Opening Cast

I’m not going to lie. As the new Editor of CrappieNOW, I’m nervous.

I’ve been a game warden kicked in the head by a poacher and left lying in the road in the dark of night. I’ve been on 100-mile car chases to arrest fleeing felons. I’ve been a news photographer chasing cops down the street on “shots fired” calls and I’ve followed firefighters into burning buildings.

But now, I’m nervous.

I am following in the footsteps of a man who made this magazine what it is. Tim Huffman has been here since the beginning. Many of you have grown up with Tim as CrappieNOW became the powerhouse publication it is today. Thankfully he is still here writing and lending me a guiding hand. But now, the buck stops with me.

I’ve been “The Boss” before. That is not what makes me nervous. What makes me nervous is that I may not know my subject as well as you.

I am also a fishing guide but when it comes to crappie I am a “one hit wonder.” If you want to longline troll for crappie during the pre-spawn, I am your go-to guy. But take me crappie fishing the other ten months of the year and I am almost a babe in the wilderness. I can shoot a dock or finesse fish a 1/32 ounce jig 20 feet deep and not embarrass myself too badly. But I am far, far from the best.

Fortunately, after 35 years as a freelance outdoor journalist I know lots of people who are the best – or I know how to find them. With the patient guidance of the folks who created this great magazine and the incredibly talented group of writers who have contributed faithfully for many years, we are going to go places.

We thank you for coming along on for the ride.

Richard Simms, Editor

“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”