Author Archives: zeno hromin

Costa Rica Diaries Part I

I figured this would be fitting, as we wait for the first snow storm of the year

PART IFishing Grounds - Crocodile Bay Resort

I really did not know what I expected to find at Crocodile Bay Resort in Costa Rica on a trip last December. I should also mention (and I cannot emphasize this enough) that I am not a fan of airplanes of any kind. So, when you put me in a private charter plane with about 15 seats and small props, I am about as lively as a limp vegetable. But  this was a small price to pay to reach the Crocodile Bay Resort on Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica.DSC_5114

I’m far from a world-class traveler but I will tell you that the level of service was something that I’ve never experienced before. I have never seen a more friendly and attentive staff in any place I have ever visited. Ever. This was not limited to those behind the counter or serving food, but also everyone else; From makers of the facilities to gardeners to captains and the mates. Mr. Todd Stanley does a great job of coordinating all the trips and does a great job of trying to fulfill everyone’s desires and expectations. DSC_5485The whole place ran like clockwork from the moment we got up. From the hot breakfast buffet waiting for you, to making sure you are working with the captain who understands what you were trying to accomplish; Even the sandwiches and drinks are packed according to your wishes. Upon your return, you will find hors d’oeuvres served between four and six o’clock and then a full buffet dinner expertly prepared by local chefs, with always-fresh catch available on the grill.DSC_5480

In front of the resort you will find a 500 foot-long concrete pier and don’t be surprised if you see 50 pound roosters cruising under it. We saw not only the roosters, but a giant snook patrolling the shadows at night. Even big saltwater catfish can be had on jigs, lures or bait. Patrick Sebile and Scott from both wrestled large specimen from under the dock. I managed the get shot of Patrick’s fish on a video.

Fishing from the pier is not prohibited but if I knew what I know now I would have definitely brought my Boga or some other type of fish landing tool to assist in landing fish. I should also mention that at low tide most of the pier is very high off the water so if you hook into something you may have to walk all the way back to shore.

How do you get there? I think the standard procedure is flying to San Jose, then spend the night in the hotel there and then in early morning jump on a small regional plane. It’s probably very much different than anything that you have done before, at least it was for me. 45 minutes later while enjoying some stunning scenery you will be landing in Puerto Jimenez, and Crocodile Bay Resort is located only five minutes away.DSC_5613

I wish there was more opportunity to explore the shoreline but the purpose of this trip was to put the new PENN Clash, Spiderwire new Camo line and Sebile 2nd generation lures in front of some very angry fish and our itinerary has been set long before we arrived there.DSC_5604 I’m not sure how many boats we had our crew on, but it had to be at least 10. These boats were no joke either, no small pangas but instead 24 to 33 foot fishing machines, each with a captain and a mate.DSC_5661

When we started fishing, the first thing I was reminded off was my trip to Mexico with my son. Regardless how much I try to get some information about usage of lures, all roads lead to live bait trolling. It was actually a very slow day for our boat in the morning but it did pick up in the afternoon. The guys in the back got a few roosters, while I managed to raise a few fish but I couldn’t really get them to commit.

About 20 minutes before we were scheduled to head back in, all hell broke loose with as many as five roosters following Seville Magic Swimmer back to the boat. Hooking one was a whole other story. I must admit I’ve never seen fish move that fast in my life. As fast as I cranked my reel, the rooster moved three times faster than my lure but generally turned away as soon as they would see the boat. My problem was that the longest rod we had was 7 feet so I really couldn’t cast a magic swimming that far. Yes, you get a rooster excited but then they would feel the boat and turn away. Very frustrating but once in a while you get one to commit suicide. I actually felt that fishing from the beach would be a lot easier because your cast and retrieve would be longer. Something I hope to explore on a return trip one day and consultation with Mr. Todd Stanley.

Here’s the video shot by Tim Smith from the Fisherman magazine on Thursday at Crocodile Bay

more stuff coming including my first Cubera Snapper and some african pompano

DSC_5401The winner of SJ Creeping Long Sleeve shirt and TheWave Shirt is

Congrats Leif , you have 5 days to contact us at

4303 4295

limited number of hoodies are still available while the camo hats..well, i think Tommy threw them all into crowd at Striper day during raffle because I don’t have single one left in stockL66178

Win some new SJ gear, new Wave tshirt and long Creeping While You’re Sleeping shirt

Lets get a giveaway going since we haven’t had one in awhile. I have a multipart blog post on Costa Rica trip written, just got to tie up some lose ends and I’ll post it

We added some stuff to our online store at in recent days so lets get you some fresh new SJ gear

One winner will receive in size of his choice a long sleeve Creeping shirt and short sleeve Wave shirt

a new Creeping While You’re Sleeping long sleeve shirt4303

and new SJ the Wave t-shirt4295

we also added few Creeping hoodies we had left after  the Striper Day to our store, in case someone is looking for them.


Surf Fishing 101 Episode # 1

We’ll get back to some giveaways and I got a lot of thoughts that I want to share about Costa Rica, PENN Clash and few other things, but today the first in the series Surf Fishing 101 videos

Episodes 1-4 are included in the November issue while Episodes 5-8 are in the current, January issue of the magazine

Just make sure you log into your account to watch the full version

Rac A Rod Fishing Rod Racks – by Lou Caruso

By Lou CarusoRacARod2

A few weeks back I came across a Facebook post for a set of roof racks to secure your surf rods. I researched them some more and found these looked very much like the racks “The Surfcaster” use to sell. Well, these really intrigued me, as the Surfcaster version had no way to lock the rods in. I already had Rod Vaults on my truck so I have a way to lock up my rods. Since the update of the front clips on the Rod Vaults I have been pretty satisfied with them. The one thing that always irked me about them though was they marked up the stem of the reel when traveling because you have metal on metal where the cross bar secures the reel in place.RacARod4

I figured, what the hell, lets take a look at the new Rac A Rod system and see what it’s all about. I contacted the owner, Hal Truhn and set up a meeting.  When I got there Hal was waiting in the driveway. Turns out, he’s one of the nicest guys you ever want to meet, honest and sincere. We chatted and he brought out a set to look at. First thing I notice is the tubes are made from a reinforced rubber with a circle cut out to hold the reel stem in place. Hal cuts a V in front of the circle so all you have to do is give a little shove and the rod is locked into place. There is a swing bar that swings around and locks the reel securely in place. Next thing I noticed was the front racks are made like a ski rack with a latch to secure the front of the rods. Both front and back have a place to put a lock to secure your equipment when you’re stopping at 7-11 for that midnight coffee.

After looking over the racks I mentioned to Hal how much these look like the original Surfcaster Racks. Turns out he use to make them for them back in the day along with those bumper mount ed RacARod3racks for the front of your vehicle. As we chatted some more, turns out he works for the same company I retired from. As a matter of fact, he worked in the building behind mine some years back.

I was so impressed with the construction of the racks; I bought 2 and sold my rod vaults. I have had them for a while and love the idea that I can throw the rod up in the rack and not have to worry that the cross bar is secure for a quick hop down the beach.RacARod1

Hal has put a lot of thought and effort into these racks. His welds are spotless and precise. The powder coating is spot on and he will accommodate whatever you need. The racks come in 2, 4, 6 and 8 rod racks. A friend of mine recently contacted him and wanted a 3-rod rack. Hal made up new templates and now sells a 3-rod rack. I believe he is doing a special order in color for a customer. He does the bumper racks and is making a custom cooler rack for someone as I write this.

If you are in the market for racks, check out Rac A Rod at or he has a page on Facebook. I hear a lot of guys bitch about the price of racks. Remember, you have a pretty good investment to protect between that Van Stall or Zeebaas and that custom rod your in for $1250 or better, most likely better. The $200 investment for a 2 – rod rack seems pretty cheap in the long run.

The one thing I would like to stress with every one is, this is not going to stop a thief if your vehicle is left unattended and they are hell bent on stealing your equipment. I recently saw a post that someone had put up to keep an eye out for a 10’ CTS rod and VS 200. Seems this person had the rod locked in a rod vault overnight in front of his house. The thief ripped out the cross bars to the car !!!!!!!  What this will stop is the theft of opportunity. Your sleeping in your vehicle in the lower lot in Montauk and some sleezebag walks up and checks out your rig. If it’s not locked, it’s gone.

If you want to make this system even more secure, check out the boat trailer locks the sell in places like West Marine and Boaters World. There is no room to get bolt cutters or a hack saw in there to cut the lock.RacARod

New video , Rinse Kit

New issue of The Surfcaster’s Journal Online magazine is coming next week so here are some videos I am uploading for a review section. I got to tell you, I am growing VERY fond of this little product and my wife loves it even more


ICAST videos, John Skinner videos and SJ Store Sale

First we want to wish you all happy 4th of July

We are about a week away from the ICAST 2015 show in Orlando Florida so we’ll try to keep you aware of things you might be interested in

Here are two just released videos from PENN fishing about their new products

Clash is a brand new reel from PENN


Next up PENN Fierce II


And in case you live under the rock and have not seen any recent john Skinner videos, here they are

Striped bass Underwater view 


Underwater Fluke Video


and lastly, a 4th of July Sale in SJ Online Store

Everthying in store is 20%OFF

use coupon code


Offer valid until midnight Monday, July 4th


Enjoy your weekend

Win Tactical Angler’s Gear from the Surfcaster’s Journal and Tactical Anglers

This week’s giveaway is a courtesy of SJ columnist Crazy Ablerto Knie and his Tactical Angler co. Al has been busy racking up frequent flier miles and zipping across the country doing seminars and fishing. Lots going on in his life with new crossover TA lures and working on his new TV show. That is when he is not putting hurting on giant tarpon, red fish and anything that swims

Winner will receive a

4 oz TA BombPopper

2 oz TA SeaPencil

TA Hat

Good luck to all our readers, new issue of SJ comes out in few weeks