History of the JournalAlthough the BIG GAME FISHING JOURNAL is a relatively "new" title on the national scene, it didn't just appear out of thin air. It is the result of more than a decade of work and dedication by Offshore Informational Publications, Inc., a company that began life in the early 1980s as Offshore Services, an information source for big game fishermen in the northeastern United States.
High-Tech BeginningsOffshore Services was the first company to provide satellite generated ocean temperature charts for anglers fishing offshore areas in search of tuna, billfish and sharks. The charts are compiled by down loading infrared sea surface scans from earth orbiting satellites and processing the raw data through sophisticated, hybrid computer systems. This data is used to generate special charts with navigational overlays and bottom contours, detailing distinct temperature gradients which attract bait and large gamefish. The charts are then transmitted to subscribers by fax.
Temperature contour charts quickly became a key element used by thousands of offshore fishermen to plan their trips. They pinpoint potential hotspots, save fuel and commuting time to the fishing grounds, but, most of all, the charts helped catch fish! They revolutionized big game fishing and have been written about in magazines, newspapers and by scholars studying pelagic fish and their migration and feeding patterns. Sounds pretty high tech - and it is, even today. As a result of ocean temperature imaging, Offshore Services became a clearing house for catch information for its many subscribers. This data, including the coordinates for fish caught and the techniques used to catch them, was disseminated to subscribers in newsletter form. But this was only the beginning.
A New Magazine for Northeast Big Game FishermenIn 1987, Offshore Service's founder, Capt. Len Belcaro, realized that the majority of the fishermen subscribing to his service were in need of an information source that would teach them existing and fast breaking new techniques that were catching big game fish. Many of his subscribers were professional charter captains, but the greatest number were private boat owners who were starving for instructional information on catching these great fish. Existing magazines rarely included information dedicated to the art and science of big game fishing. They were either far too general or featured editorial that was little more than a tournament gossip column. The majority of offshore fishermen wanted to learn the hows and whys of big game fishing and they weren't getting the information they wanted through traditional sources.
The Birth of THE EDGE - CANYON FISHING ANNUALBelcaro decided that the only way to provide this instructional information was to publish a new magazine, one dedicated exclusively to big game fishing. Since the majority of Offshore Service's subscribers fished the western Atlantic from North Carolina through New England, where the offshore grounds were referred to as the Canyons, he decided to publish a regional big game fishing magazine. The first issue of THE EDGE - CANYON FISHING ANNUAL was published in 1988.
It pioneered a totally new approach to instructional journalism for fishermen. It included few professional writers. Instead, Belcaro went straight to the skipper's mouths - inspiring professional charter captains, tournament winners and top private boat anglers to divulge the techniques, tips and secrets they used successfully to catch big game species. It was an instant success and rapidly became a cult classic. The "Annual" was soon recognized as the teacher to a whole new generation offshore anglers in the northeast. Its straight forward editorial style, highly detailed information and "in your face" conservation stance was refreshing and just what big game fishermen had been looking for.
Enter the BIG GAME FISHING JOURNALIt had to happen. We've fielded letters and phone calls from big game fishermen all over the country and world all asking a similar question, "Why don't you expand the "Annual" to cover big game fishing in my area?" Well, here goes!
October, 1994, the "Annual" was discontinued and the BIG GAME FISHING JOURNAL commenced publication in a quarterly format. It will continue in the "Annuals" tradition, providing editorial from the perspective of top big game anglers, written in their own words.
The JOURNAL will cover topics and techniques of interest to big game fishermen all over the United States and the world with a proven style that has been readily accepted over the last seven years of publishing the BIG GAME FISHING ANNUAL. These years included the worst recession the fishing and marine industries have ever experienced, yet the magazine survived and prospered.