Florida Sportsman founder Karl Wickstrom 82, passed away Monday night in Stuart, Florida. The cause of death has not been determined, however, Wickstrom was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.
Wickstrom devoted his life to marine conservation efforts and advocating for the rights of recreational anglers. He was a graduate of the University of Florida with a degree in journalism. He moved to Miami in 1960 to work for the Miami Herald doing investigative reporting.
Wickstrom founded Florida Sportsman magazine in 1969, and it quickly became a leading source for information on Florida’s developing boating and fishing interests and the voice of the state’s recreational anglers and hunters on issues of access, management and environmental causes. Florida Sportsman will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2019.
Florida Sportsman has featured Captain Dennis Forgione and the Free Spool in many articles over the years. Forgione and Florida Sportsman editor Jeff Weakley are longtime acquaintances, and Weakley frequently networked with Forgione to find out about the latest bite, or the newest fishing techniques.
Wickstrom will be missed by the the Free Spool captain and crew, and the entire fishing community in Florida.