Everything is not always black and white

Some things I have to get off my chest as we are embarking on some new ( and scary at least for me) things here at Surfcaster’s Journal. We have few more announcements to make in next few weeks, so stay tuned for them.

First, the support we got not only from our readers but from our advertisers has been nothing short of humbling. Yes, we work hard at making this the best darn publication but there are so many hours in the day we can devote to it. Any more time spent in front of the PC and I think Da Boss and Da Wife might be equally pissed, at me at least.

I am particularly thankful to people like Rob from LI Outdoorsman, Scott from Saltybugger, fabulous Musso boys from Super Strike Lures, Armand from RI Poppers, Scott from East End Tackle, Ray from Line Stretcher, Jeff from St Croix rods , Pat from River’s End, Rob from Lordship and many others who supported us sight unseen from the first day. And of course, to all of our current supporters and advertisers who make it possible for this magazine to remain subscription free.

If some of you think that advertising you see in the pages of this magazine is purely designed to sell you product and service you will be surprised from what I am about to tell you. Many of our advertisers have told us that don’t have ecommerce websites that their ads would drive a traffic too. They told us that spending money on advertising is not something they can easily afford or could see the meaningful return on their investment. Then why do they do it? Most of them said they want to support Surfcaster’s Journal Magazine because they are surfcasters too. They also want to help promote the sport, help increase the awareness and participation in the sport and yes, they feel that by supporting us they are giving something back to the surf fishing community that has been good to them over the years. And for all of us here at Surfcaster’s Journal will be eternally grateful.

The world is changing in front of our eyes. The far away locals you only read about in Saltwater Sportsman a decade ago are now looking back at you from your PC. All you need is a plane ticket and places like Belize, Mexico, Costa Rica, with their beaches teaming with giant needlefish, snook and roosters are awaiting your arrival. Even locally, the change is evident. Where Montauk had once been a playground of locals and regulars now you will find surfcasters from around the globe casting their offering into the sea, looking to entice a striper or a bluefish. For many, surfcasting or fishing is not about only moon phases and bait migrations anymore but also about new places where they can wet their line. We are mindful of that and would like to occasionally bring you a story about places off the beaten path like we did with Australia recently. But we also want to make sure we do not lose the local flavor, the insane passion of a pursuit of striped bass in our local waters. Because after all ,that’s why we started this publication.

I read your comments about STRIPERTHON contest and all the  suggestions. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and ideas. At our editorial meeting last week we discussed the contest and I was all in favor to feature it again in 2011…but then I read all the suggestions and realized that there are not enough hours in a day to be taking emails with fish photos, different categories, running a monthly tab, updating and posting pictures…we just don’t have a manpower or hours in the day to pull that off….not if we want to be fathers and husbands. And going back to same generous people asking for more support than they already gave is really rubbing me the wrong way. Yes, our idea was pure as a fresh snow, promote catch and release ,especially for the largest of species. We will have to take all you suggestions in consideration but right now I feel too rundown to decide if  I support it or not. Heck, best thing would be to have a SJ Cup trophy for a biggest witnessed fish and be done with it.

Sorry to get so wordy but I need to get this of my chest, particularly about our supporters. I never looked at the world through their eyes but in conversations this week I’ve seen a whole new picture. Picture of people who are as passionate about this sport as you, of people who are probably casting next to you in the dark, people who want to see this sport grow in popularity. Not all things in life are about bottom line. I thank them for their support and for letting me peek at the world through their eyes, if only for a moment.

And last, some of you asked what shows are we attending…As of right now it looks like only Surf Day in NJ and Asbury also in NJ. I will also be at River’s End but more as a pedistrian speaker then SJ rep …although I have to admit it , Its getting harder and harder to separate the two, mag and my personal life

14 comments on “Everything is not always black and white

  1. Mark M

    Without being too “wordy”, I have to say a few things about being a tackle store owner here on LI and the support from our “regulars”. Zeno, as you know, my shop opened last year in the same location as a previous shop with many of the same customers and new ones I meet each week. The reason I started this business is because I love fishing, meeting new people & helping other fishermen. When the old shop closed down, alot of guys were really upset to lose the place they called their second home, myself included. With the grace of God, the coolest wife in the world & help from close friends I was able to put together a new shop. The point I am trying to emphasize to our readers is that they MUST support their local tackle shops (being a friendly owner helps). In the age of online sales, it is easy to buy anywhere. It is tough listening to someone come into any tackle shop & speak about saving a few dollars online or at a large department store, yet they will hang out for 2 hours asking advice. I did not mention my shop because I am not trying to get free advertising and want to be respectful to those sponsers here on SJ. We will be on SJ soon enough and you can see the shop at that time. Folks, remember to support your local economy and support those shops who help the SJ Staff bring levity to our day via a “free” publication. It’s not easy be cheesy :), Thanks again Zeno for all the support & you have given over the past year.

  2. J.M

    Hey Z, If I can help in any way it would be my pleasure. I am a firm believer in catch and release in order to preserve this beautiful creatures future and the future of our passion.

  3. Rich m

    mark i feel the same way as you,help the locals or they wont be local for long. i have customers that say i can get it on line !!but i tell them i know the quality and the customer service is top notch they usually go to my reconmendation hopefully it work for you there is always something better when you have it in your hand rather than staring at pc. see you in the spring mark.

  4. Don Brown

    Mark M I hear ya talking bud and totally agree with you completely.We never want to be with out the local tackle shops with all there locale knowledge and there ability to supply us with what we want or need right there on the spot most of the time.We truly need to support our local tackle shops.Z i hear you talking as well. I use to own my own lure company.it was called Sure Strike lures.I was selling a lot of lures at the time and holding down a full time job.With trying to meet all my commitments with lures and working all the time at my full time job.I was spending little or no time with the family my 4 children were small at the time.So something had to give and sure strike Lures was no more.That was the only option i had at that time.I had no one who could really help like you do.I know how your feeling.Just hang in there like i always say to you keep doing what your doing and the rest will come.And keep smiling

  5. Ruru Lures

    Mark M said “The point I am trying to emphasize to our readers is that they MUST support their local tackle shops”

    I know a few bait and tackle shops in recent years that went under and quite frankly those tackle shops sucked because they had very poor service and the market corrected that as they received options they took their business else where.

    Many shops today survive because they are friendly and helpful. I dont have any commitment to go to a local b&t shop because they are local. I use many bait and tackle shops, some local, some when i travel to fish and some with a strong online presence. They all include one thing a commitment to customer service and they are knowledgable. I think if you focus on that the anglers will not care so much about the few dollars here and there.

    We hear what you are saying Mark, but to many people believe that the reason they don’t survive is because they are local and its got to do more with service in many instances.

  6. Mark M

    I hear what you are saying RURU and agree 110%, thats why I put a (being a friendly owner helps) after that statement. Surfcasters love to check out different shops. When I get out and about I like to visit different shops on LI. I don’t mention my store or ask for a professional discount. Those owners who know me treat me very well as I do for them. Customer service has to be the best around to develop bonds with the customer. No one “must” do anything these days because of so many options we have as surfcasters. I give back alot to my community besides time and effort. Folks are always asking for “donations” for whatever cause of the week is going on. I have to say honestly that my shop has been very generous to the community regarding charity events and club events. No one wants to go to a tackle store and be spoken to like googan with chicken pox 🙂

  7. Jim D

    Zeno – if it wasn’t for the magazine, i would not know about some of the plug builders out there and different gear that is available. I signed up for an e-newsletter as a result of an ad and will likely buy some different products from these folks.

    Mark M – Best of luck with your business! I agree with you 150% that we should support our local shops. My season would not be complete w/out my local shop, it is part of my season to stop by and replenish my stock and talk with the guys there a couple times a week. I am sure you will do great!


  8. Geo67

    I am sure I am not alone when I say this – I value the recommendations made by the staff at SJ. Most of the time, the sponsers have had products reviewed by SJ and as you have stated in the past, if you didn’t have anything nice to say it just wouldn’t be published. So when I can take advantage of someone else testing a product in “our” world, that’s a lot less research that I have to do and less money spent. Rest assured, I do seek out products from your sponsers because I have confidence in them knowing they have been checked out by true surfcasters.

  9. Irish

    I specifically support the products and businesses advertising here. If they read these post they should know it is not wasted space. I could go anywhere but speifically support those who support SJ

  10. TRisser

    Zeno – Thank you for all the effort you put into the SJ and equipment testing you do! I have purchased based on advertisement in SJ and from SJ recommendations. I have been surching for some custom plugs from builders featured in SJ. Your work is greatly apreciated by people who can’t fish as much as we want to.

    I didn’t know I was automatically enrolled in the catch and release tournament. I’m a huge advocate of CNR and look forward to participatining this year. Keep it simple and if I can help please let me know. I’m not sure how I can help but if it as spimple as organizing submissions and reporting results
    I can help. I know I won’t win so seeing all the cows that get released to fight another day will be encouraging.

  11. Nick

    I support my tackle shop 110% I know I can go online and buy but I don’t. Its about loyalty, I had a problem with a 706z years back and went in a hurry to my local guy, got there around 745 pm he closes at 8 pm he stayed there and fixed it until almost 9pm. I heard a lot of “your an idiot for dunking this and not cleaning it soon after, I deserved it though and got a good laugh. btw he did’nt charge me, I had to throw the money at him and run away(seriously) Your not getting that service from the internet…. Z and Tommy and the rest of the crew… the mag and blog are great, keep it up……. seminar coming up soon, looking forward to it…….

  12. harv

    Zeno just stick to ur guns buddy. U can’t please everyone esp when ur deAling w the public. Kiss -keep it simple stupid. We don’t need all the bells & whistles buddy wh have u & tommy! Don’t let the aholes break u down

  13. Terry Farrell

    Z keep up the good work. Its important that new people to our beloved sport get guidance and your work makes that right at their fingertips.


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