TSFMag is Reader Driven

Everett Johnson
We get tons of mail and more telephone calls. Readers enjoy being able to discuss their fishing topics with the editor. I give every writer and caller my undivided attention and best effort. I never claimed to have all the answers, but more likely than not, a member of our writing team or one of our many friends will. We enjoy excellent relations with the folks at TPWD, CCA Texas, UTMSI, TAMU and a host of other agencies and organizations. Running down the answers is a fun part of my job and I strive to give timely replies.

Being involved in this breaks the monotony, not to mention the wealth of knowledge one can acquire. It is also a great tool for tailoring content in the magazine.

Just last week I took a call, way past business hours. The guy wanted to know when his subscription expired. The conversation that ensued lasted nearly an hour. I took him all around San Antonio Bay and he taught me things about the Galveston Bays. The next day I received an email that contained some really cool photos of his grandkids the last time he took them fishingalong with an invitation to fish East Bay.

Many of the photos in the magazine are sent from readers. A fair number of our cover images come from readers proud and anxious to share their fishing successes. The overwhelming stream of ideas, comments and suggestions help us in many ways.

Not every package contains a bouquet, nor did I ever expect it would. Sometimes I get called on the carpet. Not everyone is pleased with everything that gets published. Good examples were my positions on flounder and trout regulations. At least I can honestly say those who agreed were in great majority.

We view reader involvement as a blessing. So, I would like to offer encouragement. Send us your ideas, comments, suggestions, and especially your photos. If you have a great photo to share, send it in. You don't have to be a guide or other fishing personality of great renown. You or the person taking the shot do not have to be professional photographers. Snapping a photo is a lot like fishing, sometimes we get lucky with bragging-quality results.

This issue brings the debut of our newest member of the TSFMag writing team, Ruben Villarreal. If you frequent Fishing Tackle Unlimited's Cut Rate Store on the Katy Freeway in Houston, you may have already met Ruben; he has been there thirteen years. Ruben grew up fishing party boats out of Galveston and Freeport and graduated to greater adventures. To his angling credit, Ruben won the CCA Texas STAR Kingfish Division from a party boat a few years back. Ruben is a bright young man with a passion for fishing; thirteen years as a tackle salesman have broadened his knowledge of tackle and related gear.

The idea to offer increased offshore content is in answer to reader requests. Many readers enjoy slipping through the jetties when the conditions will allow. Ruben's column will be devoted to the offshore fishing opportunities any angler with a seaworthy bay boat can access. Hopefully his insight into technique, tackle and rigging will improve their chances for success next time they get a shot at the snapper, king, ling and dolphin of our nearshore waters.

Keep those letters, emails and phone calls coming folks, TSFMag is reader driven and we want to hear from you. Don't forget, May 10 is Mother's Day, take your mom fishing. Hopefully you can prepare her a dynamite fish supper to cap the day's festivities.