‘Fishin Franks’ will be back, owner says

“Fishin’ Frank” is close to getting a new building after a fire destroyed his business of 35 years.

The Port Charlotte bait and tackle shop owner is determined to get back on his feet. In the long 84 hours since Frank Hommema Jr. lost his life’s work, he has learned a lot about himself.

He has learned a lot about love, friendship and community.

“I had no idea,” he said.

No idea what he meant to people, what his bait and tackle shop represented.

“I didn’t even know about it. And you know, I’m just a guy who owned a bait shop.”

When Hommema first saw what was left of his 35-year-old business, his late father’s pride and joy, it was hard – and he didn’t know if he would rebuild.

“I was a crazy person, that was my day of mourning,” he said.

“Why am I doing this again? My whole life was destroyed, do I want to do that again?”

It’s a much different story three days later.

“I spent one day feeling sorry for myself. And I looked and I said, ‘Frank, what are you doing? This is your history! This is not your life, this is your history.’ So I went out and found a building.”

It won’t be the shop he once built his life around, but it’s not the brick and mortar – or even the fish – that makes Fishin Franks the home that it is.

“I’ve got the best people in the world around me. Why wouldn’t I do it again?”

Hommema is still waiting for the bank to approve his new mortgage and is keeping his fingers crossed. In the meantime, he is thanking everyone who has donated to help him rebuild.

Reporter:Sydney Persing
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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