So, You Want To Be A Fishing Writer?

I submitted my first fishing article to a magazine while I was in my final year of high school. That was way back in 1975. With major exams coming up, I soon forgot about the piece when I hadn’t heard from the editor after a few weeks. So, you can probably imagine my absolute surprise and delight when, a month or two later, I received an acceptance letter telling me that the story would be published early in the new year and that I’d receive a cheque for $50 shortly after the magazine hit the shelves! Fifty bucks might not sound like a lot in today’s figures, but it was about half a week’s take-home wages for an adult Australian worker in those days, and enough to buy a new top-of-the-line saltwater fishing reel like a Mitchell 499 or a Seascape 621. Getting paid that sort of dough for writing about my passion was nothing short of intoxicating!

This is how I looked at the time my first fishing story was published!

Almost 40 years and many thousands of magazine articles later, I still get a visceral buzz every time a piece I’ve written is accepted and published… And I still feel gutted and flattened every time an idea or storyline is knocked back, or a submission is rejected by an editor (and yes, trust me, it still happens).

My aim in this series of blogs is to give you an insight into what it takes to become a published fishing writer. Along the way, I’ll also do my best to point out some of the potential pitfalls of the business. But first up, a word of warning: If you think you’re going to get rich by writing articles for fishing magazines, I’m afraid you’re kidding yourself! Even after four decades in the game, I barely break even each year on my writing, after factoring in the expenses involved in gathering material, travel, the equipment required, depreciation, tax and all of those other “below the line” costs.

If you are wondering why I continue to write if this financial reality is the case, then here are four very good reasons:

1. I love it! Fishing is my passion and writing about it enables me to share that passion with lots of other people. This can be an extremely rewarding outcome.


Becoming A Fishing Writer: Part 1

Becoming A Fishing Writer: Part 2

Becoming A Fishing Writer: Part 3

Becoming A Fishing Writer: Part 4

Becoming A Fishing Writer: Part 5

Basic Fishing Photography: Part 1

Basic Fishing Photography: Part 2

* Steve ‘Starlo’ Starling is Australia’s best-known and most prolific fishing writer, having published over 20 books, thousands of magazine articles and scores of DVDs and videos. Starlo was a co-presenter on the “Rex Hunt Fishing Adventures” TV show through the 1990s and is today increasingly active in on-line recreational angling media.