Final month for winning Penn Torque and many other great prizes in STRIPERTHON 2010

As we enter in our final month for STRIPERTHON 2010 I cannot hide the fact that I am disappointed in so many ways. Maybe our expectations were different, maybe you the reader don’t share our passion or do not have the camera or buddy handy. It can be many things….

I did came to realization that many anglers preach and practice catch and release…until they catch a fish that is over 20 pounds. Then something happens, and they must keep THAT fish. Maybe to justify it in front of Da Wife for spending small fortune on tackle, maybe for impressing friends or maybe for few moments of internet stardom. Believe me, I know how this feels, I’ve been there, done that. I am absolutely, 100% nonjudgmental as I type this. What I am trying to say is maybe we at Surfcaster’s Journal have not taken this into account.

You have to also understand where we are coming from. All of us are members of High Hill Striper Club, one of the oldest club on Long Island whose past members included such surf dignitaries like Jack Frech, Fred Schwab and William Doc Muller. I believe our club releases 99.8% of all fish caught, 4lb or 40lb, it doesn’t matter. This obviously has a lot of influence on how we feel about the catch and release.

We thought that participation would be higher but maybe we have to accept that we overestimated willingness of surfcasters to release big fish. Either that or we made rules to complicated. I trust that you guys will tell us what it is

You still have few weeks to enter a shot. Heck, you have a great chance to win one of the prizes with just about any picture. Don’t forget that new Penn Torque our Grand Prize is hitting the stores now, and I am just drooling when thinking about all the sick plug lots that will go to the winners.

Oh yeah, guys from Penn are sending us a reel…they said don’t hold your breath till stores get their orders in…lol

40 comments on “Final month for winning Penn Torque and many other great prizes in STRIPERTHON 2010

  1. Old Hippie

    Unfortunately I live too far away to enjoy the prestige of being a member of the High Hill Striper Club. And this one Bi-Law of Catch and Release is the focus of this contest, I to am disappointed that members and non members can’t live by this most important rule, that to protect our Fish, but to even the winning of a contest. Since as a number of anglers have a cell phone with photo capabilities, and could snap a photo as their trophy as easily as they invade our space with their loud conversations, this seems to be the perfect opportunity to be a HERO in more ways than one. I too practice Selective Harvest. And I also use my cell phone to captyre that moment. Even tho we don’t have the chance to catch those BIG ones down here in this part of NC, the idea here is to save these moments for our grandchildrens grandchildren. Be a greater Hero. Snap the BIG one, save the fish, and save the moment for later on down the line both ways.

  2. Dave W.

    Not for lack of effort, I’ve done 87 trips so far this season. No 30’s and up but I came close several times. Only took 2 fish that could not be revived.
    For me there has been a void of big bass in general this year, maybe I just suck.

  3. Zeno Post author

    The reference to the club is only meant at illustrate our background …there are many clubs in northeast that have same value ..we just happen to be members of high hill

  4. mike

    i try to release all my bass safely i keep 1 or 2 a season normally the smaller fish…my issue is i 99% of the time fish by myself and have no one to snap a pic of me holding the fish im not crazy about leaving the fish out of the water so i can setup a camera somewhere to get a pic not worth almost killing or harming the fish also havent caught one worthy of sending in yet a couple 20’s but thats the biggest so far hopefully ill get that 30 or 40 and have someone there to snap a shot of me….

  5. Jamie W

    Hi Zeno, I caught a nice fish for the contest and then forgot to take a picture “thumbs up” before releasing it. I remembered later and wished I could enter the contest, but then I didn’t feel bad because I was too focused on getting the fish quickly back in the water. She’s out there to swim another day! So, maybe I’ll catch another nice fish for the contest? Maybe not? I’m very happy that you have this contest, though. Please don’t get discouraged from the lack of entries. It’s a great thing for our sport and fishery!

  6. mark m

    I hear you with regard to keeping fish. My problem is the camera thing. Sitting in the water up to your waist with a large fish at the end of a plug is hard enough without finding the camera, taking a photo & safetly releasing. I do not own a camera that could fit in the wetsuit, but maybe one day. I think it takes a buddy with good camera skills. Too bad Andy Warhol is not alive anymore to run down to the beach for a few pics…LOL

  7. Ron D

    I gotta agree with the camera thing being the main reason for lower participation. Even when fishing with a buddy, they are rarely close enough to snap a quick pic.
    It’s still a good idea and I’ll bet next year has more participation.

  8. gil

    Sorry Zeno but i havent been fishing as much as i would like. when i do hook up i’m all alone so no one else to take a pic. i plan to go with buddies this weekend so maybe i will get that opportunity.

  9. pete f

    All my pics seem to be of a fish on a rock, Hard to do thumbs up by yourself. Maybe I could cross my Feet.
    I like the idea and maybe it will work out on a breachway or in a blitz this fall. Just need to remember thumbs up.

  10. Jason

    I have only come in contact with a few fish that would be eligible and everyone of those trips has been solo. Since the spring I have not had one fish that could be entered, but even the small fish never got captured by the camera. I even have the camera on my belt and it still just remains there. I think it mainly has to do with my live in the now, and as much as I like looking at pictures, I hardly ever take them myself. I have however been trying to do a better job of taking pics of others I fish with.

  11. jasonb2

    Catching schoolies and having the time to take a pic is always my case thento be out at night and on the jetti is not an easy time especially when you want to get the fish going again, and then there is the 30 pounderish fish you lose in the suds. I think we all want to do well for the contest especially when you have given us this magazine and all the prizes and other opportunities. Going up to Jersey for 4 days in a few weeks will be back for the 30 pounder.

  12. Geo67

    Count me in as one who has tried very hard but has yet to get a fish in the 20+ pound class. I don’t have as many years in the water as most but I know my day will come. I even got a waterproof camera for my birthday this year so I could participate.
    As for the C&R, I still release most of my fish. I have had to resort to lying to my wife about whether I caught a keeper or not. Last time I told her a caught some nice fish but didn’t keep one, she went on for 2 days how she didn’t understand how I spend all this time fishing and let the fish go. Well I guess education begins at home 🙂

  13. woodwker99

    I try to release all my fish most of the time also. but so far this year the only fish I have that was picture worthy got free on her own just as I got hold of my leader. also the pic thing is hard at night when my phone doesn’t have a flash. but I’ll be out there trying to get that pic till the deadline. (hay if I get on on the 31st before midnight but don’t get to post it till the 1st does it still count?).

  14. Bill H

    Z———–as others have stated above I usually fish alone so that eliminates the picture taking. I think the idea is great whatever the issues may be, dont be discouraged.

  15. Steve S

    “i try to release all my bass safely i keep 1 or 2 a season normally the smaller fish…my issue is i 99% of the time fish by myself and have no one to snap a pic of me holding the fish im not crazy about leaving the fish out of the water so i can setup a camera somewhere to get a pic not worth almost killing or harming the fish also havent caught one worthy of sending in yet a couple 20′s but thats the biggest so far hopefully ill get that 30 or 40 and have someone there to snap a shot of me….”

    Mike pretty much summed it up for me as well… fish alone most of the time, and nothing in the 30+ (yet) this year.

  16. pistol pete

    2 reasons…

    I simply assume that based on your taste in pictures, anything I take will not be composed well enough, and will be just another big fish being held up shot… I tried to take a few shots of a 37, but they all were coming out blurry, and I simply wanted to get the fish back in the water rather than try to take more photos… I figure the standard for photo quality, composition, clarity, etc is so high, I have no shot.

    Another reason is, when you hit a nice fish, your buddy isn’t always going to want to get over o you in time… he wants to fish! Also, my biggest fish were always is stormy seas, way out on a rock… no way to get a pick unless its dead half hour later at slack tide.

  17. Ctmatt

    I feel alot better knowing a lot of other surfcasters are having the same trouble I am. I care so much for the fish I just don’t thnk to snap a pic and when I fly solo 90% of the time it makes it tougher. Not a fault of the contest or SJ. I am too big a puts to take an awesome picture while a nice cow is flapping and gasping. Please don’t take it personally. Just give us a bit more time and hopefully we’ll all pull some ninja photo move and return the fish to the sea. Any person can slab a fish they keep on the beach and take a picture. In the middle of the rush of adrenaline I forget.

  18. Zeno Post author

    Pete. You would be right…except
    I don’t have anything to do with contest
    I am not involved in judging, picking or advising
    heck, I can even enter a picture that I took (I wish) or of myself

  19. Allen Won

    Zeno, it’s just one of those things I guess. You have a WONDERFUL thing setup here and I hope you’ll be around for a long time to help, educate and have fun with the bunch of us who love to fish. I too wish I could participate but with a young child at home and husband duty PLUS being a Total green horn about this surf fishing stuff, it’s going to take me awhile to be able to contribute in a meaningful manner. In the meantime, know that we all appreciate the tremendous effort you and your crew put into this publication including the competitions!

  20. Tony Marchisotto

    I’m sure it’s not a lack of trying but logistics that mess things up. The contest was a great idea as is “The Journal” Keep on truckin’

    PS: Thanks To Tommy, Rich & Lenny for pulling me out of the drink in M last weekend

  21. Brian K

    Maybe just the fish are not cooperating.
    I also think the economy may of had an effect on the amount of times people can actually go places to fish, buy tackle, fuel and other items in pursuit of the fish. A lot of people may of had their “play” money or funds dwindle due to economic conditions.
    Most of the anglers that fish regularly and are part of an angling group or organization such as SFJ that catch a 20+ fish will most probably release their catch (unless they may need it for some meals). Hopefully with one month left anglers will hit the beaches and remember the camera.

  22. Nanct Brown

    I have been trying. Some of us are just not the surfcasters that others are. There is a vast diversity of anglers here. From the pros and semi-pros to the weekend warriors. It’s scary for me to go up against you guys. The one fish I caught this year over 30 pounds I kept because it was a personal best for me. I figured there would be more. I was wrong. I don’t know what happened to the fishing but it has shut down conceivably since those hurricanes. Besides, I have seen some of those pictures and someone like me cannot even begin to compete with all the big boys. If it happens, it happens and I will most definitely send a pic in and give it a shot.

  23. TJ

    I agree Silverfox.. If they still don’t have enough submissions then extended it! I unfortunately don’t have a camera that’s waterproof and most of the places I fish require a swim or deep wade out. My partner and have have put back several nice fish this year.. Just no camera! DOH!

  24. CTMatt

    It has nothing to do with the size of fish folks…the fish are cooperating. It is our camera juggling skills that are not up to par.

  25. Matt

    Need to catch a fish in order to release it I too release everything unless it looks like it wont make it … hard to get out, when i do not as fruitful as i would like … Camera is in hand. hopefully i can get to M this Sunday and get that picture for ya.

  26. bunufish

    Don’t be discouraged, I love this contest =) My only issue is catching a 25+ lb bass. It’s brought enough awareness to me to release a smaller keeper sized fish that I didn’t know immediately what to do with. This happened a few weeks ago at montauk, I had a 32 incher in the cooler and my wife landed a 34 incher later at nite, glanced at my wife that we would release this fish since we didn’t know what to do with it. But if it wasn’t for the contest, we probably would have kept that second fish and found someone who wanted it later.

    It also sounds like a article on camera techniques is in order. Basic camera usage and maybe how to maximize a night time/low light photo. Like, setting the camera to NIGHT mode, if it has manual features, setting the ISO to it’s highest number. If focusing is an issue, might want to shine your headlamp or flashlight on the target so the camera can get a focus lock. For cameras without a flash, cell phones, how to use your flash light. I also looped the strap onto a Carabiner and clip it onto my bag or wader strap for easier access.

  27. Matts

    Seems to me that you guys have jumped to allot of conclusions as to why participation has been low. Seems to me the reason participation is low from my point of view and from others comments above is more related to not catching a large enough fish or having the ability to get a picture allot of us fish alone. The immeadiate assumption that it was because we are all killing these fish is insulting not quite as insulting as your follow up that as a member of your club you were taught better. Guess what down here in nj clubs and there contests are the largest killers of big fish in the area not to mention the biggest cause of confrontation amongst anglers. As a reader I am disappointed that you
    obviously don’t know your readers very well but feel free to keep making assumptions about us.

  28. Zeno Post author

    I respectfuly disagree ….I stand by my statment..I watched with my own eyeys guys culling fish and guys releasing twenty fish in the row untill they hook into something decent…I was that guy that did this (not culling of course)…maybe the truth sucks but that is howq I see it…we know what happened in nj last few years…do you know how many of those fish ended up in the contest? Zero..yet those same guys you were refering to will swear they believe in catch and release …am I wrong?

    As far a big fish…we been screaming about this since the day we came on one gives a crap till the stocks collapse ..there is too much$ to be made right now on bass
    I am praying for a colapse sooner rather then latter

  29. Zeno Post author

    My commentary aboug the club is only meant as an explanation of why we have a strong conservation feelings…it i NOT meant to make anyone feels like they are not living up to somebody standards… I always belived that each person should be guided by their own ethnics..we merely provide some food for thought..

  30. Mark

    You are 100% correct. Many preach catch and release and don’t live up to it. I wish I had a photo for you at this point I have gone over 20 pounds this year, but not over thirty and many of my fish have been in the teens. I release 100% of the fish I catch unfortunately I have nothing in the way Of photos to show for it.

  31. Mark M

    It’s getting heated here right now. 1st off, High Hill is a well respected and known advocate for the promotion of recreational fishing rights as well as mentoring those who are passionate about being guardians of the beach and what it represents. Zeno has been taught by some of the best and has generouly shared those thoughts in this journal along with others who support it. Do not miss the point of this contest gentlemen, it is not just who has the best photo, but what Alberto described in the last magazine about taking photos and the language they convay. I think it is more what a photo can relay to the viewer: joy, thrill, nature, victory & sacrifice while sending a message of conservatism. Just snap the picture if you can (I still need a camera too) and let the photo speak for itself.

  32. Matts

    I don’t disagree that allot if guys kill the biggest fish they catch and I agree it is rediculous the amount of large bass that are being killed and I certainly agree that we are headed for hard times. Where I disagree is that the reason participation is so low is because everyone kills those
    large fish. As I stated it’s more likely that allot of us fish alone or don’t carry cameras. As far as the club thing goes i am not familiar with the high hill Wclub other that by reputation. My issue is that being part of any club doesn’t make you more likely to let fish go that is a personal decision and in my experience here in NJ being a member of a club tends to lend to the killing of more large bass to win their tournaments. Fishing wasn’t meant to be competative but I am aware that it always has and always will be. I am also aware that when clubs run tournaments every weekend it significantly increases the number of fish killed. I have watched and heard it over and over again here in nj. “keep that one for the tournament”.

  33. Zeno Post author

    The club thing is not as cut and dry as it might look… are talking to a guy who never caught a fish he wanted to release …that’s how I was brought up in the old country…even to this day,when I want a fish for the table I go fish alone…I am almost embarrassed to be with guys in my club and take the fish home, probably becouse no one else does…so yes, there is a club influence on decision we make…I seen guys join high hill that were boat fishermen and kept everything legal yet now, as members, they started to throw back even the legal fish..yes, peer pressure works not only when guys join in tournaments but in the opposite direction would you like to be the only guy out of 30 guys in line up to throw fish on the sand? No one should ever be shamed into not keeping a legal fish, my kids love eating bass too but this is merely to explain that clubs can have influnce in weather you keep or release a fish

  34. Mark M

    True, peer pressure works on many levels and the idea of bringing home a fresh fish for the table is very natural. My wife and relatives often ask when I am going to bring a fish home for dinner. Sometimes, I bring one home if it seems to OK (peer presure for sure right there brother) because of one reason or another. At dinner time your a hero, at the club one might be considered a zero. Yin & Yang of life I guess.


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