New Tip of the Week video # 15

I want to get back to a regular schedule of talking about fishing and all things fishing related now that the show season has ended. We have one more Flea Market in Patchogue this upcoming Sunday and then its back to fishing full time for  SJ crew. We’ll maybe not for me as I am awaiting for a surgeon to call me on Monday to discuss my shoulder MRI results. It is what it is, we’ll see what happens. I have few very special trips planned for this year so I hope that I don’t have to cancel them.

I know many of you are already wetting lines and some even catching few striped ones in the process. Yes, I know there are few who catch the holdovers all winter too. There are also few guys who actually fish with DMag plugs too but there is no point in bringing more attention to that either, right?  The most asked question at fishing shows is “Are you antsy to get back to fishing? “ to which my answer is …hell no.

I watched my kids seemingly grow up from wearing diapers to college graduates over night, I no longer wish my life away. Hell, I do not want Sunday afternoon to come any faster than it already will as I type this on Sunday morning. The spring will come, the fish will come, I am not wishing for one minute of my day to go by any faster  than it already will. For some of you younger guys, you’ll get this at some point later in your lives.

Here is the video I shot last year in early fall but kind of forgot about it. I was introduced to another product in the fall, Otter Tails after using Jig Strips and I can say that they are both excellent replacement for pork rind. I will also admit that there is something special about that supple pork rind that has been beaten up and chew up and spit by stripers. But products do come and go and these new bucktail trailers to me are more than a sufficient replacement for a pork rind

Otter tails website

Fat Cow Fishing  website

North Bar Bottle Darters

A little disturbing news while we waiting for the new issue of the SJ Magazine.

We know that plug buying/selling has reached crescendo last few weeks and in fact its probably slacking off now that everyone turned their attention to fishing and better weather. All it takes is few warm days in the spring for most guys to forget about buying plugs and start thinking about where to make first few casts of the spring.

Although the few plug builders that make lures only for winter shows have closed their shops the standbys that most of us fish with, the Super Strikes or North Bar lures continue their production so that you can find them on your local store shelf when you need them.

I always admired Larry’s Welcome resolve, financial and emotional , to invest in this (fairly small) sport via his North Bar line of bottle darters. To first design the lure and then to go through countless plastic prototypes and finally to invest a sizable chuck of change into making a mold cant be easy. I mean, the guy has one good product but its still only one product! I know that he always have things in his head that he wants to bring to the market but you can understand that this takes a considerable resources. From what he told me he never took one dime out of North Bar line but reinvested everything back into the business. And yes, because his lures are 100% made here is USA they are priced at slight premium over similar lures.

So it came as a shock to me when i heard that his bottle darer was copied to the “T” by someone and sold as Darting Swimmer under Capt’ Bill Custom Tackle brand. From what I understand there were offered for retail sale at RISAA at price that is UNDER his actual production cost! I am not a hypocrite and I am definitely not  a huge “buy  USA’”  guy as i am typing this on the phone made in China while sitting in truck with 90% of parts from Mexico while wearing a underwear made in Bangladesh. (too much info ? lol)

And I understand  that although these lure builders , be that Gibbs, North Bar, SS are not protected by patents, that does not make it ok to make copies out of inferior material abroad and them peddle them to fisherman and stores as their own. I would be furious and i know Tommy loses his shit every time he feels his artwork is being copied. I am ok with anyone coming out with their OWN VERSION of whatever but to copy another’s man work is just wrong. I have not seen these in person and all i can go by is pictures I was sent but  to me it looks like a pure copy (and was told by a third party that resemblance is ridiculously identical)

I  am staying away from these plugs until i can more info and I suggest you do your own due diligence. I can only give you info that I have.I still cant believe that other dude is selling copies of SS needles as if its no big deal, now we got this. The fishing world is losing all sense of ethics


Surf Fishing 101 video Episode # 21 Shads with Crazy Alberto Knie

While we are  waiting for Tommy to finish the new issue # 42 of the Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine,here is Surf Fishing 101 Episode # 21 with Crazy Alberto Knie.

in the March Issue we have three new Surf Fishing 101 videos

Episode 27 Bill Wetzel on needlefish

Episode 28 Bill Jakob on Night Time Plugs for Montauk

Episode 29 Lou Caruso on reel seat for your rods

Savage Gear Long Sleeve Shirts giveaway

We are interrupting your regular scheduled programing to bring you a …….Giveaway, what else?

We have been traveling all over doing shows and we are thrilled to be back and working on our next issue (about a week late)

While we wait for Tommy to get that done…lets have a giveaway

Today giveaway is a Savage Gear USA long shirt with a Striped bass logo

Two winners picked at random, each will receive a long sleeve Striped Bass Shirt from Savage Gear

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Ritual de lo habitual by John Papciak

The Midnight Rambler

John Papciak

Ritual de lo habitualimage1

(To surfcasters, at this time of year, that means permits)

I don’t need to look at the calendar. I simply know that about 60 days after the winter solstice, I’m feeling the urge to get my fishing permits. The sun stays up a little longer, and by then Mother Nature usually delivers that first tease with a spring-like day. That’s exactly what happened a couple of weeks ago in Montauk. The afternoon temps nudged up to almost 60, and a little voice in my head told me, ‘it’s time.’

My native Long Island offers some of the best 4×4 access south of Cape Cod. Miles and miles of beautiful soft sand to fry your transmission on. I’m not being sarcastic here at all. Years ago the sand of Long Island, especially Smith Point and East Hampton, proved a little too tough for the transmission of my old Ford Explorer.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I aired down and all of that. But just be be sure, I decided to run a scientific experiment – I put in another transmission (actually my mechanic did), and sure enough, I did it all over again… about two years later.

Ok, I’m lying about the experiment part.

So if the fun part is driving miles of beaches looking for structure and birds, the not so fun part is running all over creation, and digging deep into your wallet to get the required permits before the issuing authorities cut you off.

In my case, those authorities would be the State of New York, the County of Suffolk and the Town of East Hampton. I’ve been known to get a number of other permits over the years, but I’d rather not get into it here and mention any smaller places. No sense in getting accused of spot burning and all of that.

The State permits are the ones you need to listen up on here. The main state 4×4 permit allows you to drive on the beach in a limited number of locations, but it doubles as a night fishing permit. In years past they, they used to sell it until April 31, but now I’m told they promise to stop selling them at the end of March. Remember..  these are FISHING permits, and you can get a fine or have your permit taken away if you are not “fishing.”

That typically means you can’t let your soccer mom wife take your rig to the beach with the kids, armed only with beach chairs. You’ll need fishing equipment, …ahem… but Snoopy rods will do.  I can’t tell you how many soccer moms I’ve dug out over the years. So please fellas, if she is gonna fish, teach her about airing down!

But this year, when I went for my permits at Montauk Downs, dear Ms. Carol (who also works at the lighthouse lot) the thought she had me stumped.

“Ok , now I also need to see your Marine Registry Fishing Permit,” she announced.

I did get a little nervous there for a second, but luckily I had a copy in my Jeep! Not so fast, not this time, Carol.

So I got the NY State Permit… and the Empire Passport… and the Camp Hero Permit.image2

I will admit, it’s a bit silly that I actually need three separate permits to fish/drive/park in the same one square mile of state land at Montauk Point 24/7/365. Luckily I visit enough that I actually think it’s almost worth it. Almost.

The Camp Hero Permit brings back some memories. Used to be that they only issued a limited number of permits, and you had to show up in person at the lighthouse parking lot on April 1 to be assured a Permit… and a key to the locked gate.

How many readers remember sleeping in your truck in the parking lot on the last Saturday of March, and then lining up for permits at 8am?image3

I remember the BBQs in the lighthouse lot the night before… and fishing stories that usually went on way past midnight. To be honest, it was usually a bit rough for me getting up for that Permit, but I remember pounding on the windows of a couple of Surfcasters, telling them they were going to miss their chance if they didn’t get up pronto.   

Once we had permits in hand, we usually went to John’s Pancake in town to tell more stories before scattered to the west.image4

Anyway, I got my permits now, except for the Suffolk Permit. I will get that when they open that office – April 1 I’m told.

And now begins the ‘way too early but what the hell’ false-hope fishing excursions.

These begin as a stroll the tidal creeks in the waders, and always end up making at least a hundred casts. I usually surprise myself and hook, perhaps a herring, or a shad, or maybe even a short bass. Thus continues the ritual.Montauk Dreamin'-Edit-Edit

Line Stretcher Tackle Shirt, Cap & Lure Giveaway

Lets have a  nice giveaway today courtesy of Ray from Line Stretcher Tackle. You can see Ray and his lovely wife at RISAA show in providence. His makes of the furthest casting lures in the universe and even better, he is a hell of a nice guy and someone I am glad to call a friend.

One winner will walk away with :

1 Size L Line Stretcher shirt

1 Line Stretcher Cap

1 green Line Stretcher Lure

enter below in Rafflecopter SJ ad box

1C07FE5F-F9CC-4CE0-B7E8-23293D51B402 72858B9E-F44F-40B5-A807-224A0D6C8143 C2CB8F03-D6F1-44F6-A6EC-3F5BD285F0B7 0B8A64F5-0EAA-4B9E-A87B-360CF5EADF63
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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