February 8, 2023
Flip Pallot (left) and Dr. Lloyd Wruble (right) explore the Everglades. Photo: Herman Lucerne Memorial
Bonefish & Tarpon Trust will induct Flip Pallot, Dr. Lloyd Wruble, and the late Captain Billy Knowles into the Circle of Honor on April 20, 2023, during BTT’s 10th Annual Florida Keys Dinner at Cheeca Lodge & Spa in Islamorada, Florida.
Pallot, a pioneering saltwater fly-fishing guide, boat designer, and television personality, will receive the 2023 Curt Gowdy Memorial Media Award, which is presented annually to those who advance saltwater conservation through writing, entertainment, and media outreach. As host of the critically acclaimed Walker’s Cay Chronicles for 15 seasons, Pallot became a leading ambassador for the sport of fly-fishing, and in 1998 he co-founded Hell’s Bay Boatworks, helping to redefine the possibilities for technical poling skiffs. A tireless proponent for conserving Florida’s natural resources, Pallot has used his platform to advocate for Everglades restoration and improved water quality throughout the state.
Wruble will receive the 2023 Flats Stewardship Award, which recognizes commitment to the effective management, sustainable use, and conservation of the flats fishery. Wruble became enamored with tarpon fishing during his medical residency in Miami in the late 1960s. He soon began fishing out of Flamingo Key, where he was befriended by legendary Everglades angler Herman Lucerne, who exposed him to the wonders of the backcountry. After Lucerne’s death, Wruble helped establish the Herman Lucerne Memorial Foundation, which serves to build awareness about the Everglades and raise funds for conservation efforts.
Knowles, a legendary Florida Keys fishing guide, will be honored with the posthumous Outstanding Guide/Angler Award. Born in 1940, Knowles grew up in Islamorada, part of a fishing family. He went on to guide for nearly 60 years, discovering a number of celebrated tarpon angling spots and guiding the likes of Ernest Hemingway, Grace Kelly, President Herbert Hoover, and Ted Williams. Knowles won the Fall All Tackle Bonefish Tournament five times, the Spring All Tackle Bonefish Tournament two times, The Don Hawley Tarpon Tournament, and the Poor Boys Tarpon Tournament a staggering 11 times. He passed away on January 4, 2022.
“The legacy of Flip, Lloyd and Billy is evident in the great progress we’ve made toward conserving the flats fishery,” said BTT President and CEO Jim McDuffie. “Their commitment has not only made an impact in improving water quality, conserving habitats, and safeguarding species, it’s also inspired legions of anglers and other stakeholders to join our cause.”
Master of Ceremonies for this special event will be award-winning author T. Edward Nickens, editor-at-large of Field and Stream and a contributing editor for Garden & Gun.
The BTT Circle of Honor recognizes legendary anglers, fishing guides and conservation leaders who have made significant contributions to the conservation of the flats fishery. It is housed in the Florida Keys History & Discovery Center, located in Islamorada, Florida, and features an annually rotating exhibit about those honored as well as educational content about the significance of the flats fishery. Past recipients of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust’s Lefty Kreh Award, Curt Gowdy Media Award, and Flats Stewardship Award are recognized in a digital archive maintained as part of the exhibit.
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