Super Strike E.T. Popper Giveaway ( for subscribers only)

A very manageable day today with absolutely no complains, crowds or lines,  and many happy people about giveaways later in the a day. I’ll fill you in on it inn few days but today a special giveaway

Super Strike E.T. Popper (yeah,  we saved you one) , compliments of Super Strike Lures

We are going to do this the old fashion way, just put “ I want ET popper”  in the comment box. We’ll pick a winner on Wed night?

One rule only, you have to be a subscriber to SJ as of today with active subscription to be eligible to win. Yeah, because you are special. If you signed up at Striper Day, you are also eligible to enter.

More of these type of giveaways coming up

Hope everyone got home safestriperday2017promo

Big weekend coming up for SJ readers

Lots of stuff going on at SJ as you can imagine including the new issue # 41 of the Surfcaster’s Journal Online Magazine. I know Tommy is burning the midnight oil trying to get it done. He was sick for few days and that delayed at a little but I think we are on track now. Look for it in few days

Obviously while he is doing that, I am trying to pull together few brain cells that I have left and finish organization of a Striper Day this Saturday.

I won’t bore you with details, I have already done it few times. One thing, something that we will surely revisit after the Striper Day is something thats been bugging me last few days. I will admit that I do not understand the custom plug craze although i respect the craft tremendously. My point is you wont find me in the line for plugs but I don’t hate on those that do. In fact, if that what makes you happy, go for it. However, I do find it  interesting that most dudes that bitch and moan about not getting goodie bags at Striper Day because they want to get there early and get plugs to flip are not SJ subscribers. In fact every one I checked against out database is not a subscriber but they are sure vocal about how we should run the show and what they should get for coming.

Which made me say, hmmmmm, wait a minute. If we do this again in 2018, maybe , just maybe we should only allow SJ subscribers to enter from let’s say 8 30 to 10 30 ! Why not? After all, we did this show with you in mind last year and you will always be our number one priority. I really like that idea. SJ VIP treatment..haha

One thing that we changed this year,  to make it more comfortable for our guests, is in addition to 11AM tackle giveaway….. we eliminated just about all head ” tables” inside the Multi Purpose Room to ad a little more browsing room.

Anyway, today I will share few last minute things, Seminar schedule, Raffle line up and details about giveaways.


The goodie bags from our sponsors….including minimum of two lures in each bag will be given with paid admission  to those that come AFTER 11 AM . There is no giveaways from 8 30 to 11 AM. We have 400 bags, once they are gone they are gone. This year is Super Strike, Al Gag’s, Jetty Ghost, Hogy, SPRO, Gamakatsu, Otter tails55F0FBF0-B8F9-4FF8-BC41-0FAA5098458A98f61038-19cb-47ba-bfe9-fbc4053b4da7 71d75de0-1d37-468c-964e-556fe87cc2a6 78fb20b7-cefa-4828-918d-5d123ff11dcc

1F5D5C62-3778-464A-890E-9856125C8773In addition, Steve Musso from Super Strike had made approximately 50 special E.T. 1.5OZ SS floating poppers. Those poppers are randomly inserted into 400 giveaway bags. I have no idea where they are and I packed them! It could be in any of the bags. Absolutely random so no need to line up in lobby to get one. Its going to be a  luck of a draw. We will leave one for a raffle and one for a giveaway on the blog after the Striper Daystriperday2017promo

Raffle line up is quite awesome this year. Stop by SJ Rafle table and check it out. This year winner doe NOT need to be present. Fill out an oversize Raffle ticket with your name and phone # and if you win, we will contact you to arrange pick up.

2017 StriperDay Raffle Prizes

Van Staal VR 200 Reel
FSC Predator Surf Rod
Pelican 50 Qt cooler
XS10MS  Lamiglas Graphite Surf and Jetty Rod
St Croix Triumph Travel 10′  Rod
Costa Del Mar polarized glasses (multiple pairs)
Angry Fish Barnwood Framed striper picture
Guppy Lure Co Set of Lures
A Dozen Magic man’s Bucktails
Pelican 32 oz tumbler
Rockhopper Surf Belt
Hansom Pliers
Assorted SPRO & Gamakatsu Hats and Shirts & Bucktails.
Assorted Deadly Dicks
Assorted Yo-Zuri Lures/Fluorocarbon & Braid
Assorted SpoolTek Lures
Assorted Fat Cow Jig Strips
Korkers Cleats (you pick the type)
Super Strike E.T. popper

And lastly a seminar schedule that includes two short striped bass films. I am not only proud that we are featuring these films but I am particularly proud that we will have some new blood doing seminars this year like Al Albano and Pete Utsching

Striper Day 2017 Seminar Schedule

Main Theater

9 30 AM-10 45 AM

John Skinner

Foundations of Surfcasting Success

11:15- 11:45 AM

Steven Gallant presents Short Surfcasting Film

One Trick Ponies

12:15- 12:45PM

Lonely Osprey Production presents Short Surfcasting Film 

Between The Lines- Fly Fishing for HUGE Striped Bass

1:15 AM- 2: 30 PM

Dante Soriente

Fishing Artiificials from Sand to boulders

3 PM – 4 15PM

Bill Jakob

Montauk Tides, Winds & Structture

Seminar Room 143 (limited seating)

10 :10:45AM

Pete Utsching

Fishing the “Hard”  Bite


Al Gag’s

Cape Cod Canal with soft plastics

12:30 to 1:15 PM

Dave Anderson

Next Level Plugging

2PM : 2:45 PM

Bill Wetzel

Trophy Moons, Montauk Style- Advanced Caster class

3:15- 4 PM

Al Albano

Early Spring Bass in the Back Bays

All the info can be found at

See you there


Show ramblings

My wife often complains that they could rob us blind and I would never wake up to hear it and she is right. I am a sound sleeper, even if I drink a  giant Dunkin Donut coffee at midnight I usually still fall asleep within minutes. Not only that, but you could probably have a party with a mariachi  band downstairs and I would never hear it. That’s why my daughter’s nightly  2 hour clarinet practices do not faze me. My wife on the other hand can hear a pin drop.

Hey , someone has to be awake in case something goes wrong


So to say that I was surprised two nights ago to be starring at celling at 10PM then 11 Then 12AM , 1,2 and all the way to 4 AM when i got up more tired then when I went to sleep. I guess I had an anxiety attack which is another strange thing considering anxiety is something i know nothing about and have never experienced. Sing of old age? Could be but its probably something else…something called a Striper Day.78fb20b7-cefa-4828-918d-5d123ff11dcc

I wont bore you with the fact you already know. That we could not find a bigger venue and seminar facilities close to each other (I guess jocks and arts rarely mix for facilities to be in proximity of each other?). Which left us with Hofstra, a facilities I personally love but I wish they were bigger. Tommy loves the feel of “cramped show” , to him it “feels” like a surfcasting show. We spoke to people at Suffolk CC in Brentwood about their gigantic facility (and got a gigantic sticker $hock) and lack of large theater. Hey, if one day you guys decide you want Striper Day to be just as surf fishing flea market, man would that make MY life sooooooo much easier. No speakers or seminars, all you need is a a big cavernous room and some tables and call it a day. Maybe that day will come too but as you can see at some LI (and NJ) Flea Markets there are no rod companies, VS or many custom plug builders.

Why am I writing this? i have no idea, sometimes the words just spill out and this one finger of mine (yes, still typing with a single finger) keeps pecking. So what is different this year ?

I would bet good money its going to be crowded. But i would NOT encourage any one to came early to Hofstra to be early on line.

  1. its private school closed at night. The security will not let anyone wait on line any earlier then THEY decide
  2. If my kid was a student at Hofstra , would I want bunch of strangers roaming around student activity center in early morning hours? Do you really have to think about correct answer here? Although college break is in full swing, Hofstra has a ton of international students present on campus and those taking Winter Classes.71d75de0-1d37-468c-964e-556fe87cc2a6

Back to crowds

We thought about zillion different ways of trying to encourage people not to all come at same time. Last year, by offering a tackle bag to first 50 or 500 attendees we were doing exactly that. We thought about only selling advance tickets on line (something that will probably be revisited in future) but then had to deal with very pissed off people who refuse to get anything on line. If you haven’t noticed the surfcasters are not most technologically advanced people. Do you know how many phone calls i field that go like this :

“ You people robed me. I subscribed to your magazine and the mailman never brings the copy. Its been six months!!!”

We thought about two session, morning and afternoon, that idea is not fair to vendors or attendees so we dropped that. We thought about staggered opening, again, so many damned issues with anything we thought off.

So we are going to try this. We know some plugholics need to get a first crack at shiny plugs. We respect that. That is why we are going to give away 400 bags of tackle goodie from Super Strike, Otter Tails, Hogy, Al Gag’s, Tsunami, Gamakatsu and Spro to those who come after 11 AM.

Again, we have in total probably 700 or so lures to giveaway. But only those with paid admission AFTER 11 AM will get the table assortment bags.  Yes , we are trying to encourage some people to come later in the morning.

We only have 50 of these special ET Super Strike poppers. And we know if we gave them up to first 50 people at 11 AM, those people would line up at 5 am and clog the lobby all morning.

So for example we  will insert these Super Strike plugs into RANDOM tackle giveaway bags. Your chance of getting one of these plugs after 11 AM are equal because no one other than I will even know where these plugs are inserted. Talk about mystery gift bags.striperday2017promo

And I do have to thank many of you for your kindness last year after seeing me almost on a verge of a mental breakdown, for giving me a ear to listen to. I know I never thanked all of you. I appreciate your support and your kind words. I promise I will try to delegate some more task to our great staff and not try to do it all. I cant help it, I take everything we do at  Surfcaster’s Journal personally. Some people say I have thin skin because I get upset when people are not happy with publication, t-shirt or the show but I prefer to think that I give a crap. Because the easiest thing is to say is , hey, take it or leave it. But to me, thats never been my style. Either we give you all we got, or we walk away with out heads up but no half assed effort.

So we are looking forward to seeing you, please be patient and know we are doing the best we can.98f61038-19cb-47ba-bfe9-fbc4053b4da7


oh yeah, last thing

This year raffle (its on you do NOT need to be present to win. Just fill in the raffle ticket with your name and # and we will arrange pick up if you win a prize




Late addition to the blog..just got over 200 of these Hogy Pro Tails to include in the gift packs after 11 AM

Man these REALLY are NICE!!!!!!

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SJTV Episode #4 – “The Lure makers”

Something unexpected for New Year, I think i even surprised myself a little here but here it is.

You can now log into your SJ account and click on SJTV Current Episode and watch episode #4 in its entirety (you need to have an active account obviously) . You can also watch all past episodes, videos and articles.

I filmed this solo with a little help from my son Steven, last year at Berkeley and Asbury Shows. You can watch a complete 14 minute episode featuring DMag, Scotty from Lex, Black Talon, Darby The Greek, Nick Luna, Big Rock, Daniel from Arsenal Lures, Jim Jaget from Jaget Customs, Tom Bozan from DT lures,  Glen from Googoo  Lures, Run Muccie from Glitter Plugs and of course Russ “ Big Rock” Paoline

Enjoy and Happy New Year to all of our friends


Striper Day 2017

Its that time of the year when after packing a considerable amount of extra pounds (17 extra pounds for me since September!) feasting on holidays cookies like bass on rain bait, our attention turns to  show season. And Striper Day is first on tap on January 14th at Hofstra University Student Activity Center (or if you went last year, same place, lol) .Yes, we turned  every rock on Long island looking for a bigger place with conference room or gym AND  large theater in close proximity of each other but we struck out. As did everyone before us so we were left with a decision, do we go back to Hofstra or not do the show at all. Due to overwhelming positive feedback we decided to proceed with Striper Day plans and its almost here. All information in this blog can be found at Striper Day official website at

We got some new vendors like Luna Custom Lures , Black Hole USA Rods, Fatty Lures, High Hook Lures, Angry Fish prints and more.

We will feature two short films this year on a gigantic screen. Here are the trailers

Stephen Gallant and Brian O’Connor are back with another installment of Plum Island Surfcasting

New this year is fly fishing feature  from Lonely Osprey Productions “Between the Lines” . Here is a trailer


We have full line up of seminars, including appearances  for the first time in NY by Dante Soriente, Dave Anderson, Al Albano and Pete Utsching. Again, full seminar schedule is at

Due to overwhelming attendance in 2016, we are attempting to spread out the rush this year. The show hours will be 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For all you plug fanatics, the doors will be open at 8:30 a.m. sharp. BUT, if you like free stuff, we will be handing out complimentary gift packages loaded with items from our sponsors to the first 400 guests arriving AFTER 11:00 a.m. Weigh your options gentlemen and we’ll see you January 14th.

Guest driving AFTER 11 AM will receive a complimentary gift packages from our sponsor including Supe Strike lures, Al Gag’s Lures. Hogy Lures, Tsunami Lures, Jetty Ghost Lures, SPRO, and Gamakatsu

There is FB Striper Day event page, for those of you that are big FB users , where you can get up to date show info

Striper Day Raffle. You  can purchase the tickets at SJ table like last year but the difference is you do not have to be present to win this year

Here is a list of items to be raffled off and we are still adding to it


Van Staal VR 200 Reel

FSC Predator Surf Rod

Pelican 50 Qt cooler

St Croix Triumph Travel Rod

Costa Del Mar polarized glasses

A Dozen Magicman’s Bucktails

Pelican 32 oz tumbler

Surfcaster’s Journal Gear

much more to be added…striperday17

Few of my favorite things- Super Strike Lures

Continuing with few of my favorite things thoughts…and the timing could not be better. Every time I open my surf bag I feel like most of the lures in my bags are the gifts that keep on giving. He is too skinny and handsome to play the part of a real St. Nick but Mr. Steve Musso is about as close to a magical character that fulfills surfcasters wishes as we are ever  going to get.santa (145 of 168)_1

Its no secret that my bag has in the past held 80 to 95% lures made by Super Strike lures. There have been years when due to injury I fished nothing but bucktails, and years like this one where I fell in love with Sebile Stick Shads and sometimes went out with a dozen in my bag (this is for different reasons than carrying Super Strike however). I’ve fished with just about every lure maker product over the past thirty years or so but I keep coming back to Super Strike.P10100011.jpg

I truly believe that big reason for this is a confidence have in the lures, their durability and mostimportant consistency. The wood is good, but will never beat plastic in consistency. I have to mention that I find it amusing when uniformed idiots (and I am being kind) take upon themselves to bash Super Strike this year because their favorite store might not have received enough of them as in the past. The simple truth is that Super Strike, after all these years, finally moved into an official shop and out of the house basement. Of course there were unforeseen delays which put production a little behind the curve, and with an increased demand there was a noticeable shortage. But I know personally that Mr Musso has been working his ass off with his staff to catch up. In fact he canceled all appearance at all shows this winter so he can stay in the shop and crank more plugs. this includes Striper Day, so you know he is taking this stuff seriously. But I guess its easier to go on these sites, where people who would find reason to spit on Mother Teresa if she ever comes down from heaven, and spread garbage instead of facts. Because facts take time to research, garbage  just comes our of their mouths naturally.

Anyway, back to why. I understand some of you (probably very few) are new and truly do not know how deadly this things are. But it wont take long until you get your own appreciation  for those lures that might equal or exceed my ownSJ-Striperthon-2013-300x1991.jpg

Little Neck Popper

2 3/8  black eye, cast like a missile , pops like a champ (deadly at night on a slooooooooow retrieve) , deadly with eel skins. One of the best all around popping plugs ever made


Pick em’….short, long, fast sink, slow sink. They are one of my favorite. Any time but particularly at night, generally first lure out of my bag. I don’t care if there is one or zillion sand eels or none in the area, May or November or August, I would never went to beach at night without one.


Bottle plug

Good in  rough water, good fast water plug, good big bait profile. Extremely underused and under appreciated plug1538640_10202026385759037_430784445_n


No need for intro here. I own maybe few hundred SS darters. Yes, I like darters. In calm to moderate surf, any day of the week and twice on Sundays. You can get them working a little faster in slow water but they really excel in the fast shallow water, like ones found around Montauk Point.20150607_014526

Merry Christmas to all of you !


ODM one piece blanks – by Lou Caruso

Blog post by SJ Rod Guru Lou Caruso

Some time ago I was chatting with the owner of ODM rods. We spoke of the lack of variety when it came to one piece rods here in the northeast. You have the old standby Lamiglas, Cousins in 9’ and 10’ lengths and CTS. The problem with the one piece is shipping and availability. It has become cost prohibitive to get one piece blanks without buying a large volume of them to offset the shipping costs. Jokingly I suggested ODM get into one piece blanks as there 2 piece rods have proven to be quite nice. Little did I know it was already in the works. Last month the prototypes arrived. There are presently 3 blanks. A 10’ rated 1-5 and 2, 11’ rated ¾-4 and 2-6.  I built all 3 in a few days and went and tested them. Usually we shoot a video when testing, and it’s 5 degrees with a 25 MPH wind blowing but due to conflicts in schedules we just couldn’t get it done. I went to a local pier and spent 3 hrs testing all 3 rods. I casted within their limits, below their limits and all types of plugs and tins. All of them handled the load beautifully. I have to say, casting is effortless and all 3 rods casted with very good distance. All of them casted directly into a 15-10 mph wind that was blowing at the time and handled it well.odm-finished

From the beginning, I was really liking the 11’ 2-6 and it didn’t disappoint. That rod has some serious power and I can see it handling big water, big currents and big plugs with ease. It will also be an excellent rod where you need to manhandle fish to keep them out of structure and away from rocks and obstructions. The thing I found interesting was that it also threw an SP minnow well. ODM did a fine job designing all of these blanks with a tip soft enough to throw lighter plugs with enough mid-section power to also throw heavier plugs with ease.


The other 2 are both excellent and all 3 would handle places like Montauk or Cutty very well.

After I was done testing, I offered them up locally to anyone wanting to join me and give the rods a shot. First test was in the parking lot. I had one of the guys hold the rod while I pulled down on the line. After almost pulling him out of his shoes, I had him cup the spool and hold on. I was pulling so hard the 30 pound braid let loose. This was on the 10’ 1-5. That rod has some serious backbone.

We went down to the water where they threw a variety of lures in different weight ranges and of different types. The rods were all sensitive and all handled poppers and pencils well. When the guys figured out they didn’t have to put a lot of effort into their casts they all got some pretty impressive distance on the casts. After we got back the guy were posting their reactions to the rods on the internet. There was some feedback as to whether or not they would handle fish and fight them well. Unfortunately the season was over and I never got the chance to fight fish on them, but have caught fish on similar ODM 2 piece rods. The ¾-4 weight class handled 30 pound plus bass in a strong current with ease, and would I not hesitate for a second to hook up with any fish that swims our waters with these new 1 piece rods.

These with only be available as blanks for rod builders. There will be no factory rods due to shipping logistics. The blanks will have distribution points at least in NY and NJ and possibly Mass. in the beginning so either you or your builder will have the ability to go pick them up.

I wanted to get this out before the show season begins, because as I always say, go check them out for yourself. ODM will have them on display starting with Striper Day here on Long Island. Prices are listed on ODM’s website.(

Few of My Favorite Things- Tsunami Airwave Elite rods

After few years of fishing with 10’ rod , mainly one piece fused Century Armalite Noreaster,my elbow finally felt up to going back to 11’ foot rod this year. In the fall I fished exclusively with a new ODM Genesis rod and I am planing to write a review now that season is done and I get some time after the holidays, hopefully for the March issue. But they were occasions during the last two years where i need a  solid two piece stick and one rod filled just about every need I had. It sticker price might shock some of those who like to spend a weeks pay on a stick, but I assure you this one damn fine rod . I am talking about Tsunami Airwave Elite series of rods. I am particularly fond of a 9’ 6” model rated 3/4 to 3oz and retails around $180!

in beginning I thought this would be strictly a “back up” rod. Hell, I still remember the day Tsunami Rep Nick Cicero showed me a prototype at the Surf Day at River’s End Tackle in CT. He said it would retail around $200 and I said to myself how good of a rod can it be at that price? We’ll I was wrong because it not only fills  most of my needs at home but I thought enough of it too carry it to south to tangle with some reds and snook too. Could it be your primary rod? I think so. Does it do everything great? No, but show me a rod that does! I am not a 100% up on their warranty but I have heard nothing but great things about dealing with their customer service, another surprising fact for a $200 rod.

I usually pair it with a VS 150 and its my go to rod to fish the jetties on south shore with Silver Fox in sping. Ok, those of you who know me know I eally prefer a 7 foot rod and flip flops on jetties ,but for my own safety and that of a fish, this rod does a much better job taming a fish then a short stick, never mind its longer casting distance. The other problem, particularly with those long, green (and often pissed off) spring run bluefish that are all head and lean bodies, the little longer rod goes a long way in trying to “discourage” them from going around the tip of the jetty and cut me off. I win most of the time but sometimes on a screaming moon tide I have been on a  losing end of this fight. I also own a 3-5 oz rated 9’ 3” model of this rod and only only use for eels and heavy shads. Its a little too stiff for most plugs but the one rated 3/4-3 is an absolute pleasure to fish with..and easy on a wallet.ewsd

Not everything we use has to have a giant $ sticker attached to it. Maybe you’d be surprised that 99% of lures in my bag are made from Super Strike. Status has never been something I ever yearned for. For Christ sake I am driving now a 15 year old Ford Explorer. Its a solid truck on the beach and gets the job done. I never really felt at disadvantage  while using it. kind of like my Airwave rods.

Few of My Favorite Things- Boga Grip

Of all the “tools” I use and carry over the years, two sticks out like sore thumbs when out comes to longevity and their usefulness. My VS pliers which have been on  my belt for a dozen years and still look to me like new and my 30 Boga Grip. I did tried a a plastic gripper tools, just never took liking to them. There was a time when I really did not care for Boga banging against my thigh as I walked. But once Silver Fox made this simple Boga carrying tool out of a thin PVC pipe, I don’t even feel its there until I need it. Please be advised that you still should use a lanyard to attach the Boga to your belt. this is just a holder, it will not preclude the tool from falling out.


I honestly use Boga few times a year to actually weigh a fish. The primary use of the tool for me is to unhook the fish. I understand each of us have its own methods of doing this. Some guys like to grab a plug, some leader and some try to get a good grip in the mouth. Last few years, unless I am fishing a bucktail I could go a whole year without touching a fish. Does it takes me a little longer to sometimes get a tool in the mouth that it would otherwise be using my hand? Yes, but where am going that I am in such a rush?


You might poh-poh at 30lb scale. Yes there were few nights this year where not only I but also my fishing partner Silver Fox bottomed out our scales multiple times. I think I did it on three consecutive casts on a  Sebile Stick shad during a Noreaster while he did it on a heavy weighted SS needle. Did it bother me that I don’t know the exact size? Not really. What about if its a 50? It could be a 70lb but it will only still be reported as 30 if I submitt it to my club. Not sure when I stopped carrying Manly scale few years ago, but it does not feel weird. I used to fish for points, to compete, for the club, for a lot of things other than my pure enjoyment. These days I just fish for me. The way I want, when I want and Boga is definitely one of my favorite thingsimage