Fishing pioneer Carr dies at 94

Harry A. “Bud” Carr, a veteran Middle Keys angler who claimed many fishing firsts, died Wednesday in Marathon at age 94.BRBRHe was born Jan. 24, 1918, in Brighton, Mass., the second of five children of Harry A. Carr Sr. and Mary Isabel (Nugent) Carr. He grew up in Massachusetts and New Jersey, and was a former state amateur boxing champ in New York and New Jersey.BRBR He worked at the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corp. in Harrison, N.J., and moved to Miami in 1946, then to the Florida Keys in 1949./ppHe started out small and had his first charter business based in a canal off 15th Street oceanside. Later, his business was invited to be the first charter boat at the then-new Davis Docks, better known by its later name, Faro Blanco Marine Resort./ppAnd for 18 years he handled the charter business at the Buccaneer Lodge, which at the time was considered among the premier resorts in the Middle Keys. The Tranquility Bay Resort at mile marker 48.5 bayside now sits where the Buccaneer was./ppBy 1972, Mr. Carr had moved his operations to Duck Key, where he remained until his recent hospitalization./ppHis first exposure to Keys fishing came while he was a young man and operated a marina and boat yard in Daytona Beach, where he spent summers fishing “returning the Keys in the fall,” according to his family./pp”In the 1950s and early ’60s, he spent several weeks at a time during the summer fishing for marlin and tuna in the Bahamas, making Bimini his base, and became well-known in international sportfishing circles.”/ppHis career spanned more than 60 years. Some highlights, according to his family:/ppLI He caught the first bluefin tuna in Florida waters, harpooned in Florida Bay off Craig Key, on May 10, 1950./ppLI He was the first in the Keys to fish with a kite, and among the first Keys guides to use live ballyhoo for sailfish./ppLI He invented the Ace outrigger snap, an improvement over the then-popular clothespin snap.
In addition to his career as a fishing guide, Mr. Carr was known as a musician, playing piano, the organ and even the accordion at such venues as the Marathon Yacht Club and Sombrero Country Club, among other places./ppHe was among the organizers of the Marathon Guides Association and served as the group’s first president. He was also was a founding member of the Marathon Jaycees and was elected that organization’s first president./ppHe also helped build the Marathon Yacht Club with the late Chet Tingler and served the club as rear and vice commodore./ppFor a number of years, Mr. Carr also served as president of the Conch Key Volunteer Fire Department./ppHe is survived by his wife Gail and daughter Susan (Eric) Mindock of Playa del Rey, Calif. Another daughter, Catherine, died in 2009./ppA gathering in his memory is planned for 3 p.m. Nov. 4 at the Carr home, 148 Indies Drive North, Duck Key.

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