The future is here

I apologize if we have been a little quiet but we have been as busy as we can be, working on creating a better Surfcaster’s Journal magazine.

You’ve seen our new platform with a past issue. We can now embed videos into the pages, flash or animation, we can do other creative stuff we are still learning. One disappointing thing, that has nothing to do with software but more with the way the world works….our landscape layout. What we did not realized was that regardless which platform we use to publish our magazine, you just can’t fit two landscape pictures side to side a create a “flip” viewer. Not unless you are going to make a font so small you won’t be able to see it at al. So we decided that as of January issue, we are going to switch to vertical format. Tommy is super excited by the challenge which is a good thing because he is the dude that makes magic happens in the magazine.

That is only one of the changes. You’ve already seen the video but you have no idea what is coming your way in 2013…more on that in a minute. I do not want to forget to mention of addition of our great friend Al Albano who is our new beach columnist and we are lucky and proud to have him. Big Rock is still around, writing on plugs from plug builders frame of mind which I find to be very interesting and refreshing. I always loved stories..I guess that is why I wrote HOOKED?  Sorry, just could not resist. 🙂

Blog will look a bit different after New Year but that is something we have not wrapped our heads around yet. Lots of things are still up in the air. But there are changes coming for sure. There should also be some key new people involved with SJ in the 2013.  I sincerely hope that all our plans come to fruition because if they do, you will love your SJ Magazine even more. The small fortune I spent on camera equipment and what we spent on the new platform should really pay dividends in next year. I got to see the first sample of SJ in vertical format on my IPad last night and it made me smile. That for the first time we have e a true flip viewer on IPAD. Yes, there is the other side of this which is the cost. We are seriously taking advice many of you have given us over the years about initiating a  small subscription fee for the magazine. Maybe $20 a year to offset some of the cost.

I know some of us at SJ are excited about this or that, we all have our own favorite corner of the world where we like to hide with doors closed. In recent years my interests have veer from photography into the video. I don’t know why , and I might be wrong but to my video is something that is still unexplored and underused in the publishing. Why? Probably because its expensive as hell to do it right, its mind numbing time consuming and most people do not want to change the way they do things. They are happy to just plug in their columns in the little boxes, ad few shots and call it a day. After all, their interest lies in how many people they can sign up so they can charge more for ads. We on the other hand are more interested if you say “wow” after you read the Journal. And we got some wow’s coming in the upcoming issues.

I manually we have a exclusive, no-question-unasked interview with legendary builder Donny Musso. You want to know what was the first plug he had carved in the crawlspace of his house in 1961? It’s in there. You want to know what plug he loves to fish with? That is there too. How about that notion that it was him who came up with a design for a lure we call Danny today? Yup, in there, the whole story. As are his reasons for breaking up with Danny Pichney ( it’s not the Danny plug and it might be one of the most heartbreaking plug story you’ve ever  read), first lures he sold on his own, his groundbreaking needlefish design in wood and then plastic, testing darters, catching largemouth’s, military service and just about everything you wanted to know. Yes, even including Campo, his crew and jointed bottle plug. Stay tuned..

Next, we are planning two exclusive how-to video series that will appear only in the pages of SJ. We have not wrapped this up yet so I will leave you a little short on details for now. I hate to make promises and then have to apologize later.

I have dropped some hints this fall about the film project I been working on. Yesterday I filmed my last interview so now I am a little more confident that this will be what I envisioned it to be. My original idea was to create a documentary on the history of surf fishing at Montauk Point, NY. Yup, I realize that Montauk Rocks film by Richard Siberry just came out for holidays. I knew it was coming but I wanted to do something different. My idea was to take you along on a ride from post WWII Montauk to today, a story told by those who walked the walk. Ambitious? Sure. Am I competent enough to pull this off? Hell no, but that never stopped me before…ha-ha

After some soul searching and a lot of advice from my Art Director Yo Dude I decided to alter my plans for this project and you, the readers of the SJ will be the beneficiates of Tommy’s wisdom.

Surfcaster’s Journal is proud to announce that each issue of our magazine in 2013, starting probably with March issue, will feature original video series on history of surf fishing at Montauk Point. In each issue, there will be an imbedded short film aprox 10 to 20 minutes, by yours truly on history of surf fishing in Montauk Point. Who are the stars of this non-chic flick? 🙂

The people most of us want to be when we grow up.  Or at least I can say that about myself. Legendary surfcaster Fred Schwab who was Jack ” The Professor” Frech fishing partner in Montauk surf  in the 60’s and one of the first to wear a wetsuit there. Richie Gerbe has been fishing Montauk beaches since 50’s. Donny Musso needs no introduction as his lures are the only lures some guys use in Montauk. Vito Orlando is another caster who needs no introduction and neither does Jack Yee. Will Young is another who agreed to sit in front of the camera as did, yup, Charlie Ruger. For those of you who never met Joe Bragan you are in for a treat. Not many guys have a rock in Montauk named after them, but Joe does and you will hear why so many hold him in such a high regard. I didn’t think that this would be a complete project without bringing in some of more younger regulars, those who have left their mark on surf fishing in the Mecca even if they hung up their rods today. Bill Wetzel is the one and elusive Manny “The Surf Ghost” Moreno is another. And to my surprise, I even managed to make a man everyone knows only as “Foul Mouth Bob” tongue tied. Camera does strange things to people.

So there you have it, the first original programming created for Surfcaster’s Journal is coming your way in few months. I told you we are different and that we will stop at nothing to make SJ even better than it already is.

I better get my ass back to editing room.


The winner of the Montauk Rocks giveaway is

Please send us your shipping address within 5 days to




14 comments on “The future is here

  1. Jerry

    I already say “wow” every time I read the journal. The flip viewing, embedded videos, the history of the sport and of course the interviews & great stories will make me say “holy h$it”. I can’t wait. Thank you for all the time and effort.

  2. mark m

    great vision on the whole package Z. This publication continues to flourish with all the time and effort put into SJ

  3. rich m

    Looking forward to series of montauk video interviews! If and when you decide to have pay for subscription,I am in! I’m sure most of us won’t have problem with guys are doing something that’s never been done and we all know it!

  4. CTMatt

    I think in a few years SJ could totally run some weekly programming with this type of material featured on some sporting channel. Weekly blog videos, an SJ iPhone/Android app with quick tips/tide info/data logging/etc, product reviews, cool interviewss techniques, Cutty visits…the whole 9 yards. Yes…I said in a few years…not by Springtime lol…

    I can definitely see a lot of cool untapped media you can really branch out in. One step at a time lol…

  5. CTMatt

    What will Surfcasting look like in 10-15 years? Will there be any Bass/Blues? Will Korkers make a boot that allows you to walk on water? Will there be five piece surf rods people will swear are better then four? Lazer guided casting? Noob Googenheim repelent sprays? Who knows?!?!?!

  6. CTMatt

    Speaking of future, I don’t ask for my from my wife for Christmas as I would rather spend a bit more on my kids and just have a nice dinner and all but the latest from Dennis, Zeno and Montauk Rocks are the only things on my wishlist.

    On a side note if something big needs some backing Montauk Rocks and several other worthwhile projects I have helped with get accomplished with some Kickstarter Backing. Just a thought. I wouldn’t hesitate to keep SJ on the up and up for the future.

  7. mark d

    sounds great and thks but it also sounds like I will no longer be able to download at sea….oh well thats what I get for not having a real job. on the plus side I get to fish at work.

  8. Rob G

    CTMatt, did you forget to take your meds. WTF are you talking about? Lol

    This ain’t sol 5000 post don’t make you a sharpie!

  9. CTMatt

    I never said I was a sharpie but those who know me understand I am the one man peanut gallery around here at times. I put some references to oldschool posts here if you didn’t get it.

    Having the blog free is great and keeps things super accessible here. I pay for On The Water and other stuff and for the price of a few bombers I am going to lose anyway I’d rather support things around SJ. $40 is a bit much a year but i wind up donating/buying merch when I can anyway so maybe it isn’t so bad. Folks will still get the “material” here but to get six issues a year for like $3.50 an issue plus access to a lot of other resources may be the way to go. Plus paid subscribers have access to all the other old material. I am not going to just say “here take my money” but it is better then the alternative of not having a blog/magazine that evolves or worse yet…no longer exists.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *