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October 4, 2015

Florida Icon

Icon: Vic Dunaway

Outdoors writer and book author, founding editor, Florida Sportsman magazine, 79.

Cynthia Barnett | 6/1/2007

The first fish I ever caught I was about 4 years old. I was wandering up and down the back of this creek, and I saw a big, fat minnow in a pool. I just dived right on it and caught it. Then I rushed back to the house screaming about the fish I'd caught.

Vic Dunaway [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
It is an obsession for me and has been forever. All of my close relatives, my uncles, were big fishermen and hunters. But that doesn't necessarily explain it. I had to have it somewhere inside.

Mostly I read a magazine called Hunting and Fishing because that only cost a nickel. But whenever I could come up with 15 cents, I would read Outdoor Life and Field & Stream and Sports Afield.

I was in the Army, and I was thinking, 'Gee wouldn't it be wonderful if FSCW (Florida State College for Women) was co-educational so I could go to Tallahassee.' And before I got out of the Army, it became co-educational, so I could hardly wait. I figured I'd spend my spare time not chasing girls, which would have been very easy to do with the ratio we had in those days, but fishing and hunting.

Vic shares a whopper of a fish tale and his recipe for Seviche.
Listen here
I was very popular among the women because my dates were always fishing dates. I'd get up a group of people, and we'd quadruple date and go fishing down at the St. Mark's Lighthouse. We'd fish on the flats for speckled trout and come back in and have a big fish fry.

My daughter would take a book along and read, but my wife would stick to the fishing pretty well. My sons both became very avid fishermen and hunters. We fished nearly every weekend as they were growing up. Now we try to go once a week.

I worked for 20 years or so for the Metropolitan Miami Fishing Tournament. Its sole purpose was to get people to come to Florida and go fishing. And all the articles I wrote for national magazines and a lot of people who came as visitors would read my column in the Miami Herald. I suppose I have drawn a lot of people here. I know I was the first one to draw sportfishing attention to Key West. And now you can hardly get down there.

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