The Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship was founded in 2000 by Homestead Hospital and Dr. Lloyd Wruble of Miami in honor of the late Herman Lucerne, a pioneer and legend in backcountry fishing in Everglades National Park. Limited to the boundaries of Everglades National Park, the tournament is a unique and challenging two-day, “catch and release” event that welcomes anglers of all skill levels, both young and old, and male and female. The seven species to be caught are: snook, snapper, redfish, trout, bonefish, tarpon and black drum. Anglers may use bait, artificial or fly tackle, and may be guided or unguided. The tournament produces a grand champion; six top anglers (male guided, male non-guided, female guided, female non-guided, junior guided, junior non-guided); team champions (guided and non-guided); and six division champions (fly guided, fly non-guided, artificial guided, artificial non-guided, general guided, and general non-guided). In addition, awards are given for the largest species. Come and test your skills. See old friends and make new ones. Lend your support to a worthwhile cause. All proceeds from the tournament benefit Everglades National Park, a national treasure and designated World Heritage Site. The Herman Lucerne Memorial is a registered 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization.
About Herman Lucerne Memorial
About the Memorial
The Herman Lucerne Memorial Fishing Championship is a non-profit 501c(3) organization dedicated to gathering anglers and families to compete in a unique and challenging fishing format. Our role is to promote, conduct and supervise an annual fishing tournament in a friendly, fun, and festive manner. We are dedicated to preserving, protecting, and supporting the fishing resources while instilling a desire to explore the treasures of Everglades National Park.
The Lucerne Effect
Over the last five years, the HLM has raised over $100,000 in funds to augment the federal government’s budget allocation for Everglades National Park. Our funds have been earmarked specifically for infrastructure that supports the activities of anglers and sportsmen in the Park, such as maintaining the chickees, boat ramp and dock improvements, channel markers, pole and troll signage, and navigational aids.
The Herman Lucerne is generously supported by Evinrude BRP this year, giving one lucky winner the chance to take home a brand new 150 H.O. Evinrude E-TEC G2 engine [or $10,000 cash].
The Herman Lucerne Memorial Backcountry Fishing Championship was created in honor of one of Everglades National Park’s most respected backcountry anglers, Herman Lucerne. Known affectionately as “Mr. Everglades,” Herman’s knowledge of the backcountry was almost unparalleled, having been painstakingly acquired by exploring each area of the Park for almost 40 years. He had an uncanny memory for landmarks. One of his favorite spots was the remote and hard to reach Hell’s Bay. Herman would say, “It’s called ‘Hell’s Bay’ because it is hell to get into and hell to find your way out of.” He was one of but a handful of individuals able to navigate through the labyrinth of canals, water trails and bays, as well as the twisting maze of mangroves, to find the best fishing areas, especially to catch one of his favorite fish — snook. These were areas other experienced boatmen would fear to enter because of getting hopelessly lost. After fishing with Herman in 1968, Miami Herald writer Nixon Smiley wrote, “His hobby is exploring the darker regions of Everglades National Park, which he has been doing for 15 years.” He added, “If a fish has seen a human, Lucerne isn’t interested in it.” But it was also Herman’s energetic and dynamic personality, besides his being an excellent fisherman, which made him sought after by many to get to those hard-to-reach, but fruitful, fishing areas. He was a great conversationalist and people of all ages and walks of life, from celebrities to children, were drawn to his easygoing manner. He had fished with sports figures such as baseball legend Joe DiMaggio, former Boston Celtic great John Havlicek, golfer Ray Floyd, Nick Nicolosi, former Congressman Dante Fascell, former President Nixon’s press secretary Ron Ziegler, former CBS White House Correspondent Bob Pierpoint and John Pennekamp, conservationist and newspaper editor. Herman was a man of many talents and dimensions. He was a one-time mayor of Florida City as well as a successful businessman with lime and avocado groves. But it was sports fishing in Everglades National Park that was his true love. Able to look past the annoyances others may have focused on—mosquitoes, heat and humidity, and the difficulty in reaching those desirable areas—he saw and appreciated its beauty and serenity and understood its physical significance. And long before it was fashionable, he pushed for its preservation for enjoyment by future generations, recognizing its delicate ecosystems and status as a vital sanctuary for rare and endangered species. Tragically, Herman died in 1992 during Hurricane Andrew. This tournament has been fittingly named in Herman’s honor. Through it his legacy, spirit and passion for backcountry fishing continue to live on and serve as an inspiration for others.
Board of Directors
Dr. Lloyd Wruble, Chairman
Richard Trotta, President
Santa Fe, New Mexico