“I don’t consider death important. Did you live?” Whenever I had a conversation with Clem Tillion, I took notes. He was a natural storyteller with the dual gifts of experience and expression. Even when we didn’t agree, I had a lot to learn from him.
This month has been a lot of saying goodbye. We’ve recently lost two powerhouse Highliners — Clem and Mike McHenry. Ernie Koepf’s homage to McHenry, who died in August, starts on page 8.
Clem, 96, left this world and joined his beloved wife in the next shortly before we went to press. Then just four days later, news spread that Trident Seafoods founder Chuck Bundrant had died at age 79 at his home in Edmonds, Wash.
It adds to the bittersweet that this will be our last monthly issue. NF will still be printed as a quarterly edition. We understand that many of our readers like to have that hard copy for the wheelhouse. We are trying to strike a balance between tradition and shifting market demands.
To that end, our lineup now includes an app that is available for Android and Apple (visit your app store and search for National Fisherman, or scan the QR code above with the camera on your phone). What that means is that you can download NF to read even when you’re offshore and out of cell range.
We are focused on meeting our readers where they are by creating a platform that is independent of the whims of social media giants. In fact, we are launching the app on the heels of a major social media blackout that still has no explanation. What an app provides is consistent access to NF, like before, only paperless.
In the meantime, our staff is feeding our stories to more platforms every year — most of them digital. We will still be present at NationalFisherman.com on any browser, through our email newsletter, and via Facebook and Instagram, as well.
NF began as a monthly publication 75 years ago as Maine Coast Fisherman. (Check out our first-issue retrospective on page 6.) When I started at NF in 2006, we published the monthly magazine and had a website that was updated occasionally. Times sure have changed. I don’t need to get too deep into the weeds of the publishing industry. But paper is suffering from its own supply chain problems that show no signs of going away.
What we’re not changing is our approach to storytelling, news coverage, new products, boats and gear, and talking to the people who make this industry great.
It will all still be here — and there and everywhere!
We’ll see you on the other side.