Some News, Views, and Thanks

Everett Johnson
Well, I guess if you're a regular reader and have gotten this far into the magazine you have already figured out that we pulled the trigger on the size change. Like I announced last month; recent increases in the price of gasoline, diesel and printing pushed us into a tough spot. Weighing the options, we decided to hold the line on advertising rates and the cover price, availing ourselves instead to every cost reduction opportunity we could identify before going cap-in-hand and asking our loyal advertisers and readers for more money. There is an upside in this, though. Adopting the new, smaller size will help the magazine grow in several important ways. Gaining premium display space will be easier and should boost circulation. Hopefully this will become a win-win for everybody.

July is always an exciting month in the fishing industry. The American Sportfishing Association will be holding their ICAST Show in Las Vegas and we'll be there. ICAST is the great annual unveiling of new fishing products and we'll be anxious to give our readers the heads-up on all the new stuff the manufacturers will be introducing. Look for our ICAST Recap in the August issue.

If you've been on the bay lately you have no doubt noticed that getting to your favorite fishing spots is easier. Saturdays on the bay during summer months have a reputation for looking more like an on-the-water boat show than somewhere you'd like to go fishing. This summer has been different. On a recent Friday I kept note of how many boats were on the water- only sixteen between Twin Lakes and the old Army Base along the San Antonio and Espiritu Santo shorelines of Matagorda Island. This included all I could see during a tour of Pat's Bay, Corey Cove, Long Lake, Contee Lake, and Pringle Lake. Normal summertime boat traffic would be at least thirty, maybe forty when honking south wind sends everybody to that side of the bay. Suffice to say fuel prices have thrown a kink into lots of folks fishing plans. Area fishing guides and other coastal businesses are feeling the pinch; some say business is lagging last year by nearly 50%. From a fishing success viewpoint, this means you can expect longer wades and drifts without bumping into other fishermen so you should find more bites, which is good news, albeit in an unusual package.

July means we'll be celebrating 232 years of American independence. I would like to encourage everybody to show support for our brave men and women who are laying down their lives everyday in the Middle-Eastern desert, many on their second and third deployments. As you travel the highways and bi-ways this summer and meet men and women in uniform, please take a second and offer a warm handshake. Thank them for their contribution to our freedom and continuance of this grand lifestyle the rest of the world can only wish to enjoy. A couple years ago it seemed you couldn't drive a block or two without spotting a vehicle with a "Support the Troops" sticker. Sadly, we're noticing fewer these days. Please fly the flag and make it a point to thank a vet this Fourth of July.

In closing I want to say thanks to Ray Lopez, Benny Mikel, Tommy Gaines, and Ron Kendrick. I was running a fishing charter recently and developed mechanical problems that required being towed. Susan Whitten and John Krolczyk were my clients and good friends of Ray and crew, all six were pre-fishing for a tournament they would enter the next day. Drifting toward shore with a dead engine and only two boats in sight, you'll never guess who we drifted into. Thanks Ray, Benny, Tommy and Ron for taking time out of your fishing day to drag us back to the dock. You guys made my day!