Gary Soldati Big Water lure giveaway

I hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving with your families. I had all intentions of running the beaches again this morning (burning gas would be more accurate description) but the head cold  knocked me out. I am not yet convinced that is over for few reason. One, we haven’t really seen the really small bass make appearance, the “end of the year” class that usually signals the end is near. There is shitload f bunker in the area and now is joined by herring. The water temps are still on the high side for this time of the year.

All that being said, I know 99% of the population would sign up for 60 degrees and sunny and calm on a black Friday but we don’t do what 99% of other people do. We could really use a weather event to maybe stir some stuff up. But don’t tell that to guys in some parts of NJ who have been on a solid bite or guys in Rockaway’s, I don’t think they want any changes right now. So although the End might be near, I am not ready to declare that it is. And in few weeks the catchers and pitchers will report for spring training and we’ll start driving our wives crazy all over again
The winner of last week Salt Life shades giveaway is Congrats , you got 5 days to contact us at with your shipping address.efcdc
Today’s giveaway is  a courtesy of Gary Soldati from Big Water Lures. Probably the most in-demand giant pike ever used in the surf. I mean this is the work of art even down to the long flag.

Good luck and get out there and have fun

Gary will be attending SJ  Striper Day at Hofstra U on January 09, 2016. You can get all the info on the show website at www.striperday.comSTRIPERDAY34

Bunker, bunker and more bunker (and a new video)

Interesting morning today to say the least. First of all, I had company over till 3 AM and getting up in the morning after few beers was……errr, challenging?

Yeah, lets call it that

By the time I got on the beach, all my boys were already in the water. Or at least I assumed they were because they were NOT returning texts. I kind of knew approximate area where they were but I was going to go waaaaay west BUT why are they not returning calls? They might be into fish?

I did find them 20 minutes later and about a hundred other guys lined up throwing bunker snags. At first i just watched, wishing I did not left my main camera home. Then I’ve seen few fish in 20b range came up so I ran to the water with my waterproof Lumix to take a shot of a guy unhooking a nice fish only to find that battery was 100% dead.

Not my day to be a cameraman I guess

So I suited up and cast a snag and cast and snag and cast and snag……except I could not snag a bunker if my life depended on it. Proficient at this, I am not. Finally after what it seem like an hour of casting I put a snag into one…now what? I kind of knew what am I supposed to do but I never practiced snag and drop before.just not my thing but these fish wanted no part of plugs.

Kind of reminded me of chunking but with live bait instead. I was petrified if I got a fish I might gut hook the darn thing, being a virgin at this.

Two minutes later I felt line come tight, I dropped the tip and set the hook.

And here is a result. The new VS VR proto did a splendid job if I might say as I know many of you will wonder…and the Century Noreaster too. Love that rod (thanks Lou for recommendation)

Included a little over/under and assist from Silver Fox. Good friends are hard to find. Hug yours today.

I am putting this video just for the readers of the blog. Its not listed on youtube so don’t share it. I figured you guys deserve a little treatYouTube Preview Image


For next few days SJ Moon Girl shirts in SJ Online Store are 30%OFF..Reg $23, now only $16 shipping included, while supplies lastL51806_medium

Grim Reaper REG $30 On Sale 50% OFF $15 shipping included, while supplies lastDSC_3402_grande

Introducing Van Staal new VR series reels

As some of you know, Van Staal is coming out with new reel in few weeks, I believe sometimes mid December will be in stores. I was lent a testing model for about a week to play with. Wish it was earlier in the season but it is what it is. I wont give you a review after a week of fishing, would like to put it underwater and in few different situations before I do that so that will have to wait till next year. As you guys know, unlike many other publication, we actually insist on real world testing before we open our mouths. All I am going to tell you is this, it felt like the lightest , most refined reel I ever fished with, not very VS like…..But yet, at same time it felt very much like a VS.And yes, even I will be able to service this reel …

Craig will fill you in on all the features in the video and if you got some more questions, feel free to post a comment and i’ll ask those who know.…I can see a line forming in front of the tackle shop now

Here is your video

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oh yeah, I wonder why this crazy goat has his feet in the air? you will find that out soon 

although I don’t know how soon. Last night my 27IMac that is only few months old went poof..and never got power again. it took a lot of stuff with it and let see if Apple can hopefully bring it back to life otherwise the introduction of new videos might have to take a break for awhilejump

Win a pair of Salt Life Optics, courtesy of Salt Life

Today’s giveaway will be a very special ones since we have not done something like this before but first, lets pick a winner of last week MEGA Charlie Graves Lures giveaway

One winner get ALL of this, the whole shebangz1234

And the winner is ..drum roll please …Nick Schiralli

Congrats Nick, you have 5 days to contact us at with your shipping address. (In case you wonder we use random number generator to spit out a winning # then we match it to the entry on our blog)

Today’s giveaway is for a par of Salt Life Polarized Sport Optics.

I have to tell you, besides my Costa’s, you will probably find me wearing my Salt Life Optics most of the time. There is no secrets here, their ZEISS lenses offer superior optical result with distinctive visual performance. What does that mean? That ZEISS has over 160 years of optical lens experience and if you ever get a chance to buy ZEISS lenses for your DSLR, don’t flinch, just buy it. For those connoisseurs of finer fair, you’ll be happy to know that they are Made in Italy

The winner walk receive a pair of  FUJI gloss black Salt Life Shades with smoke—blue  sense, courtesy of Salt Life. They come in a  handsome leather case and with  microfiber cleaning cloth.

You can check a whole line at

last but not least, this weekend only thought Monday, 35% OFF Mermaid shirts in SJ Online Store$23-now $16).Its our way of saying thanks..more videos coming next week including new Van Stall VR reel introduction20140924_142906_1024x1024

What About Bob?-The Midnight Rambler by John W. Papciak

What About Bob?

The Midnight Rambler

John W. Papciak

You know what they say, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, but expecting a different outcome.”

Well, that’s about how I felt two weeks ago, when I was visiting Egypt Beach in East Hampton on the East End of Long Island.

If you’ve been fishing reasonably hard this fall you already know – in many places – it’s been very hard to scare up a few fish. Those gravy years in the late 90s and early 00s, with 20, 30 or ever 40 fish outings are now a distant memory. That’s not to say some of you (and even me once in a while) are not finding fish – but we’ve gone on and on in blogs and articles worrying about where all the fish have gone.

Sure, sure, we might have a good year class or two coming up. Just maybe. But it doesn’t make it any easier being on the beach in Montauk, and seeing school after school of adult bunker go by, but with not so much on them – and certainly not enough to push the bunker toward the beach and create the blitz conditions that we almost took for granted more than a decade ago.

Zeno had a really good story he shared at one of the bass hearings last year on Long Island. I dunno, I guess he gives the fish names, you’ll have to ask him about this. He called this fish Bob.

What about Bob?

Well Bob was a striped bass that Zeno could always find, almost like that time tested and trusted friend. Didn’t matter what else was going on, up and down the beach, as the season went along. Sometimes all the other fish were gone, but he could always count on Bob, or a small handful of fish just like Bob, at some very specific places.

OK, I’ll admit I never named my fish, but I also had those reliable places.

But just like Zeno, over the past few years in particular, those fish are just not there. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll keep fishing for them, but I’ve more or less gotten used to the fact that Bob is just not around like he used to be.

Anyway, let’s get back to Egypt Beach.22492325622_b0bc22befd_k

This is usually at the western end of my jurisdiction, and one of the last places where I can use my East Hampton beach driving permit.

Lotta good memories here, especially during those epic years with the peanut bunker.

It’s right by the hoighty-toighty Maidstone Club. That’s the golf club where even Bill Clinton was not allowed a tee time (you’ll have to Google the tabloids to get the full dirt on that).22133092731_8598052b29_k

Anyway, two weeks ago, the Bonackers were at it again. Remember Haul Seines have been outlawed in New York, but not the beach launching of gill nets. Turns out the Bonackers were following the schools of bunker, just like any good fisherman should. And when they saw some hints of activity in the way of predators on one of the schools, they set a net around it that must have gone out the better part of a mile. You would think they would have netted the motherload of cow bass – that would certainly have been the case 15 years ago – but on this set, pretty much all they got was a big pile of bluefish. You might wonder exactly how many fish, and what sizes, are out there. Well this will tell you all you need to know.22133136661_c01092e810_k

Was kinda sad to be honest. But I wasn’t only disturbed by the dead fish now rotting in the sun. Was just as sad for the guys doing the netting. Just all this effort, and all this equipment, and all they will get is (reportedly) is 90 cents a pound for that small portion that will make it to the market in reasonably decent shape. The rest I’m not even sure will be eligible for catfood.

Just imagine how many fishermen –especially surfcasters – who would have given half the bills in their wallet to tangle with these fish on an otherwise dead weekend afternoon.

It’s just one more reminder of how greedy we’ve been, and how the recreationals are just as guilty of this as any commercial.22110478412_44bb257541_k (1)

We can only hope those more recent year classes do make it out of bay, and into the coastal stock (they call that process “recruitment”).

Let’s hope so – we humans appear to be incapable of knowing when to cut back when Bob is nowhere to be found.

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Surfcaster’s Journal Online Magazine issue # 34 is up for your reading pleasure

The wait is over
Surfcasters Journal Online Magazine issue # 34 is up for your reading pleasure
-Articles from all your favorite columnists, John Skinner, Crazy Alberto Knee, Dave Anderson, Al Albano, John Papciak, DJ Muller and Roger Martin
-Feature articles from Dennis Zambrotta, Dave Anderson, John Lee, Fred Strausbaugh and John Papciak
-Almost 50 minutes on new and original video content including
-Montauk Time & Tide
-Interview with Advanced Fishing Ryan White
-Surf Fishing 101 series
-Episode # 1 The basic Tools
-Episode # Needlefish lures with Donny Musso
-Episode #3 Bucktails in the rough surf
-Episode #4 Surf Belt




Happy Veteran’s Day to all the members of our Armed Services.

You guys and girls are big part of why this is the greatest country in the world. Thank you for your service and  sacrifices .

Surf fishing 101 video preview

New issue coming up in a day or two.Here is a video preview of Surf Fishing 101 series. I think most of our readers will find something relevant and interesting in it.YouTube Preview Image

Happy to say that I reshot the video yesterday morning that I screwed up on Friday with Craig Cantelmo of VS Reels. Long ass haul to North Fork to do it but those who don’t have in their heads, have it in their feet , my grandfather use to say. 

I think their new VR reels which are hitting stores in few weeks I think will be a massive hit. I got to play with one last few days and considering pricing under flagship VSX line, i think they will be guys  salivating at the lightest reel I ever held in my hand.

Video coming upP1000966

Upcoming issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Online magazine

I spent morning shooting the videos and missed a blitz which was occurring about 1/2 a mile away from where we were set up. But that wasn’t the painful part. I missed plenty of blitzes before but I never imported the footage to start editing before, only to find out that its unusable due to a single button being switch the wrong way.Yes, that is painful and very much embarrassing especially since people took time out of their day to be there. My bad, my really, really bad screw up. Unfortunately probably not the last one.

Speaking of videos, and if you are one who likes watching what we do, you might get a kick out of what’s coming in the new issue next week. There is almost an hours worth of new videos for your viewing pleasure.

In this issue we are introducing Surf Fishing 101 series. I shot over 30 videos with some of todays best surfcasters, Donny Musso, Lou Caruso, Ralph Votta, Craig Cantelmo, Bill Jakob, Dave Anderson and of course our stalwarts like Mr. Skinner and Wetzel. What is Surf Fishing 101? Glad you asked

With Surf Fishing 101 we are going to try to demystify sport of surfcasting and break it down on a basic level. There will be a video on how and why to use teasers, how to fish a darter, how to improve your cast, what to look in a surf belt. How to pick a rod for back bays, how to fish a needlefish, anything that you can think of, we are a game.

In addition some videos will be all action footage, recorded with  ago pro while we are catching fish and explaining the thought process behind why we are there, and what are we doing with our lures. There are also few night footage  sequences captured with infra red light, aerial footage….and on and on. From lures to bait to rods to gear, this should be something for everyone

In next week issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Online magazine first 4 videos will debut. Each episode is between 5 and 15 minutes although we shot an episode with Ralph Votta last week which will easily push 20 minutes

  • Episode #1 The basics
  • Episode #2 Needlefish with Don Musso
  • Episode #3 Rough water fishing with Bucktails
  • Episode # 4 Surf belt

Obviously in addition to this you will get reviews and  awesome articles from your favorite writers and columnists.

Just a little reminder to myself that I actually am not as miserable as I feel about my screw up this morning.Hope you guys enjoy it

and a little note, only as a courtesy to our blog readers

For the first time, there are pullover Creeping while you sleeping hoodies in our store, creeping bumper stickers and yes, those elusive Night Crew Zip hoodies are making appearance for a limited time.We have not publicized this because we make small batches and want our readers to get them first if the wish instead of soccer moms shopping on Cyber

CREEP L66177 L66178_DET L66178Zip_B2-300x300dd_large

..Some dude named Craig let us play with his toy for next week.12208677_10153744994428421_6900819393480250892_n…a little weekend treat to our readers

New MTK show special shirt, regularly $23, this weekend only $15..35% OFF, shipping inluded

11223550_10153645852098421_6885772951576349633_na little late edition of fish porn

25 pound blue caught and released by Chris Voorhies yesterday on South Shore of Long Island12195918_10153746033033421_3394113657949121165_n

Cinnamon Buns


My daughter is 18 months old and, as any dad with a surfcasting addiction should do, I take her to the beach every chance I get—which translates to pretty much every day. A couple weeks ago we were out running errands and I thought we should swing by a beach that overlooks one of my favorite sets of rocks—she could play in the sand and I could hang from the eyepieces of my binoculars looking for signs of life.

I was hungry and I could tell that she was too. The stash of Goldfish in the diaper bag had been exhausted, so I stopped at a local bakery to look for something we could share. I settled on a cinnamon bun that seemed to be calling me from the street. We hit the beach, spread out a blanket and shared that twisted miracle of dough, butter and cinnamon—it was the best cinnamon bun I’ve ever had. Hands down; and I’ve had many. I didn’t see any signs of life but Lila kept me entertained by repeatedly trying to pet seagulls—attempting to call them over like you might call a cat. It was a good day.

A few days later it was Friday and I called my fishing partner, Dave Daluz, to weigh the options for the night ahead; should we fish early in the night and hit spots A and B or should we head out around 4 a.m. and hit spot C? We elected to do the morning thing. To make the details of a very slow trip less boring; I dropped a good fish in the dark and Dave caught a 30-incher about 80 minutes after sunrise. The minutes before and after were sprinkled with rapid plug changes, glances across the point at one another, silent cursing of various boats coming too close and endless minutes of ‘in head’ wondering and self-flagellation about what our fate might have been had we elected to fish the night tide instead.

Mercilessly, one of us declared that he was going home and the other made the requisite “last cast” and followed closely behind. As we were walking out my mind wandered to that cinnamon roll. I know Dave likes quality baked goods as much as I do; he should know about these! Food is one of our top five subjects of conversation when driving long distances—the others being fishing, adolescent stupidity, present day stupid people and Kate Upton—not mentioning these cinnamon buns seemed like a violation of the bro code.

I should add that in the intervening days I had been back to the bakery no less than three times and each time they hadn’t made the cinnamon rolls! This had built up quite a jonze. This had also given me the chance to get a feel for the place; it was run by a group of college age girls, there were rarely any people in there and, I don’t know, maybe I’m overthinking things, but… well you’ll see.

I headed straight for the bakery on my way home, I half-expected Dave to follow, but he was nowhere to be seen. I was still in my wetsuit and I had a moment of mind-stutter when I thought about walking in there as their only customer, wearing a wetsuit. I didn’t want to make these girls uneasy. Might they think that I thought I looked good (Hey ladies, yeah I fish in a wetsuit…) or tough (Check out the pipes…) or maybe that I was trying to show off my 35-year old ‘dad’ physique to a bunch of college girls on a Saturday morning (Who needs help with their homework…)? For the record, none of those things are my strong points; and I am well aware of, and at peace with, these facts. In the middle of the night I’ll walk into almost any place with my wetsuit on, but for some reason, this place at 8 a.m. on a sunny day, made me stop.

So, I reached over and grabbed a pair of gym shorts, my worst pair too. You know the ones… the pair with the worn out elastic, paint smears on both legs, the pair you have to tie so tightly that the waistband looks like a diaper leg when you’re done tying a knot that you wish you had a third hand to properly cinch, the pair with at least one ‘mystery stain’ that you really don’t want to remember… yeah. I don’t know what made me think this was better, but I put these horrible shorts on OVER my wetsuit and wore them into the bakery.

The absurdity hit me when I was about two steps away from the car, but now I was out there (Jerry) and now I had to own this. I prayed that Dave would not show up, I caught of glimpse of myself in a window reflection and I had to grit my teeth to keep myself from bursting out laughing. Then I heard it—beep beep—it was Dave, F! I HAD TO OWN THIS. I turned with a straight face and gave a short nod and a nonchalant wave, like nothing was odd, like I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, like I always wear terrible ‘swishy’ shorts over my wetsuit into public places.  I would normally wait for him, but I quickstepped through the doors; owning it like a boss!

The girls were all down in the kitchen and I didn’t see any cinnamon rolls on the counter. There’s a partition that’s close to five feet high separating the work area from the retail space. I walked over and asked one of them if they had the cinnamon buns, they didn’t. As I surveyed the area it became apparent that, because of said partition, they couldn’t see much below my neck anyway… I could have walked in there wearing a t-shirt and a gym sock and they wouldn’t have been any the wiser. I walked toward the door laughing at myself and then I remembered that Dave was waiting outside. Shit!

Owning it while walking toward the truck was not going to be as easy—there would be no opportunities to pull myself together between looks.  He was on the phone, probably telling his wife about my self-induced wardrobe malfunction—(in hindsight, I’m just glad he wasn’t taking video!) But despite his broadcasted play-by-play of my humiliation, the fact that he was socially engaged might offer me the opportunity to get out of there without too much interaction! I looked down to gain my composure and then looked straight at him, I made a matter-of-fact face while shaking my head and giving the ‘thumbs down’. His window was cracked open so I just said robotically, “No cinnamon buns” and tried to dash into my car. I felt like I had dodged the humiliation… I really HAD owned it! But then I looked back to see his automatic window creaking slowly open, in this instance it was like a principal’s curled index finger beckoning after you THOUGHT you got away with something.

I did NOT want to roll my window down, but I did. In my last attempt to slide out from under the embarrassment, I spoke up first and authoritatively, hoping to drown out any blossoming sarcastic remarks, “Ahhh, sorry man, no cinnamon buns today…” I turned toward the wheel and fished my phone out of my terrible shorts—just to have SOMETHING to make me look occupied.

I wasn’t getting off that easy.

He rode over my little charade like an M-4 Sherman tank, like he didn’t even hear it—I might as well have said nothing. “That is one badass outfit you’re wearing…” he said with a smile and a heavy chuckle.

For a split second I rushed to come up with something to defend myself but I just sputtered and then closed my eyes and shook my head… I no longer owned it, I never owned it, I had been outted and there was NO dignified slant play I could run to save face. I felt a Stimpy smile unfurl as my stupid mouth hung open in surrendered embarrassment. I tried to explain about the girls and the superhero spandex suit… he wasn’t having it. Without speaking any words, my face said, “Listen, I know l look like an idiot, I know this was a terrible idea and I know that these shorts should have been burned in 2006…” then my face morphed into a look that begged for mercy. Which, as any good friend would, he gave me after one last smirking head shake, a wide laughing smile and then a few short seconds of additional laughter.

I deserved it.

I laughed the whole way home. What else could I do?