Making SJ magazine a better publication

Not really how I planned to spend a night before Christmas Eve….I usually look forward to going over the menu for a seafood feast tomorrow with my wife. She makes a wish, I try to make it happen on the stove. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

But I just got home from work, made dinner and are heading back to work for the graveyard shift 7 to 3 am…which would be ok if I didn’t have to be back to work at 7 am again, I guess I’ll find a corner to doze off somewhere for few hours. Darn, this is a lot more fun when you do it between the tides 🙂

Hang with us on giveaway winners, we’ll get to all of it in next few days we hope. I sincerely hope all of you guys are enjoying the holidays. The end of the year is upon us which made me think, what  can we do better next year?

So tell us, what is it that you want to see more of in the Surfcaster’s Journal magazine?  More how-to’s, fly fishing from the shore, historical perspective, fiction, interviews….whatever you think will make this magazine a  better publication. Yes, its fine if you offer specific suggestion like interview that dude or we would like to see the video of that

Let’s hear it

42 comments on “Making SJ magazine a better publication

  1. Ron D

    You take some amazing pics. How bout sprinkling some of those in each issue. I don’t get tired of seeing them. They get the juices flowing, especially during the off season.

  2. John

    How about a blank page where readers can write their own article and submit it to you for publication in the next issue. Sort of like a contest.

  3. Zeno Post author

    We been toying with an idea for contest like that,,….but also know that we welcome any ideas you guys might have…seriously, we rather have 500 words from the heart then 3000 words of stuff that has been beaten to guys are stars here, every one of you has a story in you..maybe a how-to, maybe something that happened, maybe something you always wanted to share…but if you don’t send it to us or at least inquire, world will never know of your inner Hemingway

  4. Jim H.

    Looking for ideas, how about some old school new school comparisons? I’ll bet you get lots of differing opinions and results on what works best. Maybe even do a field test and publish your results. There lots of gear and lures you could compare.
    We’ve all seen times when an old sharpie on dated gear out catches the young gun with the latest and greatest stuff. I know that experience and knowledge is a big part of an individual’s success. But what if all things were equal, would that $50 custom darter really do better than a 25 year old Gibs screweye darter found in a yard sale?

  5. mark m

    That sounds interesting, but may entail alot of extra reading and editing. I love to hear the bygone stories and history. Different Clubs and their goals; guys who did different things over the years and how fishing styles have changed with respect to new equipment and bait migration patterns. I had the privledge of eating lunch with a great group of surf guys last week. The experience in that room was a living history of our sport. Conversations like the ones I listened to and the friendly guys who shared a few moments speaking to me was something I greatly appreciated. Those moments transferred to paper are difficult, it takes writing talent and the ability to convay the moment to your readers in an exciting format.
    Wow, all in one breathe 🙂 Keep up the good work SJ staff

    Merry Christmas Everyone ……Mark M

  6. Shannon Nistler

    Z – I love the magazine, and wouldn’t do much to change it. However, here are two thoughts. 1) I always like reading about adventures. I would like to read more “stories” from fellow fishermen that get the fishing juices flowing, especially during the winter months. 2) How about a ‘get to know the readers’ segment. Randomly select a few of the readers and ask them to submit a little info about themselves. Maybe throw two or three short clips in each issue. I always like to know who my fellow fishermen are. And Z, thanks for giving us the opportunity to make the suggestions. You’re a top notch guy.

  7. Chris A

    I love my local tackle shop and theres guy their Rich He was in your first mag with great pictures. He has a great attitude and always ready to help with questions or to order something I need…. to get to the point how about interviews with tackle clerks with stories and every once in away a tip or how too. their got to be more great guys or gals that our like him that might bring something to the table…I have to say that mag and blog have outstanding work.

  8. Anthony Rich

    I’m all for protecting locations to avoid spot burn like we saw in RM 5 this fall but what about an article in each issue about a specific condition like wind direction. I have read all your books and I think Most of your articles and consider myself a student of this game. Never before have I enjoyed a hobby that had such a steep learning curve. I love putting all the pieces together to build my own picture rather than someone telling me go here because yesterday was crazy. Chances are the wind has changed and today will suck. BUT, if you study the conditions of that great day then you’ve just armed yourself for next time and will avoid having to stand elbow to elbow with 500 other guys.

    BTW, I’m that “new” guy who loves to buy nice gear and then gets humbled by the guy with the vintage hardware.

    Looking forward to the seminars!

  9. Bill K.

    Z, I’ve only been su scribed for a.short while and I really enjoy reading and seeing your work. I have been fishing for the better part of thirty years…and I would still consider myself a newbee in the surf….I don’t get to get out as often as I would like to r/t responsibilities, kids, wife, work,etc.
    Any how…if you could occasionally have a back to basics type article on a semi regular basis….I would enjoy reading that. Sometimes in all the complexits we lose sight of the basics. Whether it is gear, rigging, how to scout the beach, or the best way to catch bass at certain times and seasons. A simple article about the “Routine and rituals” We all perform to prepare, fish, and break down after an outing would be helpful to some….
    Thanks for the oppurtunity to make suggestions….Merry Christmas….enjoy the seafood tonight!….

  10. RGugs87

    Z, I think its great that your asking for reader feedback on a public forum like this – most magazines wouldn’t have the balls to do that. Having said that, there have been some great ideas shared here already, so I will just add some things that weren’t mentioned.

    1- I especially enjoy the high quality pictures that are included in the mag. Is there any way that you can offer a print publication for subscribers that are willing to pay? If that’s too involved or not cost effective, maybe an annual special addition?

    2- I thought that one of articles that you contributed to in “On the Water Magazine” titled “Phantom Beach” was an awesome concept. Is it possible for you to do something similar for your mag, creating a new beach to develop a strategy for?

    3- Unique giveaway idea. Take all of the individuals that are participating in your upcoming seminar(including yourself) and raffle off a “fishing with a legend session” for each guy. Selfishly, I would say to only offer those giveaways to the people that will attend the seminar.

    4- “Someone was watching” section…everyone has had that moment (or several) where something foolish happened while out fishing and they looked around to see if anyone was watching. Have readers submit their stories for a laugh.

    5- Super wishful thinking here. Create and option where we can enter our spouses email so the holiday gift guide gets sent to them before the holidays and before a birthday!

    Ok now my mind is going to far so I’ll stop.

    All said, if you didnt change a thing – all of our expectations would still be exceeded.

    Merry Christmas

  11. Karl

    Personally I fly fish 75% of the time on the jersey beaches so would enjoy anything related also my second passion is cooking so a few more recipes/adventures in the kitchen would be welcomed (maybe I should submit some for consideration)-however love your publication regardless – it’s impressive what you have done – HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU and YOURS

  12. Zeno Post author

    A lot of good feeback..and yes Karl, you can send a story in with you recepe…why not? We can feature readers best ideas…that is how I want you to think about this magazine …when we embarked on this project,without a clue what we were doing, our only mission was to create something you guys will like, something you can all relate to, something we can all be proud off….since I am the one you guys see as a public face of the mag you might assume that its all me, all the time but that just isn’t so. Manny more toil perfectly happy in obscurity to make the mag what it is. Since I am front and center here I avoided writing as much as I can as not to make this into a z publication. I have no ego but do possess a healthy dose of sarcasm which can drive my coworkers up to wall at times…we wanted to get as many of you involved as possible as we feel there are a lot of stories out there waiting to be told. I am perfectly happy with looking over and making sure that all runs smooth..which it never does 🙂
    My point is, its not about me or any of us here, ts about you, its what you want and we will do our best to bring it to you

  13. Barry D Thomas Sr

    A article or two from Lou Caruso on rod building set-ups and how he goes about building certian rods. Plug, bait, metel, Etc

  14. Zeno Post author

    Sure, we’d love more MA articles, and more NJ articles and more CT articles..heck we even would like some UK articles..wait, we got that ;-)…..the problem is not that we don’t want it cover it, its lack of people that want to write it…how many of you love to read a kickass article? Many right? How many want to write one?…having said that, I don’t think surfcasting is that much different from place to place, its only the spots that are different …and spots are better left for someone else to cover in detail

  15. Zeno Post author

    Lou, you are reading this? think Lou likes videos better..he gets to exhibit his masculine side and good looks..lmao

  16. Zeno Post author

    Sleeping on a pile a sheetrock on a construction site is way overated…yes, I am happy to have a job in this economy but did my first overtime of the year had to come a day before christmas …having said that, I know I lot of you are struggling, I sincerely wish that we get a rebound in the economy ..its tough to “enjoy” youself on the beach when you don’t know where is your next paycheck coming from

  17. Mike H.

    How to open and service your own reel, what type/brand of grease and oil to buy, and how much grease to pack in there to make it somewhat saltwater proof.

    Like a penn 704z or shimano spheros/saragosa to name 2 popular saltwater reels that guys buy because they are tanks and priced for us unwashed!

  18. Scott T.

    SJ Guys,

    Your magazine is awesome and I can’t thank you enough for the work and effort that obviously goes into each issue. There is only one thing I would change (and it may already exist but I’m too dumb to figure it out)…..if there is anyway to print off of our color copy of the entire mag instead of just a page at a time that would be GREAT. I’m afraid I might drop my laptop into the crapper one day and that would be no bueno.

    Enjoy the feast of the fishes and have a Merry Christmas.


  19. Matt V

    Z I think SJ is incredibly informative and packed with new product reviews wich helps people from wasting money on inferior gear and or tackle.Like it has been said by others although i’ve been doing this for a number of years I don’t have the ability to put as much time on the water because of distance from the coast.So all in all love the info love the reviews love to see more pics and vids of all the people that are fortunate enough to put more time in than me.You’ll be hard pressed to make the magazine much better.

  20. harv

    An interview w the montauk sharpies. The guys who are doin it besides bill witzel. Similar the the great interview u did w don musso. Ps found this new coffee 4.95 lb gonna send u one. Peace happy holidays harv

  21. Don Brown

    I think you pretty much guys have every thing covered as each mag comes out.Like Ive said in the past just keep doing what your doing.You guys at Surf Casters Journal are defiantly on the right track and are doing a great job.I would also like to say merry Christmas and a happy New Year to every one at Surfcasters Journal.

  22. Greg T.

    Love the magazine,you guys touch all the bases.Just a thought maybe a section or article titled In The Bag,a detailed look into some of your staffs and other contributers surfbags.I am always looking to try new things out and to see how people rig certain plugs.

  23. njplugger


    Just wanted to wish you & your family a Merry Christmas & A Healthy, Prosperous, Happy New Year.

    Of course please send my wishes along to Tommy as well.

    Thank you both for all the hard work you have put in to create & maintain such a terrific magazine.

    At this time I can’t offer any ideas on improvements, as in it’s current format, it just continues to blow me away with the great information & topics.

    Thanks again & keep up the good work, it is really appreciated.

    On the job front, hopefully this economy will turn around & work conditions will get back to what they should be. What can I say………

  24. BrianT

    SJ Guys,

    Thank you for all you hard work, really love what you have been doing.

    I have been fishing for a few years and feel i have become a “student’ of the sport. Even simple “how too’s” are really beneficial and truly interesting. Specifically reading the beach. Maybe pick structure from a South Shore Beach or, Shallow North shore or a Rocky Montauk Area. Maybe you guys could take a picture of a peice of water or even better a video of water (w/o spot burning) and describe why and how you are fishing it. Like describe how you can tell theres a bar, or a cut in it, or a whole…. then why you choose to stand where your standing and cast to where your casting, or why you choose to throw a certain plug, or what your trying to do with your plug, based on the conditions and structure on hand.

    After typing all that its seems like a daunting task and understandable if cant be done but short how too’s are great and full of invaluable info. If you end up doing nothing new I would still be totally satisfied, love the website and mag.

    Merry Christmas!

  25. Gary R. Soldati

    I would like to hear from some of the “Young Guns”; what they use, tackle and plugs, the way they think, how they learned! Who influenced and inspired them. Zeno you are a great interviewer/interrogator, if anybody can get it out of them, it would be you. I think it would be a good read. Gary

  26. jasonb2

    To everyone and all at SurfcastersJournal, wishing you and all your families a very merry christmas. My thoughts are with Brian T. Peace JasonB

  27. CTmatt

    GRS, I like that suggestion.

    I know that a vast majority of us love to hear and listen from the masters but a local section with pics/testimonies on lures/Young Guns surf bags/etc would be cool. Not to take anything away from the amazingness that is already SJ…I don’t think it will lower the level of your mag and it may bridge the old salts with the newer crowd to a degree if you know what I mean.

    I love everything the way it is. It just gets better and better. I still go back to issue #1 and think it is the best thing since sliced bread.

    I would love to toss in a video or verbal testimony in an issue…maybe we can feature a specific plug type on a given issue and the differences between designs like a Musso to a Gibbs to a Surf Asylum to a Beachmaster. THen the next issue could feature a multitude of needles and so on. Just a thought…

  28. Irish

    Z and Tommy thank you so much for your efforts. Its a joy to have something on the computer that I can flip through with my two sons. I take a lot from each issue and truly appreciate your work. To the Hromin and Corrigan families I wish Merry Christmas and a great new year.


  29. JLH

    I think you guys at SJ are doing a great job and wouldn’t change things up much. Reading about a seafood feast makes my mouth start watering. Maybe share a few of your favorite seafood recipes? Especially if there are things outside of the norm, I always love experimenting with new dishes.

  30. Bob Eisey

    I love your pictures and others you publish in the mag. Is there any way we can download some for our wallpaper? A small signature or corner watermark would be ok.

    I would also like to learn more and see more info about the local bait. The type we try to imitate with our lures.

  31. tommy

    Thanks for all the kind wishes and great ideas. I personally am looking forward to taking SJ to the next level in 2011.
    Peace on earth and goodwill to all.
    Tommy O’Corrigaine

  32. Tim Markart


    Personally, I love the magazine as is, but love the fact that you are constantly trying to improve it with asking for reader feedback. You guys do a great job all the way around. All your hard work is evident. Happy holidays.


  33. Chris Contaldi

    I’m intrigued by the concept of Surfcasting Guides. I can’t imagine going out and getting paid to do it. Im curious who the most successful guides are and if they would be willing to talk about their business. (guide burning? Lol) How did the successful ones get started ? What are the benefits of hiring a guide for both the beginner and the guy who’s been fishing for a while. What is your typical customer like? What is the business side of it like, competition between guides or camaraderie ? Those are just a few questions that come to mind.

    I can’t express to the SJ staff how much I enjoy your work. Thank You. The only thing I that would make it better is if I could hold a copy in my hands and add the volumes to my book collection, but , I’m not complaining.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

    Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  34. Tom M

    First, I would like to say Happy Holidays to Tommy, Z, and everyone else involved in this great magazine! Thank you for it!

    As far as possible improvements go, I would love to hear more about the old times, and the way things used to be. I think that it serves as a good inspiration for future generations of anglers to hold on to the ways of the past legends who paved the way for us. Personally, I would love to hear about Campo and the ways of his crew (as well as any others that I probably have never even heard of). I know they had a tremendous influence on a ton of the products and methods that are popular today in the surf.

    Happy Holidays!

  35. CTMatt

    Hey Z and the rest of the crew…
    I have a day off and I was thinking of writing an article along the lines of what GRS suggested. If you like it great…if not it’s all good. Just thought it was a cool idea.


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