New for 2017 – PENN Slammer III – Back by popular demand!

New for 2017 – PENN Slammer III Reel

Built  for heavy duty fishing from either boat or shore, and trusted by charter captains all over the world.

The Slammer III reels feature our new IPX6 Sealed System which keeps water out of the gear box and drag system in heavy spray and sea conditions. We’re also using our updated Slammer Drag System which now utilizes our proprietary Dura-Drag material. With the computer-controlled CNC gear technology system, the precision brass main, pinion and oscillation gears are individually machined for exact tolerances to provide the smoothest operation.

Eight models of the Slammer III will be available, ranging in size from 3500 to 10500 models. Gear ratios range from 6.2:1 with 37” of line retrieve on the smaller reels to 4.2:1 with 43” of line retrieve on the largest. Maximum drags start at 30lbs in the smaller models and run to 60lbs on the largest. The oversized reel handle grip gives the angler added control during the fight.

The 3500 Slammer III is the smallest of the family weighing 13.9oz while the 10500 weighs 43.1oz.

• CNC Gear technology.
• Full metal body, sideplate and rotor.
• IPX6 Sealed body and spool design.
• Sealed Slammer Drag System with Dura-Drag.
• 6+1 corrosion resistant stainless steel bearings keep the reel smooth.
• Superline Spool band eliminates the need for backing.
• Line Capacity Rings let the angler know just how much line is on the reel at any time.
MSRP for the Slammer III spinning reels is $249.95 to $349.95; starts shipping this October.

Tip of the Week video series

SJ is starting a new video series called Tip of the Week. These will be quick tips and thoughts by local experts and googans such as myself. Will I promise you that it will run forever? No, eventually we’ll run out of material but I guess but we should be ok for a year or two.
Just another way of us bringing you something interesting between the issues of the Surfcaster’s Journal magazine

Here is the first entry

Surfcaster’s Journal Online Magazine
Tip Of The Week # 1
Simple Reel Maintenance with Dave Anderson

Win A Guided Montauk Trip For Two With Bill Wetzel!!!

Because Bill is such a cool dude hes giving away a six hour guided Montauk trip for one or two anglers. He wanted us to remind everyone that the Surf Rats ball June Striper East Coast Tournament entry ends June 15th. Head on down to

for all the Info.

Bill Has Gone INSANE with the prizes this year. $1,000 cash? BING BONG! Hello?


.srb 37

(the fine print) winning trip must be booked by 6/15/17. Not valid for august trophy trips.


SPING STRIPERTHON 2016 wrap up…and some thoughts on migration

  1. Edward Sausa 47 inches VAN STALL VR 200 REEL
  2. Ryan Sherwood 46 inches COSTA DEL MAR GLASSES
  3. Jeremy Holloway 45 inches SET OF SUPER STRIKE LURES
  4. Robert Heffert 43 inches  SET OF GUPPY LURES
  5. Chris Neves 43 inches SET OF TRAILHEAD TIRE DEFLATORS
  6. Frank Conclaves 43 inches SJ GEAR PACKAGE

First, I’d like to congratulate all the winners and those who entered the fish into Striperthon 2016 but did not placed. I have to admit that this is the best “picture “ we received over the weekend with a note that said

“My entry for the tournament. Yeah I know I forgot the measuring tape. Dammit”IMAG0643

Almost all of the  winning fish came from either RI or MA. One fish was submitted from LI and one from NJ. Not surprise there if you follow the migration this year. The NJ bite was pretty damned good all spring and it went off in Jamaica Bay …but then it seems like the east of Jamaica Bay got either skipped by a body of fish or very few residents took their place. I blame Trump for this, might as well, he is getting blamed for everything else.

CT river and RI fisheries are quite good this year. I am assuming most of their fish comes from Hudson stock? Not sure on this but taking a guess. Massachusetts is hit and miss but much better than lets say Montauk. If you read Montauk reports you want to crawl into bed and pull the coverers over your head.BUT the boats are doing well as of the last moon and we expected that. So the only question is when are they going to charge the surf?

There is no doubt in my mind that most of this is a result of bait patterns. I tend to believe that stripers could not care less if we get cold winter with 3000 inches of snow or its a Indian summer all winter long and warm. I think they do care about one thing, and one thing only, bait. Now , some will say, wait, I have bunker up to ling yang in back bay but no fish, what’s up with that?

I think in my uneducated guess that  has to do with less fish being around, meaning the stocks are down and they cant be everywhere like their used to be. Someone told me that we had “easy” fishing for a long time. I would not disagree with that, especially in comparison to what is going on today.

For me, the BIGGEST difference between then and now is something I wrote about numerous times before. In lets call them “good old days” although its only few years ago, you did not have to move. For example, we all went to Montauk for blitzes but those that stayed local caught plenty of fish with lots of room to fish. You could have targeted large with bait or eels which tend to  eliminate smaller fish from even bothering with your bait. You had choices, now not so much. Now lets not scream that the Sky is Falling, not at all. But like I said before, those willing to “go to the fish” will be rewarded. Those who stay and wait for fish to populate their old haunts will be disappointed.

Sometimes, guys who are new to sport and don’t have preconceived ideas or habits will do much better than the rest of us old foggy, cranky bastards that want to catch fish “our way”. I’ve driven to Cape Cod Canal on Monday morning, I was hoping for some top water bite I can get on camera. After seeing that it was not happening as i hopped I took a quick 1 hour nap and drove back home for 5 hours (yes , i stopped at Foxwoods to win enough to pay for gas before hightailing out of there,,lol)

But I did get to see a lot of guys who I would never expect to see there. They are catching few, a result of their willingness to travel. Are they killing it? Not really but I tell you what, they would suck wind if they stayed home. How do I know? I fish the same waters they do and I have friends who have not seen a bass in June on repeated trips and that is really unheard of. So those who travel are getting some. There was quite large NJ contingent at Canal fishing their butts off.

Remember, FB is your friend. Not for your drama queen diatribes but because guys will literally show you in pictures UP TO MINUTE info of where the fish are. That’s why I accept friends requests sometimes even if its just a  hot half naked chick in Oakley sunglasses holding fish

Hey, I like sunglassesimage4

Special thanks and props to our sponsors, Van Staal Reels, Super Strike Lures, Costa Del Mar shades, Guppy Lures and Trailhead Tire Deflators

Lets do it again in the fall




    1. Edward Sausa 47 inches VAN STALL VR 200 REEL
    2. Ryan Sherwood 46 inches COSTA DEL MAR GLASSES
    3. Jeremy Holloway 45 inches SET OF SUPER STRIKE LURES
    4. Robert Heffert 43 inches  SET OF GUPPY LURES
    5. Chris Neves 43 inches SET OF TRAILHEAD TIRE DEFLATORS
    6. Frank Conclaves 43 inches SJ GEAR PACKAGE

    All winners..please contact us at with your shipping address. Please be advised that we are away until Wednesday and all winners will be either shipped their prizes from SJ or directy from our sponosors




Here is your official Spring 2016 STRIPERTHON TAG







Good luck to all, you know what you have to do. Take your time and try to get a good measurement that is clear and that we are able to enlarge to read


Prizes for the Spring 2015 STRIPERTHON

  1. Van Staal 200 VR Spinning Reel
  2. Costa Del Mar Sunglasses 
  3.  Super Strike Lures Set
  4.  Guppy Lures Set
  5.  Trail Head Deflators
  6.  SJ Gear package

You have to be ACTIVE member to participate, meaning your subscription must be active


Catch & Release Competitions


After another successful Striperthon it seems like the right time to talk about the evolution of the striper tournament. The phrase “no kill” is often used to emphasize the fact that most (if not all) of the fish entered into one of these tournaments will be released. It’s a concept I really believe in, some of you may know that I run GoTight.Net which is the online home of a very successful season-long catch and release surfcasting tournament.

There has been plenty of debate about the likelihood of survival for fish that are brought to shore for photographic documentation and, when done carelessly, I would agree that survival rates are below what any of us would prefer. But, when done correctly the fish are really not kept out of the water any longer than they are during a normal shore landing.

The right way to compete in one of these tournaments is to prepare to measure your fish before making your first cast. I compete in my own tournament but, of course, I can’t win anything I just enjoy the camaraderie that comes with playing the game every week. When I arrive at my spot of choice, I start by finding a good place to document my catch. The best places are flat areas of smooth gravel, flat boulders or, best of all, patches of wet weeds uncovered by the tide. When I find a suitable spot, I unfold and lay out my measuring device (in my case it’s a fiberglass folding ruler) and then make sure I have my tag and camera in an easily accessible spot before I make my first cast (I also make sure the flash is turned on). One of the big no-no’s of competing in these C&R events is recording your fish on dry sand, if your fish looks like a cinnamon doughnut when you go to release it, no matter how fast you are, it’s not going to do well. Sand in their slime, gills and eyes can cause infection and can be very hard for them to rid themselves of, if you fish the open beach you should document on hard, wet sand or bring a small tarp or towel to take your photos on.

From the moment you hook up, you should be thinking about the documentation process and hear a clock ticking in your head. Try to get the fish in as quickly as possible, I prefer to unhook the fish right when I catch it and then bring it over to the ruler. Lay the fish down near the ruler, move the ruler (not the fish) to line up with the tip of the tail and take the photo, pick the fish up for a quick selfie and the documentation process is done. Now I usually set a rock on the tag so it doesn’t blow away, I stuff my camera in my jacket or the neck of my wetsuit and then I hurry the fish back to the water where I will take whatever time is necessary (as I always do) to revive it. Written out, this sounds like it takes a long time, but I can usually document a fish and have it back in the water for revival in less than 30 seconds.

When you catch a big fish, there is a little more to the process. Bigger fish are usually on the line longer and have fought pretty hard. If I had to run a 30 yard dash and then go hold my breath underwater for 30 to 60 seconds I don’t think I’d be feeling too great by the end of my swim. The accepted process is to land the fish, remove the hook and then spend a minute or two reviving the fish on a Boga Grip or other lip-gripper tool before taking it to shore. After that short time in the water, I bring the fish in and go about the documentation process as I would for any other fish. This same basic process is used for any fish caught wetsuiting that has to be swum back to shore, keep the fish on the gripper and in the water until the last possible second before quickly documenting and releasing the fish.

Is this a perfect process? No. Is there a measure of release mortality? Yes. But, when done properly, I doubt very much that it’s any higher than regular fishing practices. One thing you can guarantee is that the mortality rate for every conventional “weigh-in” style striper tournament is 100%. If you compete with swift and proper release in mind, you should not have any problem safely releasing all of your fish. Just remember that being quick while the fish are out of the water and taking ample time for revival and release are the two major keys to release success—whether you’re in competition or not.

New video- ODM Rods with Surfcaster’s Journal , Lou Caruso

I had a pleasure of meeting SJ Rod Guru Lou Caruso in our usual spot a week ago to shot some videos. For me the best part of doing these types of videos is that i have no idea what exactly are we shooting until I show up.

Most of the times, since I set up the video shoot, it is usually my idea for the video. With these videos that are decided by someone else, its kind exciting for me to find out right at the shoot. I stay away from telling our  columnists and contributors about topic that they should cover. I think most of them will do a  best job when you let them decide what they want to cover. After all,. they are experts and I am just a guy with a camera. We shot three videos, one on ODM rods, one on new Cousin’s blank and one on a very cool new Rod Geeks rods.

Very unusual, the wind stayed low. Unfortunately maybe a little too low as we both ate about a pound of noseeumms.

ODM are fairly new rods in comparison to some other brands but are quickly building a following.

you can visit them at to get more information about their full line of products

Here is the new video



Spring STRIPERTHON 2016 sponsored by Van Staal Reels- this Friday to Sunday


Spring STRIPERTHON 2016 sponsored by Van Staal Reels

June 3rd to June 5th ,2016


The STRIPERTHON 2016 is open to all Surfcaster’s Journal subscribers with active subscriptions. There is no entry fee, as a subscriber you are automatically entered. (Subscribe today to become eligible).

Only saltwater striped bass may be entered into the tournament.

All fish entered into the STRIPERTHON 2016 must be caught in a surfcasting situation. A surfcasting situation constitutes contacting the ground, rocks, beach or a dock with ones feet. Any means may be used to reach these destinations, such as boat, ferry, swimming or kayaking but the fish must be hooked and landed while the angler’s feet are in contact with the Earth or something permanently affixed to the Earth.

All fish entered must be caught using a rod and reel and a legal live (or dead) bait or lure.

The CONTEST TAG will be posted on the blog at 5 pm on Friday June 3rd. The TAG must be included in the photo for each fish entered into the tournament. You may also download it onto your cell phone and show the TAG on your phone screen in the photo as well

All measurements will be ROUNDED DOWN to the nearest whole inch. 

All qualifying fish have to be photographed with the CONTEST TAG and next to a measuring tape showing entire length of the fish in inches visible in the photo accompanied by a SECOND photo of the angler holding the fish. This event is intended to be a CATCH AND RELEASE competition, remember all fish must be photographed alive. Minimum size 32 inches

The largest fish by length will win first prize, second largest second prize and so on. In case of a tie, the first entry submitted will be placed ahead of a second entry of the identical size.

You must send us your entry pictures by 1 PM on Sunday June 5th. Email pictures to with email heading “SPRING STRIPERTHON 2016″.  Include your name and phone contact.

Anyone caught cheating in any way will be disqualified, ejected and publicly shamed.  This means any photo editing, unannounced substitutions, entering fish caught by non-members etc, will result in disqualification. We reserve the right to disqualify any entries in which the measurements are not clearly visible without enlargement. The SJ tournament committee will have final say in all disputes concerning the legitimacy of photos, size of the fish and quality of the photo submitted. Photos entered without a CONTEST TAG shown will not be counted, no exceptions.

Your CONTEST TAG must be printed at a size of 6 inches by 6 inches or larger.

You are urged to take whatever means necessary to protect the TAG. Designating a page in your leader wallet is a great way to protect the tag. It is also wise to print several extras because, water and paper don’t mesh well.

All anglers fishing in any STRIPERTHON 2016 tournament agree to do so at their own risk. Surfcaster’s Journal, it’s owner, partners, sponsors or employees are in no way liable for any injuries or accidents that may occur during the act of fishing or traveling, walking, boating or kayaking to or from a fishing location. By printing the CONTEST TAG you agree to indemnify and defend Surfcaster’s Journal, it’s owner and/or employees against all claims, causes of action, damages, judgments, costs or expenses, including attorney fees and other litigation costs which may, in any way, arise from your  participation in the STRIPERTHON 2016.

Prizes for the Spring 2015 STRIPERTHON

  • Van Staal Spinning Reel
  • Costa Del Mar shades
  •  Super Strike Lures Set
  •  Guppy Lures Set
  •  Trail Head Deflators
  •  SJ Gear package
  • VR_header
  • SJ Striperthon_Giveaway2016
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