The Pilothouse Guide began as a companion issue for the faithful readers of Alaska Fisherman’s Journal making the annual springtime trek from Seattle and points south to Alaska for the bustle and boom of the summer fishing season.

The NF crew has been proud to produce the guide — in one form or another — for the last 15 years, and we welcome it back again this year as part of our July issue.

Pilothouse Guide has always highlighted fishing stories of all kinds. The content evolved over the years from classic stories reprinted from the pages of the Journal to more of what today’s readers need to run their businesses, as well as their boats, from California to Alaska. The port listings — including amenities, slips, anchorage depths and more — are the meat and potatoes of the guide and can be found starting on in our digital and print editions.

In addition to the ports, we’ve also packed this issue with products, prose and profiles, including the work of many of our favorite West Coast and Alaska writers.

You’ll find a Fisherpoets contribution from the former Journal editor himself, John van Amerongen. And an Our House entry from our favorite Fish Wife, Lori French.

A collaboration with the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association resulted in NF Products Editor Brian Hagenbuch’s feature on safe operations in the gillnet fleet.

Bonus features highlight unique Alaska family-run businesses — Kodiak’s F/V Silver Spray and Cordova’s Sena Sea and 60 North.

Brian even tailored the Products section to dial in on gear for small-boat fishermen, thinking of our Alaska fleets searching for those last-minute items that will help ensure a safe and successful season.

For those tried and true onboard favorites, look for Boats & Gear Editor Paul Molyneaux’s feature on those little things the crew just can’t make a trip without.

Last but definitely not least, Paul’s cover story on Port Townsend Shipwrights Co-op in Port Townsend, Wash.

When all is said and done, it’s the shipyards that make it possible for our fleets to get back to business. Wishing you all many happy returns, a safe season, and a bountiful harvest.

Jessica Hathaway is the editor in chief of National Fisherman. She has been covering the fishing industry for 15 years, serves on the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute's Communications Committee and is a National Fisheries Conservation Center board member.

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