The fishing world, saltwater in particular, was dealt a major blow with the passing of legendary angler, writer, and television host Mark Sosin on Thursday, June 30. The IGFA Hall of Fame and Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame inductee was 88 years old.
Sosin pioneered numerous sport fishing tactics and techniques with both fly and conventional tackle, and in fresh and saltwater. Though he was one of the greatest fly fishermen of all time, he was also a master of light tackle fishing with artificial lures, especially in saltwater.
He traveled the globe to waters rarely fished, perfecting his craft and reporting on the angling bounties awaiting adventurous anglers. All told, he fished in more than 40 countries on five continents.
Millions of readers followed Sosin monthly through their favorite fishing magazines—including Salt Water Sportsman—gleaning invaluable fishing tips, techniques and stories from his written words. He ultimately published over 3,000 magazine features. His works also appeared in daily newspapers, on radio, and in the numerous books he had authored.
He broke into national television with Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal, the first and longest-running program on marine game fishing. The gold standard for nationally-broadcast fishing shows, many of today’s anglers grew up watching and learning from his series, which ran for an impressive 27 years.
Friend and Mentor
Mark Sosin was extremely instrumental in my career. I met him in the early ’80s and we quickly became friends. He asked what I wanted to do with my life and I told him that I’d like to fish and write about it as he did.
After that, he took me under his wing and mentored me on writing, positioning myself in this career field, and who the good guys were. For me, it was not unlike a rookie starting their first Indy 500 and having Mario Andretti coach them. Yes, Sosin was that huge of a figure.
Sosin and I were partners in the Salt Water Sportsman National Seminar Series. I can attest to the enjoyment he got out of teaching people how to catch fish. He was a master educator across everything he did—and a perfectionist.
Together, we built that program into the nation’s foremost educational tour on marine fishing tactics. He retired from the Seminar Series after 10 years, and I took over the helm. The Seminar Series celebrated its 35th year in 2022, thanks to the groundwork we laid together.
Any time someone mentioned a fishing tournament in his presence, Sosin commonly asked, bitingly, “Don’t people fish for fun anymore?”
Sosin was a relentless promoter of conservation; I never once saw him keep a fish. He greatly disliked tournaments, especially those that targeted large brood stock fish. Sosin was totally against sacrificing our marine resources for tournaments and fundraisers, especially those from out of our industry. He promoted fishing as a gentlemen’s sport.
A Shining Legacy
Yes, the fishing world turned dark this past Thursday with the passing of Mark Sosin. But, through all his contributions, the sport of fishing shines as brightly as it ever has. And I thank Mark for starting me on the career that I’ve enjoyed going on 40 years. Rest in Peace, Mark. May the Sosin family always have peace, comfort and strength.