Enter The Bight

The Bight is a saltwater fishing journal that blends long form journalism and rich, vivid photography to create an archival, coffee table style publication.

“The Bight isn’t so much about how to fish, but why you fish,”

says its editor, Brandon Hayward, of the 132-page journal that will be released at the Long Beach Fred Hall Show.

Hayward is a Southern California angler who always seems to always be playing three or four hands at a time, thanks to writing and editing, running charters on his 23-foot Parker through his guide service www.onemancharters.com, and serving as publicist for the Sportfishing Association of California (SAC).

Last April he decided leave his position as saltwater editor at Western Outdoor News to focus on his guiding and see where writing and fishing on his own terms could take him. The results: establishing both his charters and The Bight, the 132-page blend of book and magazine created by way of a salt-infused partnership—the publishers of The Surfer’s Journal and Hayward are the creators of The Bight.

“I think, actually, I know, that some thought I hit my head on my bait tank when I left my cushy salaried writing gig to go ‘all-in’ on running my charters last season,” says Hayward, “but I knew I’d always write—and that I wanted to do something different with not just my words, but the talent that is out there—but I first had to kind of take the gamble and walk away from getting a paycheck.”

The Bight is a name that Hayward chose to honor the home fishery of the San Clemente-based publication. But The Bight has no borders, as seen by artwork by global photographers like Marc Montocchio, Scott Kerrigan, and John Durant, and words on destinations ranging from Costa Rica to Indonesia.

“I knew what this journal wanted to be: a bridge between book and magazine, editorially true to its Southern California roots, but wide ranging both in topics and territory.

It wanted top-shelf photography, durable word, and surprising subjects. It wanted to pay homage to the birthplace of sportfishing, yet be utterly contemporary; the sort of publication Holder, Potter, and Farnsworth would want to read—and write for—if they were modern day heavy hitters in the Southern California Bight.

“ The regional flair shows in the long form journalism (think 3,000 to 5,000 plus word pieces) devoted to places like the Channel Islands and San Diego, species like opah and white seabass, and profiles on Cal Sheets and Randy Toussaint. While it’s the quality of the paper, photography, and layout that pops off the pages while flipping through, it’s the words that really make The Bight.

The plan is for The Bight to grow into a quarterly in 2015. But first the one issue for 2014 has to sell. Southern California Anglers can pick it up at the Long Beach Fred Hall Show in the 900 aisle, and at local retailers to follow. It can also be ordered at www.thebightjournal.com.

“The Bight is filled with knowledge, art, blood, and story, and as a hardcore fisherman, we are guessing you’ll find it an honest reflection of not just what you do, but who you are,” finished Hayward.

Leave a Comment