Mid-Atlantic anglers from the foothills of south PA, to the shoals off the Delaware coast, to the glorious Chesapeake Bay that makes up the heart and soul of both Maryland and Virginia: we have a huge reason to celebrate this month. Believe it or not, this April edition marks five years of FishTalk.
When we went into publication in April of 2017, many people thought we were downright nuts. Start a print magazine, in this day and age? You’d have to be completely crazy… right? But I knew there was a gaping hole in our fishing world. A complete lack of any venue for anglers young and old, new and experienced alike, to learn more about and fishing and share their experience. The epically unreliable internets certainly didn’t fill the void, the few micro-publications still in existence were very limited in scope, and the national fishing publications might have one article a month of interest to those of us living in the Mid-Atlantic region.
When I took my vision of what FishTalk could be to Mary Ewenson, publisher of PropTalk and SpinSheet magazines, she saw the potential and understood that I was just one among many anglers who wanted what a FishTalk could offer. That anglers deserved and needed their own publication, 100 percent dedicated to fishing and nothing but. And since that April 2017 launch, we haven’t missed a beat. True, one edition in the winter of 2020 had to publish digital-only thanks to Covid, but it did still publish. And other than that slight hiccup FishTalk has been there for you and me on the racks at hundreds of distribution points each and every month.
Thank you, anglers, for helping making it a reality. The number-one reason we’ve been able to keep FishTalk growing all along is the support of our readers. That’s what generates the support of advertisers, motivates our staff, and keeps me, personally, clicking away at the keyboard. Thank you from the backing on my spool to the jig dangling from my rod tip. Thank you from the one-inch shad dart to the foot-long Green Machine. Thank you from the lakes, ponds, and rivers to the submarine canyons.
I also want to take a moment to say thanks to our advertisers. We couldn’t exist without them, and I sincerely hope that all FishTalk readers take note of who they are and help support them in the same way that they support us. If you enjoy FishTalk, then those advertisers deserve to get some credit from you.
Then there’s also the staff of SpinSheet Publishing which deserves a heaping dose of gratitude. They already had two magazines, published PortBook, had three websites, and two sets of social media channels to deal with. Adding a third did not lighten anyone’s load.
Finally, while I know this really doesn’t affect the angling community at large, I seriously want to offer a big-time thanks to my wife, Melissa. While burning the midnight oil has always been in my nature, the added hours this project has demanded, and will continue to demand, means that many evenings I’m at the desk rather than the dinner table. Thanks for putting up with it all, sweets!
So: we’re five years in. In that time, we’ve seen at least one critical fishery decline rapidly, but we have also seen new ones popping up. We’ve watched our political muscle evaporate, but now we also have a slew of new anglers adding to the voice and weight of the fishing community. We’ve had some tackle shops and boat dealers close down, but we’ve seen a lot more get a fresh start. It’s impossible to say what the future will bring, folks, but I do know one thing: barring any radical disasters, FishTalk is here to stay. And as long as I’m around that means our mission will not change: helping Mid-Atlantic anglers catch more, bigger fish.