Nick Honachefsky exudes a palpable joy for life. This impression is a near inescapable one that viscerally strikes most anybody lucky enough to meet him. He especially likes fishing.
Honachefsky has a certain charm that is all his own. Like many people who live life on their own terms, it can be difficult to distill the exact details of Nick’s approach to life. It is perhaps best described as some combination of childlike exuberance with the wisdom of an old timer… who has realized that all of the bullshit that most people worry about doesn’t actually matter.
I met Nick some time ago. At the time he was the associate editor of Saltwater Sportsman Magazine and I was working with The Billfish Foundation. In the dozen or years that followed we have fished a bit, talked fishing quite a bit and come to something of the conclusion that those of us who are stupid enough to carve out a career on our own terms ought to stick together.
Why is Nick Honachefsky someone to fish with before you die?
Nick Honachefsky makes the list of People to Fish With Before You Die for a number of reasons. While a fishing trip with Nick will likely net you a striped bass or tuna, it will most certainly add to your book of stories.
Whether the trip be personal or have business implications, Nick Honachefsky is always himself. Nick always talks, dresses and acts just how he always does.
It has been my experience that spending time around people who have freed themselves of the burdens of caring about what others think—be them Nick or somebody like the Dalai Llama—is good for you.
If having a good time and not having to worry about pretense were not enough, Nick is also better positioned than most anyone else to get your fishing exploits published—in a fishing magazine or newspaper, website or television show. What’s not to like?
“There’s No Way I’m Doing This My Whole Life.”
“I grew up in Clinton, New Jersey. When I was 22, I moved to the beach and have lived on the Jersey Shore ever since,” Honachefsky begins.
“I’ve been fishing my whole life. I started in saltwater with my dad. He would take me and my brother fishing everywhere. My mom used to write sick notes for school, saying that my brother and I ‘must have caught something from each other,’” he recalls. “My dad would take us to Island Beach State Park and we’d catch stripers and blues.”
Honachefsky went on to graduate from Villanova University with a degree in business. Armed with a degree from such a prestigious institution, Nick did what anyone would do. He tried his hand at a normal life and a traditional career path.
“I worked as an accountant for three-and-a-half months…”
“One day, I said, ‘Fuck this. There’s no way I’m doing this my whole life!’” Honachefsky recalls. His account of this revelation is delivered with a straight forward combination sarcasm and directness that can really only be expressed by those raised in New York or New Jersey.
“I got on managing a tackle shop. After six months I walked into The Fisherman Magazine’s publishing house applied for a job,” Nick says. In the four years he worked there, Honachefsky rose from circulation manager to ad sales to associate editor.
The position at The Fisherman Magazine provided Nick with an introduction to life in the fishing media space. It was a good fit and one that would define much of his career.
After four years at the publication, Honachefsky struck out on his own. Over the past decade and half Honachefsy has rolled with punches and evolved with the changes related to the emergence of the internet and the dampened outlook of the traditional printed magazine.
Through it all Honachefsky’s authentic, salty voice and reasoned career approach have brought value to publishers and joy to readers.
A Career on His Own Terms
Since striking out on his own, Nick Honachefsky has carved out an influential career in the fishing media space. A quick Google search of “Nick Honachefsky Fishing” yields the breadth and quality of his work. If you have read a saltwater fishing magazine in the past decade, the chances are better than not that you’ve come across an article or two written by Nick.
Among his appointments, Nick has been a managing editor for Saltwater Sportsman Magazine, Guy Harvey, On The Water and The Fisherman. He is a contributor to Field and Stream and Outdoor Life Magazines. He is the editorial director for Bubba Blade’s blogs and FishTrack.com and has contributed to Huk Gear and Power Pole’s blogs as well.
Honachefsky has also made quite a name for himself on the airwaves of fishing television. In 2011 he hosted Sportfishing TV that aired on NBC Sports. In 2014, he cohosted the show “Hooking Up with Nick and Marico” that aired on the World Fishing Network.
It is fishing television that currently defines much of Honachefsky’s current focus. You can find him hosting the Saltwater Underground on the Sportsman’s Channel. Waypoint TV syndicates the show online—you can even download the app and watch Nick’s exploits on your phone.
“The Saltwater Underground is a show that relates to the every man. Lots of fishing shows are aspirational but not attainable,” Honachefsky provides. This approach fits Nick’s outlook very well.
In a world that is increasingly obsessed with what others think and feel, Honachefsky is driven to experience and to live. He enjoys not only living for himself but sharing experiences—and his passion for life—with others. The Saltwater Underground is an incredible vehicle through which to do just that.
“This show is boots on the ground. It’s accessible,” he explains. Honachefsky hosts each of the episodes, with fishing acting as the theme that unites the series. “You’ll meet salty characters with good stories. It has a Northeast focus.”
“There is a cuisine segment in each episode. We’ve featured wings, blackfish and cooked stuff with guitarist Dean Ween and Chef James Avery,” he says. “While you will learn things, the show is not a how-to—its more of a lifestyle. You’ll meet characters that drive the soul of the show.”
You can check out the Saltwater Underground here.
The Essence of the Man
All too often our world seems obsessed with details. In our quest to define and categorize, we sometimes use a person’s resume as the metric by which we evaluate who they are and what they are about.
In most cases this approach makes sense. When people are uniquely interesting, however, this preoccupation with detail can come at the expense of understanding essence. You know, the whole “missing the forest for the trees” kind of thing…
To understand Nick Honachefsky, and to fully appreciate how interesting his approach to living really is, you might start by forgetting all of the tv shows and article credits. These, after all, are a by product of his passion for fishing—not the cause.
What does Fishing Mean to Nick Honachefsky?
Figuring that he might have a pretty interesting take on the topic, I figured I’d just ask him. Honachefsky’s response to the question, “What does fishing mean to you?” is not only interesting, but it quite useful in the philosophical sense.
“I guess there are a couple of overriding themes. The first is being outdoors,” Honachefsky begins. It was the drive to be outside that perhaps made Honachefsky to escape the office in the first place.
“I also feel an absolute connection with fish. There is something unique about fish– in a mysterious sense,” Nick explains. “When you’re fishing you never know what’s going to happen on each cast.”
“I also really enjoy fishing with my family and friends and my wife,” Nick explains. And as anyone fortunate enough to make a living in the fishing space soon comes to understand, fishing provides an occasion to meet some interesting people.
“One of my favorite parts about it are the people I’ve met through the fishing industry. Just sharing passion with people is great,” he says.
And while there is always an element of social enjoyment that relates to other human beings, people like Nick would probably go fishing whether or not they were living on a planet by themselves.
“Being in touch with God’s creation and the ocean makes me feel alive,” Honachefsky explains thoughtfully. “I don’t know what I’d do if it weren’t for fishing… I really don’t.”