John P. Lee
Manager of everything
Manager of everything else
I fell into a full on fishing obsession at a very young age. I can't even begin to recount the number of times I would wake up to my uncle whispering in my face, "Dave, wanna go fishing?" He would take me fishing for everything from brook trout in tiny streams to bass in whatever local pond he wanted to try to fishing Nauset Beach at 1 a.m. When I was 7 we moved to a house with a yard that backed up to one of the best bass ponds in central Massachusetts--that's when my fascination jumped to infatuation.
I've been lucky along the way to have had great fishing partners like my uncle, or my high school best friends Alex Richov and Larry McCoskery, or my first surfcasting partner Dave Parrillo or my current fishing partner and friend Dave Daluz. When you surround yourself with people that love fishing, obsess over the sport and pour their souls into getting better at it, you can't help but learn and improve as you go. I'm a big believer in the idea that collaboration plays an equal role with practice when it comes to upping your fishing game--no matter what your quarry. These guys have all challenged me and together we have worked hard to learn the nuances of many styles of fishing and species of fish.
In 2002 I moved to shores of Buzzards Bay with my girlfriend (now wife) and that's when I kicked my fishing into overdrive. I had dropped myself into an area I knew nothing about and, because of the old school (don't ask any questions) mentality that had been instilled in me as a growing angler, I took the task on alone for several years learning the shoreline slowly and methodically and I believe that my bull-headed approach made me a much better fisherman than I would have been if I stayed in central Massachusetts and stuck with trout and largemouths.
I found surfcasting intoxicating. I loved that it had a rich local history, I was taken by the man and mind versus fish and power aspect of the game--and of course I was dizzyingly enthralled by the fact the possibility of catching something gigantic was very real. For almost a decade, I only fished for striped bass and pretty much only did it from some kind of shoreline.
I began writing about fishing in the early winter of 2003, my first article was published in The Fisherman Magazine in June of that year. Four short years later I took the position as Managing Editor of that magazine. The challenge of covering an even more diverse spread of species and styles than I had in my own repertoire made me start to look at other species again. My first real trip back into freshwater fishing was actually with John Lee when he took me to one of his favorite smallmouth ponds. By the winter of 2011, I was back on the multi-species train, full time.
I left The Fisherman at the end of 2010 and took the editor position for Surfcaster's Journal--while still retaining Field Editor status with The Fisherman. I still hold both of these positions today. Surfcasters Journal allows me to focus creatively on the type of fishing I know best and gives me the unique opportunity to work with some of the best anglers the sport has ever seen. My connections with The Fisherman, Angler's Journal and a few other publications give me the outlet to write about the other styles of fishing I enjoy.
On May 2, 2014 my wife, Greta, and I welcomed our daughter, Lila, into the world and I now have a new layer of life, love and responsibility that supersedes all others. She had already landed sunfish, yellow and white perch, largemouth bass and one suicidal rainbow trout before she turned two--with considerable help from me of course. But she is fast becoming a mini version of me and I couldn't be more proud. It's this aspect of both John's and my own life that brought us together on the Outflow Fishing project. We realized; kind of all at once, that we are not unique. Our worlds mirror those of thousands of New England anglers that have to sift their fishing obsessions into the spaces between real life.
It sounds harder than it is, you'll see...