Everett Johnson
I give thanks for a great life. I have an adorable wife who shares my passion for fishing, hunting and the outdoors. I have a great family. We are all very healthy. We enjoy fishing and hunting together. Watching grandchildren grow and learn to enjoy the outdoors has been phenomenally rewarding.

I give thanks for a great business. The first thirty years of my working career were spent in the steel forging and automotive industries. The work was challenging and educational. I was well-paid and lessons from wonderful parents taught me thrift that enabled me to leave the world of heavy industry at a young age to pursue my present career in the outdoors and publishing. Guiding fishermen for ten years was a job I truly enjoyed. I never once dreaded the ringing of the alarm clock. Teaching clients to read signs on the water and pattern fish was the greatest job I ever had. Building a publishing business has not been without occasional hard times but looking back; I'd call it a breeze when measured against some of the challenges of my former career. I love my present job and expect I might never retire, just continue working until I fade away.

I am thankful I live in Texas. As the saying goes; I was not born here but I came as soon as I could. Native-born Texans brag of their origin and I remind them that Sam Houston and I both recognized a good place when we found it. Year round inshore fishing opportunity, with excellent fishing I might add, is something too many take for granted. I remember vividly waiting for the opening of trout season in my native Pennsylvania. Anglers would line the banks of every popular stream, shoulder to shoulder, rod in hand, awaiting the magical minute when the season would open at 7:00 am to make the first cast. All of this to hopefully land a limit of six hatchery-raised fish that averaged about eight inches length a far cry from easing over the gunwale on a Texas shoreline teeming with wild trout and redfish and hardly another boat or human in sight.

I am thankful for the all the conservation-minded anglers and the dedicated fisheries managers who made our fishing what it is today. Many Texas anglers are not aware but our fisheries and our TPWD Coastal Fisheries division are models that other states imitate. Texas is the birthplace of the greatest marine conservation organization the world has ever known. GCCA and now CCA on a national level has contributed leadership and funding for an amazing list of conservation projects that have dramatically improved Texas fisheries and more recently those in sixteen other coastal states.

I am thankful that I am a citizen of the United States of America; a nation where every citizen can aspire to great things and achieve them, no matter their race, creed, national origin or the station to which they were born.
I am thankful for all the brave men and women who serve in our military to guarantee our continued freedom and liberty. We are a blessed people and giving thanks for all that we are blessed to enjoy the fourth Thursday each November is a great American tradition. Here's wishing you and yours a joyous Thanksgiving and great fishing.