friendship. The two men fished together weekly with Circle in the bow of Lau’s johnboat and Lau positioning the craft to give his friend the first and best cast.

“Our last trip was just five days before he died,” Lau said. “We fished from 2 in the afternoon until 5, and he caught six and I caught five, which is just the way I like it.”

That last outing was an answer to Circle’s own “Fisherman’s Prayer,” which he was often called on to recite during banquets for the Bassmaster Classic and other gatherings. The prayer, like Homer Circle, is part of the fabric of the sport. —Dave Precht