The past, present and future

It’s a long post so grab a cup of coffee and chill. We know that a blog is slooow to load on you computers, just be a little patient till it loads up, we are trying to fix it.    I want to thank you all who sent emails regarding the post from last weekend. We appreciate any feedback. While I am giving thanks, I would like to thank to all the advertisers in the magazine and the blog. It is them who made it possible for us to bring you the best content we can find for the magazine. It is them who supplied all the stuff for crazy giveaways we have had  here on the blog. And remember that unlike most magazines, where you see an ad for an item that you might like but you never will meet the dude who made it, our advertisers are in many cases fishing next to you. Guys like Pat from River’s End, Ron from ZeeBaaS, Ray from Line Stretcher, Tom from Commando, Donny Musso from Super Strike and many others probably fished next to you more times that you knew. Some people will say that they provide prizes as promotion only but I beg to differ. There are shops like Fisherman’s Headquarters, The Surfcaster, East End, Paulie’s, River’s End whose only reason for being part of SJ is to support and say, hey, we specialize in surf fishing. If you need something, stop by. And how many have jumped in with prizes for any contest, seminar or giveaway we ever had? All I need to do is usually ask and stuff is on my front steps next week. Penn, St Croix, Guides Choice , Hansom Pliers and many, many others. Yeah, we had some that stiffed us but that is life, you will hear about that in near future and laugh with us. But on the end of the day, they made something possible what everyone said it can’t be done, a magazine for surfcasters and no one else. Not boaters, not kayakers, not party boats…just surfcasters. And what magazine it has turned out to be.

In August of 2009 Tommy and I sat down and talked about this crazy idea we had. I had no idea what he was talking about. He was going on and on about creating an artistic masterpiece for surfcasters. I am square, he is cool, that is why he calls us Simon and Garfunkel of surf fishing. All I’ve ever seen was The Fisherman and On The Water, how could I visualize this stuff he had in head? But what a vision it has turned out to be. The dude constantly amazes me to this day. In fact, the first story we had,  I wrote on how-to chunk the beach. He said “we are not running this shit. It’s not cool enough”…funny…remembering it like it was yesterday. And its same today…I am the square one, he is the hip one and the SJ magazine is really something we are proud of. Thanks to all of our advertisers who supported us then, and today. Unfortunately, trying to get advertisers to sign up takes a lot of my time, time I could be spending concentrating on getting content, taking picture, video and fishing. And we don’t do quid pro quo, where they dangle the possible ads in return for a fluffy story…no thanks

So how did our life change because of SJ? We sure made a lot of friends over the years. This blog has had one of the most respectful group of anglers anywhere. I spend a lot more time at the computer, just about every free minute I have. I still get up at 4 am every morning to wrap that damned duct and pipe with fiberglass like I did for the past 22 years. Wife still shops in Wall mart and I drive a 13 year old truck that is requires more maintenance than Kim Kardashian’s ass. And this won’t change any time soon with my kids just about college age. Tommy’s wife is a teacher that just lost her position due to being the last tenured teacher in the school. When this happens to young couples with small children and sky hi mortgages, it can be disaster. But he still remains the most insanely positive person I know.

I spent over 5k on camera equipment this year out of my own pocket. Sold lot of my fishing stuff to be able to do so. But the cameras sit in the basement, unused. I was planning (and still do) to create some original and unique stuff for you to watch. But time is hard to find and when people owe you three times that much you tend to visit your PO Box for your daily dose of disappointment. It’s hard to justify to your wife a weekend video shot. I am sure you know what I mean.

We need a new magazine platform, other than one we use it now. We’d like to be able to embed videos into the magazine, we’d like to have an ipad viewer on our site instead of linking it to issuu. As you can notice last few weeks, the blog takes forever to load. I mean, it takes me an #@#*&* hour to just copy/paste this !!!……we’d like a lot of things…..lmao.

That is why I wrote what I wrote last week. I spent a week discussing our options with my wife. I got the unexpected….remarkably (I am married to a freaking saint!) she had a change of heart and thought we should invest more into this magazine  instead of saying goodbye. This would include redesigning everything, the mag, the blog, new platform, new servers, new everything from scratch. Mag subscription is on the table but if it that does happen it would be something like twenty bucks a year which is less than a price of one plug…So we will have series of meetings this week to see where we want to go in 2013. I want you to know one thing.

I can’t speak for Tommy but I am sure he feels the same way. I have spent zero words on this blog in three years promoting myself, books or anything I do. I detest promotion, I never wanted to be about me (or anyone else for that matter). I wanted to give this sport back something as it has given me a lot. Self confidence for a fat, not speaking, non-spelling high school dropout from Croatia, photography and book awards, gorgeous sunsets and sunrises on the beach, but most of all, it gave me all of you. All the people that came in our lives because of surfcasting is what makes this such a joy to bring to you every two months. So expect a lot from us, some stuff you don’t expect. Yes, even a monthly magazine for you guys has been discussed but that is not in cards for near future. Some people say cut the mag in two and do it every month. Others say we gave you more  surf fishing content in one issue than any other publication gives you in a year….For some reason I can’t wrap my head around that as of yet.

We promise you this. You guys go fishing, catch some fish, release some for the future generations and we will work on giving you not only a magazine dedicated to our sport but the best kickass publication ever created for you guys. We will honor those who pass through the Heavenly gates, we will remember those that have been on that rock before you. We will keep an eye on conservation efforts, your beach buggy, your rights and your grub. We will bring you destinations around the world and around the corner where you might want to wet a line. We will tell you what is new and what we are buying . We will teach you and entertain you like no one did before with more original videos, more giveaways and more contests….Because we answer to higher authority…You.

And yes, if all works out well, I might be able to fish again. I would very much like that.


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43 comments on “The past, present and future

  1. Philip Brill

    Please know that you are very much appreciated.
    In this over commercialized world that we live in,
    it’s rewarding to see people like yourself who love and care what they do, and do it so selflessly.
    I’d have no problem supporting Surfcasters for the price of a plug or more.
    Bravo, on a job well done.

  2. John B

    hang in there. Things will get better. I am new to the blog and love it. As far as subscribing to the mag I think its a good idea.

  3. grego

    WOW You said it all. I would be happy to pay for a subscription to this great mag. See you at AB cottages this fall


  4. Rich S.

    Glad to see you’ve still got a positive attitude towards all of this. Pass along our thanks to Mrs. Hromin, because we would miss this, a lot!

  5. Jamie

    A huge thanks to Z, the guys at SJ, and your wife the saint and genius! I love SJ, the philosophy behind it, and the commitment you guys have to the sport, the fish, and the people. Jamie

  6. Tom C

    Z , Tommy and the Saint …thanks for all you do for us…I’ve got a crap load of plugs that never did anything for me…20 bucks…. I’m in !!!

  7. Richard Jacoby

    Time to hire your wife. She obviously is your best friend, and it is a privilege to see her one-mindedness in her support for you. Too often, we, with a mania for what we do, drag like an anchor those around us until we have done it. She is running along side of you. Take her on board “matie”! You have the best fishing partner you will ever have, and she has more eternal value than any fish you will catch. Truly you fished hard and long for her ( until she caught you). Sometimes fishing does that to us also. God bless. Rich

  8. CaptFrank

    You are the best fishing magazine out there. You guys are doing a great job too, considering you don’t have a background in publishing . Seriously hope you are able to keep it up, and would have no problem paying for a subscription if that is what it takes. Thank you for all of your hard word, dedication, and a great magazine!

  9. Karl

    Well said and well written look forward to your updates and progress reports I’m very lucky to support you I would be happy to if you give us options on how we can help you proceed

  10. Barry D Thomas Sr

    Subscription fee isnot a Problem,For the continuation of the Stream of info tips,Photos that have came from here. Z and Tommy both Thank YOU for your time and effort on our behalf

  11. shane

    I’m in agreement with the other Anglers…this publication is far more valuable to me than another plug. Paying for a subscription?…I’m in!

  12. Greg T.

    This is the best news I have had all day ,so far, still got a long way togo. This is the best fishing site that has any substance period. Hang in there you guys will figure it out. As for paying for a substiction, would be the best money spent all year. I lose well over a $100 of plugs a year. And like a woman go and replace all of them.

  13. Tony S

    This one really hit home for a lurker like myself. You’ve got a couple of great partners there. Please drop me a line if you get a chance. I have a couple of ideas. Thanks

  14. sioca

    Hey, the world is going to end on 12/21/12. So I guess I’ll keep on fishing pass that!! LOL

    $20.00 for a subscription!! I’LL GO FOR IT!!!

    Do what you guys have to, to keep the mag. & blog

    BTW: Doing this from Library comp until I get a new one…

  15. Jim Kavanaugh

    You guy’s are the best! Very happy to hear you will continue on. That wife of yours is a good women. Your a lucky man Z.

  16. Barry K

    My wife became very emotional reading the blog, she enjoys it & looks forward to reading it also. We support you 100% & would not have a problem with a subscription. We appreciate all your hard work & dedication to the magazine & hope to see it continue. Say a “hi” to your wife & thank her for us & a thank you to everyone at SJ for all their hard work

  17. Brendan

    Z, take a look at “Catch” magazine and “On the Fly”, I think both do imbedded video and when it’s done right, it really works well.

    Also, I would pay $20 without hesitation. Compared to what else you can get out there at that price, it’s a bargain. I force myself to read each new issue over a few days because I don’t want it to end!

  18. chris a

    We need something like this Zeno and Tommy. To tell you the truth I don’t read any other mag out there about fishing. Your Mag brings what the surfcaster want. So It’s our turn to pay back. Sign message up.

  19. Slimy Skate

    $20 Bucks. Nothing much for Local Mag dedicated to surf fishing.

    What I pay for in a year?

    Gas for car?
    Burn a couple sick days from work?
    Fuelfoodbait share on car or ride on boat?

    If my wife really knew?
    Reading SJ, priceless!


  20. Chris S.

    Go get em guys! Cant wait to see the new mag and blog. $20 per yr is a reasonable price. Here is another idea (may or may not be popular), I wouldn’t mind paying $25 for SJ per year IF five of those dollars went to legitimate Striped Bass Conservation/Research efforts. It would be unique if you had an option to pay the extra 5 to support these efforts, built into your payment process. I think it is wise to support the fish this industry is based on. What do you all think?

  21. Don R

    First place I visit every morning and about 5X’s a day. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Youz guys are the best.
    And that’s not just blowin’ wind up your skirt:)
    BTW FishHeads is THE place to go when on LBI.

  22. gmaynard

    It can and will get better! With all you guys have contributed to our breath of knowledge in such a short period of time the value of a subsciption is a no brainer. Please keep the faith……….stormy

  23. rick spero

    First of all, Thanks for all you do. There is nothing like your Blog/Mag anywhere. Surfcasters have always been thought of as a “nutty” set. You know what I mean. Crazy hours, no sleep, etc. But as a whole there is no more dedicated group. Twenty bucks? No problem. May be the cheapest part of a trip to the suds. Please keep doing what you do. And when you need help, ask us. We may fight amongst ourselves, but banded together, no one can bring us down. Hang in there!

  24. Richard aka Woodwker99

    All I can say has been said…. I do think that this has gotten bigger than any pipe or duct wrapping could. Maybe you should copy and paste the response to this blog to someone like Forbes,
    You never know. ( I would hold on to the content rights though).
    And to be the echo,…$20 a year… I’m in.

  25. Matt L

    To the SJ Crew, the magazine, the idea of it, it’s content, pictures, history, new gear, product reviews, etc… F’n ROCKS! If I wear a SJ shirt while out&about someone either asks about it or says something good about it. Thanks for your hard work & time, it is appreciated. I’m in for a subscription.

  26. Dooley

    I thought I was going to be deeply saddened when I saw the topic title. Needless to say, you guys continue to blow my(and everyone else’s)expectations. I respect your strategy, double down and go big or go home…my same methodology behind each outing.

    I’m sure all of your loyal readers will gladly pay a subscription fee.

    Plus it will keep out all of the “I’m in” posts from people who dont even read what it written in the blog.

    Best of luck Z & SJ

  27. chuckg

    Yes, definitely a subscription fee, you folks are like the starving artists creating great works with no pay… Keep up the great work and, yes, there are great wives out there. Folks ask me what’s it take to be a good striper fisherman; I tell them “An understanding wife”.

  28. Ted C

    The mag is totally worth a subscription… I also love reading the blog. You guys are onto something here, do not give up, think big! But you need to figure out a way to keep it available to new readers so you can expand your fanbase. Perhaps you offer a free article with each issue? Or include some otherwise “easy” data tables in the free section, like tide charts or something like that to traffic/pull new readeers in from google searches. I just want this idea to prosper for you guys. Heck even the ads are nice too look at, and i’m sure the vendors have no problem with ads in the free section, haha! Subscribers would then have access to the entire issue. I personally like the idea of a portion of the subscription going to conservation like the one person already mentioned.

  29. David Strom

    Lotta love out here for Z & Tommy, now for The Saint, too!

    I can only wear so many sweatshirts, T-shirts, and hats, so I would go for a subscription if that what it takes to keep the Surfcaster’s Journal coming.

    Please keep up the good work & I hope you guys have more time to go fishing, and be with your families!


  30. Bob B

    I just wanted you to know i’m going to donate 20 bucks right now, because I know how much work it is, to put something like this together. I hope it helps, because i would hate to see it fold.

  31. Dan O

    The subscription is the way to go. just the info you pass on is well worth 20 bucks. Also I do commend you for never self promoting your stuff I look forward each day to your posts and the give aways from your sponsors. so to you, tom and your saint of a wife please keep up the good work and I am in for the 20. May God Bless America and all Surfcasters.

  32. nip13

    Z, If you decide subscription is the way to go I sure will support that. I certainly spend more than that on magazines that contain a lot less information than you have been providing, free of charge. Best of luck to you and everyone at SJ. I have never met any of you, but you all feel like friends.


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