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Another year coming to a close

Another year coming to a close for us. We spent 2022 celebrating our 5 year anniversary and topped it off with a 3 day/2 night stay Giveaway in Steinhatchee. Congratulation to our winner, Mike Ferris, who was selected November 1st. We thank all of our participants and we appreciate you taking the time to be part of our celebration. We wish we could have given everyone a prize!

Christmas is coming and we are promoting several holiday events in our current edition! From boat parades, festivals, event venues to Santa showing up everywhere – we have got the area covered. We hope the weather will cool down a “little bit” so everyone can catch some Christmas Spirt and get out and enjoy some of the fun events throughout the area.

Don’t forget that November and December are excellent times to finish in the area as well. Our charter captains have some good tips and tricks to take advantage of the cool weather and have a successful day on the water.

Although it is November, we have a couple spooky articles from Toni Collins and Nikki Douglas. Both of these ladies send us insightful articles for each magazine and we hope you can take the time to read them.

Our usual advertisers are all back in with us again along with some old friends. As with each holiday season, we urge you to visit them and do your Christmas shopping locally this year. These are some hard working folks that offer unique and one-of-a-kind items you can only find on The Hidden Coast. Perfect for the hard to buy for person on your list!

We hope everyone will take time this November to give thanks for all that we have. Mike Farmer has given us his annual “Blessed” article again for this issue, and we hope everyone takes a few minutes to read it. I have certainly been blessed through my life with strong families, good health, wonderful friends and a career that I have enjoyed doing for over 30 years. I’m not sure what else I could have done in life other than art. Starting our magazines 5 years ago has been the “cherry on the top” and we appreciate all of our advertisers and readers for the support they have given us since day one.

We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season spent with friends and family, and a happy and healthy new year 2023. God Bless.

Fading Away

Summer is slowly fading on The Hidden Coast, but that doesn’t mean things will be slowing down. Just the opposite. We are promoting half a dozen festivals planned for the upcoming months and into the first of the year. Fall in North Florida is always a beautiful time and we urge everyone to take advantage of the cool weather and visit one, two or all of the events we have in this month’s issue.

Our big news for this edition is our 5 Year Anniversary Giveaway! SeaHag Marina and Fiddlers on the River, both located in Steinhatchee, have graciously partnered with us to offer a 3 Day/2 Night stay at SeaHag Marina, with a full day’s boat rental and a $100 gift certificate from Fiddlers. We thank both of these businesses for being part of our celebration, as well as Country Legends Radio for their help in promoting us on the airwaves throughout the area. What do I have to do to win, you ask? Simply go to the Hidden Coast Magazine Facebook page and follow us – it’s that simple! The contest will run for the next two months (Sept/Oct) and we will randomly pick one winner on November 1st. Our way of saying “Thank You” for five great years!

We have several new, and returning, businesses in for this round. The Marina at Deadman Bay in Steinhatchee, Dek Kat Boats in Cross City, The Arts Center in Cedar Key, The Deer Stand in Chiefland and BBQ Fest in Hart Springs. We welcome all of our new customers in and look forward to working with them for a long time to come. Please remember all of our regular articles contributors and advertisers as well. Without them, issue after issue, we would not have a magazine. Period.

Finally, after five years, our little business is growing internally. As many of you know my wife and kids have always lent a hand when needed. Unfortunately, work schedules and school schedules have overtaken everyone in our house and it was time to hire some help. I am happy to say we now have a part-time bookkeeper and a part-time delivery person. Knock on wood, it’s been a smooth ride so far, and we appreciate Amanda and Dany coming on board with us!

Until the next time, enjoy the beautiful season ahead and pat yourself on the back for surviving another Florida summer!

What’s in a number?

5 & 48. Significant numbers for us this year. 5 being the number of years we have been in print and 48 being the record number of pages for our upcoming July/August edition. These are both goals we have strived for when we started our magazine back in 2016. Close one door, open another. End one chapter, begin another. I have learned quite a bit on this journey and we have added additional features and tools to help promote this area even more. 50+ Racks, Social media pages, Web Advertising, Google AdWord Campaigns and finally a complete apparel line that includes shirts, hats, visors, tote bags, koozies, magnets and decals. It has been hard work but I have been lucky to have strong support from my family and great customers and contributors who have supported us from day one. We thank everyone for their patronage over the past 5 years and look forward to promoting and serving this area for a long time to come.

Sea Hag Marina is on the cover of our July/August edition again this year with their annual scalloping theme. Sea Hag has done quite a bit of work over the past year at their location and if you haven’t been lately you might want to check them out. They revamped their docks and upgraded their facilities. They have a great crew working for them and we wish them well with the upcoming season!


In addition to Sea Hag, we welcome James Chewning to this edition. James grew up in the area and currently lives in California. He has written “The Coast is Clear” a riveting tale of a smuggler’s life and you can purchase your copy through his ad with us. We also welcome Good Time Charters and Big Bend Charters both back in for us this round and our brand new customer on the Local Flavors Page, The Putnam Lodge. 

IFAS has also contributed some timely information on the scalloping season again this year and our regular charter captains all give their insight on the fishing and scalloping season. They talk about what is being caught in the waters this month and the do’s and don’ts of scalloping. Heed their advice!  Steinhatchee Chamber has given us an article on a very unique visitor that now calls their coastline home. 

Again we thank all of our regular writers and advertisers for their continued support. Without them we are not where we are today. Please take the time to read their articles and visit their storefronts when in the area. They are a tough bunch, but they will welcome you with open arms and a big heart.

Finally we are happy to announce we were the recipient of the Above and Beyond Award 2022-2023 from the Steinhatchee Chamber of Commerce in June. We are very proud to have been recognized by our peers and thank them for this wonderful recognition. Also, be on the lookout for a big announcement in our September edition. We look to top off our year long anniversary in a fun way! Until the next time, Happy and safe scalloping. 

Hold on tight – Here we go!

Can you believe it’s already May? My goodness, where does time continue to go. And beyond May, we see the dog days of summer. Of course as I get older, the summers get hotter (so I’m told by my smart aleck  kids). But with our wonderful location here on The Hidden Coast, it is easy to find a place to cool off! Have fun, and enjoy the upcoming summer months and remember to pick up a copy of The Hidden Coast Magazine wherever your travels may take you.

We are happy to announce some new customers with us for this round and some old ones back in with us again. KOA of Perry and Florida Saltwater Flats Fishing Charters are our newest advertisers, and we welcome them to our publication. Tide Water Tours and the Cedar Key Historical Society and museum are back in with us, as well. We thank all of them for their support of our magazine and look forward to a long relationship with all.

We are also happy to have the Cedar Key Dolphin Project on our cover for this round. This organization, led by Dr. Stefanie Gazda, does some amazing things, with a staff that comes from around the globe. They have an article on page 26 of this edition and you can learn much more about them at https://www.cedarkeydolphinproject.org/

Speaking of around the area, our charter captains bring some awesome tips and tricks for fishing the waters of this area. And Jeff Cary gives us an “eagles eye view” of the entire region. In addition, Nikki Douglas, Dawn Perez and Toni Collins give us some great insight on the history and interesting sights of this area we call, The Hidden Coast.

We thank you for reading and hope you enjoy your visit!

March is Here!

March is here… can you believe it? 2022 has been a fast year so far, but it has also been a very good year for us as well. We see festivals coming back in the area, our state’s tourism statistics bouncing back and, most importantly, we see businesses wanting to advertise again. In this edition alone we are happy to say we have six new customers. Our fingers and toes are crossed that we will continue to see growth this year, and also some stability to our daily lives and routines. It’s been such a long two years and I hope and pray that the Covid fog will start to lift and the sunshine will again show us what a beautiful part of the country we live in.

As mentioned earlier we are proud to welcome several new advertisers to this edition. Fiddler’s Resort & Properties joins us with three ads promoting their property management division, wedding chapel and two local festivals they will be hosting. We also have StyleCraft Boats of Alachua, in as a new customer, along with Rock Creek Charters (Steinhatchee), Artist Hideaway Studios (Cedar Key) and Savanna Barry of UF/IFAS Nature Coast Biological Station (Cedar Key). Savanna has contributed many articles to us over the years and we appreciate her continued support of our publication. We also have some old friends back in with us along with all of our usual wonderful advertisers! Our monthly writers bring us lots of tips and tricks for the anglers along with interesting tidbits and history from around the area and state.

The festivals in the area have not slowed down and we are happy to be promoting the next round starting this month with the Lower Suwannee Art & Nature Fest next weekend (March 12). They go non-stop from there and we will be promoting each one weekly, on our social media sites, through the end of April. If you aren’t following us please do so now and keep up with latest happenings around The Hidden Coast. We post a little bit of everything, but the majority of it goes to promoting our great customers! Our Facebook link is https://www.facebook.com/The-Hidden-Coast-Magazine-880014738800558.

Until the next time, get out and enjoy the beautiful weather on The Hidden Coast!

“I think the fish are confused…”

Happy New year! We jump into 2022 with festivals galore and we are happy to say we’re promoting six of them on the pages of this month’s issue. Steinhatchee, Horseshoe Beach, Suwannee and Cedar Key are all hosting events along The Hidden Coast. We wish these communities great success and we welcome all our readers from all over to attend, if not all of them, at least one. I can honestly say I have attended each of them and you will not be disappointed. Good food, entertainment and, most of all, great people who put them on. 

The holidays came and went in the usual fast, chaotic way at our house. This year was particularly difficult as I had no clue of what to buy. Sometimes I can pick up on hints and requests but this year I had nothing. In the end all was good, and we have many memories from another successful Christmas holiday… three times over! 

In addition to shopping and eating in December we were able to take advantage of the great weather with a fishing trip out of Steinhatchee. As one of the local charter captains put it in an email to me, “… I think the fish are confused with the crazy weather.” We expected to have great success after hearing that and on the second cast of the day my son pulled in a 35” Black Drum! An excellent catch that brought a grin from ear-to-ear. Good thing though, because that was the only thing we caught all day. The fish might be confused but they aren’t stupid when they see this guy coming. 

We dropped back down to 32 pages for this issue and I again blame the holidays. My intentions were to have the book to the printer on the 23rd, but it failed miserably. I can’t expect people to drop everything and put us first when their “To Do” list is a mile long. I think I mentioned this in the past, but my old boss never printed a book in December. It always struck me as odd, but now I know why. This year we may have to take a look at that. One’s self, family and friends first – work second.

A big thank you to all of our advertisers who signed back up with us for 2022. We appreciate their continued support of our little magazine as we celebrate “five years”! We also thank all of our writers who continue to send us fun and informative content. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Until the next time. Get out and enjoy some of the wonderful events in the area and let them know you saw it in The Hidden Coast Magazine!

The holidays are upon us!

The holidays are upon us! Where did 2021 go? Another roller coast ride year for this country, but at the end here we all are. We are fortunate here in Florida to live in the most beautiful state in the union, and we are extra fortunate to call North Florida, and The Hidden Coast, home.

We finished the year with another 40 page magazine (our 3rd in a row). We are very excited for this and look forward to reaching our next goal of 48, if not 56, pages in 2022. We thank all of our advertisers and writers for their continued support of our magazine and especially all of the new additions we picked up this year (both in advertising and writing). I don’t want to recognize anyone, because I know I would leave someone out, but there is one of each who has been with us from the very beginning. Thank you, thank you for I now consider them friends, more than clients.

Our current edition is filled with some great stuff! We have new advertisers as well as several pages on kayaking. This includes picking the right one for you and where to put in and so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of The Hidden Coast. We also picked up four new rack locations, so it’s going to get harder and harder not to find us in the region! LOL

Please remember our advertisers as you start your holiday shopping. You can find some very unique items in this region. Most are hand made and very reasonably priced – perfect for that hard to buy person on your list. And don’t forget gift cards and certificates to some of the restaurants in the area. You can’t go wrong putting one of these under the tree. We too are offering some new items for The Last of Old Florida. Visors, decals, magnets and tote bags are new for holiday season, so if you have some time please check them out: https://thehiddencoastmag.com/store-2/

This month is somewhat of a milestone for us as we hit the 5 year mark, and I am very happy and proud of this accomplishment. It has certainly been a fast five years and I owe quite a bit gratitude to my family for their help along the way. They have always been willing to lend a hand when needed and for that I am very blessed.

Enjoy the upcoming holidays with family and friends and take a moment to thank the good Lord for all the blessing you have in life. Many of us take these for granted in the fast and turbulent world in which we live, but no tomorrow is guaranteed for anyone. Live life. Love life. Make memories.

Falling back into a slower pace

Fall is quickly approaching and that means a somewhat more quiet time on The Hidden Coast. The Scalloping Season is over and the region is returning back to some type of normalcy. 

It’s been a little more difficult in some parts of the area due to the rain we received this summer (not to mention a tropical storm as well). Rain gauges turned into rain barrels and day after day the sky opened up. I was in the Steinhatchee area shortly after the last major deluge and could not believe the amount of standing water.  So much so, that I saw an alligator on the side of the road. Only in Florida. As of this writing we still have a couple more months of hurricane season and we can only hope and pray that Mother Nature will spare us a direct hit. 

I am happy to say that the weather did not slow us down over the last couple months. We are again planning to produce a 40-page magazine for September/October and that is a first for us. We have never had back-to-back 40 page issues and I am happy to say it looks like the last one of the year (November/December) will be the same size as well. We are very humbled and honored that our little magazine has become so popular. The biggest complaint we had this summer was everybody was out of magazines. “They are flying out of here,” is how one of our customers told us. With that being said we spoke to our printer and decided to increase our circulation starting with this edition! We will also be celebrating our five year anniversary in our next issue, and there will be more to come on that later.

In addition to our printed magazine doing so well our online numbers are even better. We are on track to quadruple the “New Users” to our website for 2021. Our web advertisers enjoyed exceeding one million views in mid-summer as well. Our click thru rate continues to be over .20% and we are very happy for that. Nerd talk, as my wife calls it, so I will spare you with all the specifics. In short, we are being seen in-print and online by a lot of people!  

One final note is we have added new items to our online store. These include visors, bags, shirts and koozies. The holidays are just around the corner and these would make great gifts and stocking stuffers. 

I feel like I spent this whole blog bragging on us, but we would be nowhere without our wonderful advertisers and writers who continue to support us. Please take a moment to let them know you saw them in The Hidden Coast Magazine. 

Until the next time. Enjoy the fall season on The Hidden Coast and we will see you in November.

Summer is Here!

Summer is here and we are happy to celebrate it with our 40 page July/August edition! This is only the second time we have hit the 40 page mark and we are super excited it happened during the scalloping season. This time of the year brings in thousands of visitors to the region and we are so happy to be able to promote this beautiful part of the state with our magazine. Scalloping is a fun time and if you have never been you should make plans to do it in 2021. From what we have heard this year, the scallops are plentiful and your options to get out there are plentiful.  Many of the areas we advertise offer charters for half and full days. You can also rent a boat at some of the marinas as well. Lodging and restaurants aren’t a problem, but make sure to call ahead for availability and or reservations. Also check the weather and BRING SUN SCREEN. The Gulf sun is unforgiving and you will feel it later. 

We have four new customers with us for this round; Tonys Johns, Steinhacthee Outdoor Adventures, Good Time Charters and Steinhatchee For Sale By Owner. We welcome all of them to our magazine and we hope they will be with us for a long time to come. We also have our usual local authors in with us giving us insight on history and the beautiful surroundings of this area. An added bonus for this round is information regarding the scalloping season from Savanna Barry, IFAS and Mike Farmer, Salt Addiction Charters. These are articles are very informative and will keep both you, and those around you, safe.

If you are planning to make a trip to the area, and we hope you do soon, please keep in mind the following. Everybody is finally getting outside again after an unbelievable 18 months for all of us. Lines are long and staff is short for many places right now. These are small towns already and seasonal crowds are always a challenge. This year it is even harder so please have patience and consideration for the local folks. They are trying to make your visit a memorable one and they want you to come back again. 

Until the Fall. Thanks for reading our little magazine and happy scalloping!

The eyes of summer are upon us!

The eyes of summer are upon us. Hard to believe we are looking at May already. My son is a college graduate now. He graduated UF this week and officially ended his college career. His mom and I are so proud of all that he has accomplished. He, along with all the other graduates who walked across the stage on Monday, did more than just earn a diploma – they beat the pandemic. They showed that nothing can stand in the way of succeeding if everyone works together to solve problems and move obstacles. Hats off to every student from kindergarten to graduate school. You adapted, stayed vigilant and made us all proud. It makes me feel a little better about this county and who we will be handing the keys off to down the road.

Our March/April edition was a very successful issue for us. We actually had record sales and more new advertisers than any other previous edition. We have carried that over to this issue with more new advertisers and several calls and inquires about us. I associated it with people wanting to finally get outside and do something. Vaccinations and downward turns on all virus charts show a positive attitude coming into the summer months. Traveling is opening back up and many events are back on for the calendar year.

Time is such a unique element. It can be our best friend or worst enemy. One thing we must always remember is to cherish it. Life can change it a heartbeat and not one of us is ever guaranteed a tomorrow. Love those in your life – Respect them, listen to them, cherish them. I mentioned earlier I thought the upward tick in our business was from the people wanting to get outside again, but a friend of mine, a retired banker, had another take on it. He mention the five year bounce and it goes something like this: “You are finally entrenched in your market, People recognize your brand and your product is consistent.”  The journey so far has been a continuing learning experience. My background was in design and production when we started this magazine, I knew hardly anything about the business side of it – mainly sales. Its been a hard learning curve but the more I got to thinking about it the more I realized the phone has been ringing a bit more lately and the emails have been picking up as well. I can’t argue with a banker I guess, although it makes me wonder what the “10 year” bounce will be.

Our July edition will be all scalloping so please be on the lookout for it in July. Until the next time, thanks for reading and safe travels.