Mexico Part 5- The Guide and Sebile Stick Shads

I never did finish my series on Mexico..the last part was left out, about a guide

The Guide

Really, the lowly  guide?  What can be so special about a guide you might ask?

Aha, I thought you’d never ask. Now I  am sure some of your you are familiar with these ” recoil” guides but I am convinced that most surfcasters are not. These guides are made out of titanium and don’t have  ceramic inserts that can crack or chip and ruin your trip. Not only that, but you can literally bend them 90 degrees flush against the rod and they will “recoil” back into their original shape! Brilliant if you ask me, as you don’t need to worry about your guides ruining your trip ever again.picloomiscrank10

Is there downsides?

Well, now  sure if I would call them downsides but it’s something you should be aware. First, I was told that hey are much more expensive then most guides on the market today, and number 2 , they are a little “noisier” when you cast or retrieve a line. Nothing great, but noting is as smooth as ceramic guides when it comes to line running thought the guides.

RSG-Recoil-Stripping-Casting-Guide_media-1Something else I should mention..and I’ll do this in the context of the trip. The two weeks prior to our arrival,  fishing was not great  but it was solid. Each crew had few jacks each day and at least a rooster or two. On one particular day, they had a crazy good day with giant rooster but for the most part it was a solid pick in the morning. I now have a better understanding that your best shot at landing one of these things is from just before dawn till about nine or ten o’clock. After that’s it’s a crapshoot. In addition, the wind will kick up around noon each day making for much shorter casts and different water condition, wave action and clarity.

I should also mention that the waves can be GYNORMOUS!!! !… second you are standing in rolling surf, less then five seconds later you might be staring into a 9 to 15 foot sweet ready to pummel you. And if it does, a) you will NOT outrun it and b) you will regret coming to Mexico. I am going to stress this again, these waves are no joke even when they break 15 yards ahead of you and with great force push onto the beach for 50 yards or more!

Anyway, for Ryan and I, the trip went downhill after the second day as fish developed either a lockjaw or completely disappeared. Where we seen bait and small jacks, Sierra mackerel and other species all over the place the first two days, now the bait and fish completely disappeared. It was quite disappointing after few days when your expectations deflate but we still got the up every morning with renewed enthusiasm, knowing this could be the day when fishing lights up. We  used all kinds of poppers from custom jobs, Line Stretcher lures to Super strike and everything in between.

And yes, in the morning , particularly from the hours of darkness and into dawn I was tossing Sebille sticks.P1010178

 I  returned to NY with blisters on my hands from reeling poppers all day ling at high speed AND in a hundred degree heat, yet every single fish I caught came on Sebile stick shads. I know it’s weird and I do know it does not mean nothing to you but it does to me. Particularly to my confidence level when it comes to using these , to me, new lures. I am really looking forward to putting stick shads though a whole season on Long IslandP1010181And yeah, even this cover shot ate a small stick shadP1010242

Tip Of The week Video- Hook and Guides

Traveling around with my daughter doing music college auditions  is sucking the life out of me, like this weekend drive around the storm to Rochester, NY. But seeing her not only nail the darn thing but get professors excited about having her as student is gratifying (and humbling)

Here is a simple video, about things that we all know but sometimes we don’t follow up on it.

See you guys at Surf Day this weekend

Custom Plugs Part II

It is nice to see Musso’s are getting a lot of  love, particularly that guys are recognizing Steve Musso’s painting ability. I did not know until about a week ago that he painted SO MANY patterns. I honestly do not pay attention to collecting world. I like what I like, very rarely change plug colors in my bag, and most are yellow anyway. But then I looked at pricing on ebay for stuff Steve painted as Lure of The Month or for special occasions like our Striper Day I said holly shit !!! The fact that SS moved from basement into an actual shop last year, that move was delayed by permits and other things, while his demand exploded did not help. In order to try to catch up, Steve temporarily cut down on number of lure patterns he will be paining for this year. That gave another jolt to the market and suddenly if you have a black over orange that is not being painted in 2017 , its getting traded on fb or ebay for stupid money. I am not going to complain about it as I auctioned off few of my SS plugs last week and donated quite a bit of money to Heros on the Water and St Jude Children Hospital. Over the years we all have accumulated a lot of SS plugs and i was glad to let some go for charity. And yeah, as much as I am tickled pink Steve painting skills are getting recognized and his brand recognition is reaching another level, I am flustered by the fact that the plastic is selling for more $ than his dad’s wood stuff. That I cant understand for the life of me, and its making me think that maybe we went a little too far with SS obsession. Time will tell, and lots of lures will be produced but i doubt there will ever come a day when you find me on the beach without a SS lure in my bag.P1000932

Again, my apologies for not being aware of this secondary market in Super Strike being so hot. Between my regular job, magazine, shows and family i barely have time to come up for air, never mind go on fb or ebay and browse for plugs I am not going to buy. I guess now i understand  the puzzled looks when at FINS few months ago i was crushing fish and people did not believe me that i was using a SS Calamari darter. I also used all my offbeat colors, like these Tutti Fruity darter and bottle . Feed them to blues too and caught plenty, while people cringed. PC , i am not.16463273_10210440542145647_3044916068767340108_o

This blue over purple popper was a killer for me over the years at night. Would have Blurple work just as well? Probably16298487_10210387755626017_1113787976673586879_n

I will readily admit that I never knew there were so many guys collecting SS plastics. And now that some colors will be discontinued , they are getting bid up to silly prices. Then they are those who are looking for ,lets say , pre-rattle bottle plugs and yet others who want a piece of Steve Campo’s legacy.IMG_1390 Put them all together and sprinkle winter, boredom, and NO FISH and you will get people to bid crazy amount on plugs and patterns that will probably be available one again when Super Strike catches up to tackle orders. I will tell you there is one really bad thing (imho) that comes out as a result of this. In past years Musso’s would gladly sign your plug at shows and you had a piece of surf fishing history for keeps. But now that people tell them they want to pass it onto their kids while they are signing it yet the plug is on ebay before that day show is over, they will probably be hesitant to sign it in future, which is a shame for the rest of is

Some people will say that a regular non collecting fisherman is getting screwed by these prices but I would disagree and only for one reason. There is not a day or place whee I feel that with a yellow ss needle, bottle, darter or popper I won’t be able to catch a fish. And those colors are wildly available. And if you believe that  you need a Lure of the Month Snapper darter to imitate snappers there is nothing i can tell you otherwise.

Show Season

Tomorrow is SJ Flea Market at Hofstra University sponsored by Tsunami, Ottter tails and Costa Del Mar. I thought I’d use this occasion to put together a list of all the shows where SJ crew will be this winter. We are looking forward to seeing our readers and shooting a breeze. That can only mean that bass should be making their way back soon

Tomorrows flea market features two free seminars, one by John Skinner and the other by  Lou Caruso. Sitting is limited to 50 people and all the info about the show is at
Costa Del Mar giveaway every hour plus other prizes
First 400 attendees receive door prize from Tsunami and Otter Tails
Next 200 get a book
Free raffles every hour of the show include glasses, nautical charts, reels, pliers
All info at
Admission $10 kids under 12 free


March 4th 2017

5th annual Ward Melville H.S. Fishing Club Expo / Fundraiser

Ward Melville High School

380 Old Town Rd, Setauket, New York 11733

8-4 pm




Berkeley Striper Club 22nd Annual

Type of Event: Fisherman’s Flea Market

Event Date(s): 03/05/2017

Event Time(s): 9am – 2 pm

Admission: $4 / Children under 10 FREE

Location: Toms River Intermediate School North

Address: 150 Intermediate North Way

Toms River, NJ 08753

Contact: Steve George




March 10/11/12 2017

RISAA Providence

Rhode Island Saltwawater Anglers Association




Asbury Park Fishing Club’s

Type of Event: Fishing Flea Market

Event Date(s): Mar. 12, 2017

Event Time(s): 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Admission: $3.00 (Children under 12 yrs – free)

Location: Convention Hall

Address: Asbury Park Boardwalk

1300 Ocean Avenue

(Ocean and Sunset Avenue)

Asbury Park, NJ 07712

Contact: Joseph Pallotto

Phone: 732.988.0121


April 2 2017


Type of Event: Patchogue Fishing Flea Market

Event Date(s): Sun. Apr. 2, 2017

Event Time(s): 9:00am to 3:00pm

Admission: $5.00 – Kids 12 and under Free



Custom Plugs Part One


Custom Plugs Part One

(Editors note…last night we moved SJ site to another server but in process we lost the Custom Lures part I blog. Our apologies for this inconvenience  )

I am having a hard time understanding what is going on in the plug world. Actually I do understand it perfectly but only because I am not all there, because normal person would say wtf..but lets start from the start

Yesterday a store owner emailed me, asking me for advice which wooden lure builder he should contact to sell lures in his shop. He said he contacted Super Strike but they are not adding dealers (that story coming up) at this time.

I said why do you think any lure builder worth his salt would want to sell his lures in your store?

1. Lure builders are mostly small operations, with guys building on the side and only in off season. They are fisherman first.

2. Once they figured out they can sell their stuff on FB without fees AND keep the whole amount, they pulled their stuff out of the stores and told them “they cant make enough” to justify being in the store.

3. The stores really did not treat plug builders well even when their stuff was hot. When they sold like hot cakes (ask BM, late JHabs family or even RM Smith) they wanted more, more and they kept raising the prices. But when lure builder asked for more than $10 per plugs that were selling in stores for $20 and secondary market for $40 they told them “You are lucky I carry your plugs”. Guess what, the stores are left with almost no wooden plugs on shelfs.

Custom plugs are really a supply and demand story in  every sense. The builders keep raising prices but they make limited quantities and the demand is still higher than supply and they are managing it pretty darn good. From what I see, they are getting compensated well, the buyers and flippers are not bitching too much either. Right now, kind of a funky equilibrium exists in the custom plug world. I really do not have some great insight of why, how and when someone’s plugs will be hot. 

My bag is 99% plastic with few swimmers at night and some Guppy Pencils in daytime. Hell, even the ubiquitous SP Minnow (in my opinion the most overhyped plug in history of fishing) rarely gets into my bag. But I get why custom plugs are getting premium. Have you seen some of the recent work?15672676_714223322086064_1839231941038311426_n

Forget for a minute that you want to argue that fancy colors and patterns do not catch fish. They are not designed to catch a fish but a fisherman instead and they are doing a hell of a job. Some of the stuff is an art masterpieces that I would only hang on a wall. And then, when you get a guy who NEVER paints a plug the same way twice and he does it well, of course his prices are going to be though the roof. Some of you have no problems paying thousands of dollars for someone to paint your kids room or spending a small fortune on a fine wood cabinet your wife has had an eye on. But you hate on people who wants to treat themselves to a piece of fishing art. Don’t. Respect the craft and move on. Although the artist will swear he painted it to catch a fish, at $75 there are probably better and more affordable option to do that. But to hang it on a wall, I tell you want, I am starting to dig it and the only collection i have is shit load of old Danny’s and few Musso’s in my basement. …btw I LOVE fishing my Musso’s Torpedo’s but i cringe every time i get a hit..does that make me weird :-)16299520_10210386612077429_3350948660380010832_n

I do feel that some builders are not getting the love they deserve. No one will ever accuse Beachmaster of making the plugs for collectors only. Yes, they made few oddball colors by request over the years but on the end of the day they crank out quality at very reasonable price. Considering the sheer number of plugs they produced over the years and styles, and never really made a dud (because of Bobby’s relentless testing before selling anything, no doubt) they should be held in higher regard. And i think they will be back in vogue before long.

No one puts that kind of a quality on consistent basis and does not get rewarded. But currently, yes, they are getting overshadowed by some really, really cool paint jobs. Hey, we are all humans, we like to look at pretty stuff too…thats why there is a screen shot of Kate Upton on my Mac….. when my wife is not home.

So don’t be a hater. If  fancy plugs are not your thing, just get some Super Strike Lures

Oh shit !!!

Did you see the recent prices on second hand Super Strike plugs ?

more on SS and another level of craziness in part IIIMG_1554

MEGA Striper Day giveaway

Maybe you did not make a Striper Day for various reasons, maybe you overslept, you had to work or you were petrified of last years crowds

But if for whatever reason you did not make it, I will give you a chance now to win a very nice package that we gave away at Striper Day ….. but you will be the only guy that actually got the whole shebang! Some guys got two lures or three but today, I will give you a chance to win all lures featured at Striper Day giveaway package

So here we go, One Winner, Giveaway lasts 1 week and app randomly notifies and pick winner (you can check the app in a week for winners name)

Here is the prize package

  1. Hogy swim bait
  2. Hogy eel bait
  3. SPRO buctail
  4. Al Gag’s Whip It Fish
  5. Tsunami Timber Swimmer
  6. Jetty Ghost Tackle Slim
  7. Jetty Ghost Tackle MullnutD780BD85-A8F3-48A9-A569-1F89722E80E3

Enter the Giveaway Here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And we hope you are enjoying the new issue of the Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine at



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