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Killgore's Key

A tribute to bonafide bonefish-loving outdoor industry veteran Rob Kilgore

Killgore's Key

It’s hard for me to think of Key Biscayne without thinking about Rob Killgore. Rob loved Key Biscayne. He was a resident there since 1967, he was a longtime member of the Key Biscayne Yacht Club and he raised his family there.  But, what stopped Rob, and you, in your tracks was the chance to tell you about one of his Biscayne Bay bonefish.

Robert Wight Killgore, 86, born March 24, 1937 passed away on January 16, 2024, in Miami, FL. Rob worked as a sales representative for Florida Sportsman Magazine for over 28 years, from June 1978 through 2006. But, when it came to numbers, it wasn’t the hundreds of ads he sold that he cared the most about. It was the number of bonefish he caught on fly. I forget the exact number, and he told me several times, but it was more than 300. And not only did Rob know the number of fish he caught, he could tell you exact details from every one of those catches.

He was wired that way. Details mattered. Originally a newspaper reporter, Rob covered local news and crime for the Hartford Courant, Newark Evening News and then for the Miami News.

No longer reporting as a sales rep for the magazine, Rob unleashed his investigative skills on anyone with a fish story to tell.  And it wasn’t just fish that endeared him to his hundreds of advertising clients over the years. “If Rob knew you he most likely knew everything and anyone in your life,” said Drew Wickstrom, Art Director, Florida Sportsman. “Rob was always asking questions about your life and saving business talk for later.” 

When told of his passing, Pat Brown, co-founder of Dusky Boats, said, “Rob exemplified unwavering patience. His consistent follow-ups were memorable, even when it required 15 phone calls. His legacy as a reliable and patient professional, not to mention having an all-around great personality, will be forever cherished.”

“My dad had a deep desire to connect and share his love for sportfishing and the outdoors,” said Rob’s son Bobby Killgore. “He was well-known and admired in the South Florida fishing and boating community. He had an unmistakable wit and sense of humor, he was a great storyteller and mentor to many.”

But, make no mistake, if you mentioned catching a bonefish, anywhere in the world, expect reporter Rob to begin drilling you for details. Weight, weather conditions, tide, type of fly, or bait, it all mattered. Especially if you caught a bonefish in Biscayne Bay. 

Rob is survived by sons Rick (Elena) and Bobby, grandsons Eddy (Laura) and Bennett Cutrera, and two great-grandchildren, Joseph and Joy. He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Pat, and daughter, Beth. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Rob’s honor to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA).

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