Tommy and I had a dinner regarding the future of this magazine and blog few nights ago …but first we ate, and ate GOOD! I don’t know about you but I am not the fan of restaurants that feature foreign cuisine for American diners. What I mean I do not want to go into Mexican restaurant that has chicken nuggets or hamburgers on the menu. Instead give me the real stuff, what locals eat

If you ever get a craving for a  good Columbian cuisine, at Pollos El Paisa 989 Old Country Road in Westbury, few blocks from my house, check it out. The food is insane! And always packed, even on the weekends.

Tommy tried to finish his paella but barely got half way through it. I had a whole fried snapper on the bed of fried plantain…there went the diet for this night…and the flan to cap the night off was cherry on the top…and reasonably priced too.

What was the dinner for? We occasionally have these brainstorming sessions. Roger was in Rhode Island and unavailable so Tommy and I decided to just bounce some ideas around

As most of you know, I been writing this blog now for few years, just about every day. I did it when I was sick, when I was away fishing, when I was in Croatia for a month and even recently from Bahamas. You might not know that every shirt you order gets packed and mailed by me, every email you sent get answered, every sales call to advertisers, every invoice and every check made to writers goes through my hands. Never mind all the pictures, video and writing….. Yeah, in addition to a job and family.

My biggest fear when we started this was that this blog would be about me. We all have sense of pride about our accomplishments but some like to flaunt it more than others. I think that I have succeed somewhat making this blog (and mag) about the sport, not about me. We try to honor those who passed away, we try to celebrate those who do good. To the haters …well, my late grandfather always said “The more you touch a pile of shit, the more it smells”. Some people on the fishing forums should take this advice by a very wise man…I know many of you see only my post on the blog but there are other people who work their asses making SJ into what it is.

Unfortunately this invoicing, writing, looking for content, photography, video, never mind the hundred or so videos on YouTube does not leave a lot of time for fishing. Hell, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for anything to be honest. Has it been financially rewarding? I wish my wife would answer this for me because she is more diplomatic than I am when choosing words…let’s just say that I make a awful businessman. I never had a heart to try to strong-arm some people I consider friends into paying their past due advertising bills. Some of them are a year overdue…and my wife wants me to toss in a towel before my son starts looking at colleges next year. I can’t say I blame her. Whatever, to make a long story short, we are considering options. Not that many are there to chose from to be honest. Either toss in a towel and put up an issue or two every year when we gather some free content or consider making sj into a subscription magazine for like twenty bucks a year. Who knows, only the time will tell.. And don’t you dare take pity on us and send a donation because of this post. We are fine…but this magazine we created for you so I figured I keep you in the loop of what is going on. We don’t need donation or help, we need to figure out if we can make this something that won’t kill us both. Or have our wives kill us…lmao

And please do not in any way interpret this as anything more than a rant of a construction worker at 4 am on Saturday when he is hating the word for having to yet again hit the LIRR on the way to work..on a weekend…but then again, I am more fortunate than many that my shop has plenty of work. On the end of the day, the mag, the books, and all this other stuff that comes with being a semi-pro (and I say that loosely and sarcastically)…on the end of the day, all I ever wanted to be was a good dad to my kids. Regardless of what happens with anything else, no one can take that away…

It’s a nice weekend, take your kid fishing, catch some rays on the beach, enjoy it. I am looking forward to a Mets game with my son tonight…have a great weekend

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41 comments on “Weekend

  1. David Strom

    Z, big fan of the blog & ‘zine.

    Whatever you decide to do, I just want to say thanks for all the time & effort that you, Tommy, & everyone else have put into the magazine & blog. I’ve enjoyed both tremendously & learned a lot.

    I would pay for a subscription if you go that way. And if you quit so you can get your life back, that’s OK too, & thanks again & best of luck to you & Tommy & all.

    Hope to see you at The Fisherman’s surf event Sept 19 (iirc) so I can buy another hat or shirt or something.

    Best of luck & thanks for all the fish!

    Dave in NJ

  2. Ian


    I thoroughly enjoy the magazine and videos, never mind these blog posts. The web based access to all, combined with the exclusive dedication to the sport we all craze over makes this just about the only place I check regularly other than a few core forums.

    If you need any help writing a few articles for issues to try to lighten the load a bit, shoot me an email. While this post might not be eloquently composed, I just got up 2 minutes ago and saw this when I checked my email, so cut me some slack.

    Bottom line is I feel your contributions to the mag/YouTube/blogs are now a cornerstone of what has become a regular part of my surfcasting life. If contributing in some small way to try to lessen the burden and keep you a part of the project will work in accomplishing just that, I’m happy to try to help.

  3. Steve S

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on your thoughts concerning the site. Just another aspect, of many, that makes this an unique and valuable place.

  4. Steve Knapik

    It was once said “That the Greatest Risk in Life is to never take one.” You guys did that. It must have been a hell of a lot of work to get it done! Now you simply need to decide which fork in road you need to take now. Not an easy decision. Your contributions to the sport of surf fishing have helped many get through the long winters and certainly help put fish on the end of the line and food on the table. It had a lot of good information in a paper free package. Good luck with your decisons, Iam sure it will be the right one for you.


  5. Chef

    I think this blog is great and I wouldn’t want to see it go. If you decide try to do something to help make ends meet. Try something in the style of a dime mag for kids. Maybe make informative placemats for restaurants. There are many ways to make a buck. I hope this helps a bit with ideas. God bless and keep up the good work….

  6. Jerry

    I was hoping that this post was a lead-in to Romney announcing you as his choice for VP but alas…. I hope you continue to share your humor, passion and insight with us, if not via this blog then hopefully through other media and that this, if it is, is the end of the beginning and not the beginning of the end.

  7. Ted C

    I’ve really become a huge fan of the blog and magazine this summer. Dont forget you are attracting new readers like me everyday, and trust me, i’m telling everyone i know who loves to fish about SJ. I truly elieve you are just coming into your own– your product is so much more genuine than most other fishing resources… I’d honestly have no problem with a subscription, but you gotta keep it open and free somehow to… dare i say, “lure in” future versions of me… Keep thinking, you’ll figure it out. From here it looks like you already have the hard part done… And that is being good at what you do.

  8. Karl

    Understand your situation, you have created the daily thread that I can say I look at every day
    You have been amazingly successful and should be very proud
    I would be more than happy to pay a subscription (probably a lot less the the donations I’ve sent)
    What ever decide it’s your choice, you have a passion and should chase it and let it make you money as well and clearly hope you will continue this effort so we may all be able to enjoy on an ongoing basis

  9. rclapp

    I would definitely opt to allocate a potion of my recreation budget should this have to become a subscription site. The information and conversation has always been civil, non elitist and (for the most part) non political. While I do not know anyone here on a personal level, I expect that if I am seen wearing an SJ hoodie or hat a fellow member will say “hey”. You have made a comfortable place to visit. Best of luck.

  10. fishtrek

    First thhank you for the good reading. Now to stir the pot, maybe go to one less publishing a year, but to let you know the subscription idea is well worth it. Just maybe a lower price . Compare the the subscription to Catch dot com

  11. Doug Perro

    Z, I love your blog and online magazine. I can only imagine how much time you guys spend working on this project. You guys are a great service to fishermen of all types. However, 99% of services are paid for. I would gladly pay for a subscription to your blog and magazine, as I am sure most of your viewers would. Keep it electronic, that way there are no publishing and mailing fees for you. Wish I could write, I would write some articles for you. Keep up the great work……Doug

  12. Rich S.

    Zeno, I think all of us will understand, and stand behind whatever you decide to do. It takes time to read all of it, let alone write and coordinate it.
    Many thanks, Rich

  13. Keith

    Zeno & Tommy along with the ones behind the scenes,
    Thanks for all you have done. Just the other day I was thinking i just read the blog and tend to forget to read the Magazine. Which is the main reason this blog existed. Honestly I really like the magazine format better that the blog. If you are taking votes, I vote for the Magazine to stay alive and put the blog to rest so you guys can enjoy life & FISH! Besides you have facebook if you ever need to get a voice out there once in a while.

    My $.02

  14. Chris S.

    I agree with Keith. Focus on the magazine, and move the blogging to FB if you have to. I look forward to the release of every new issue of the Surfcasters Journal Magazine (over every other fishing magazine). I discovered SJ this past winter and have been addicted ever since. The quality of SJ will without a doubt attract new readers like me with each issue you release. I appreciate the time and effort you dedicate to SJ.

    Best of Luck


  15. george

    I’ve been a follower since you started. Whatever way you go, I’m in. And even though I’m from Jersey, I like the restaurant reviews 🙂

  16. Zeno Post author

    blog was never suppose to be what it become (no one’s fault but mine)…it was suppose to support them mag, which it does. There is no” one or another” choice…we publish a magazine, blog just kind of happened along the way

  17. Zeno Post author

    facebook ? really? I hate the company but i might buy a stock if it trades down…another twenty bucks or so..:-)

  18. Slimy Skate

    Love the Magazine & Blog.
    I enjoy the articles about the gear.
    You have to find the time to fish.


  19. Glenn H

    Wichever road you guys decide to take I;m sure it will be well thought out!!! I just want to say thank you SJ & the entire staff for all the great reading & fishing info & the great give aways.. You guys rock..Your reading in the winter months kept me in the loop especially with the conservation updates. Again thank you all at SJ..

  20. Brian K

    What a plate of food!!!! Did your buddy Tommy really eat all of that food?

    Every person in your situation must come to a decision at some point and time.
    Decisions are tough. As someone coming here from another country (even if it was when you were young? or old?) you should know how difficult things can be BUT you can always overcome things if you set your mind to them. I am sure when you started this whole thing you set goals or at least some thoughts that you may of may not of achieved to this point. Try to look at the bright side of things and sit back and see if you achieved those goals you set out to do from the beginning. If you did then it is time to just get another game plan together at this point to see where you need to go in the future.
    Most people that are in your situation will eventually come to a point were they must put priorities in order and make tough decisions on what to do. One important one should be how things effect your family. Without your blog, online magazine, books, clothing line and even your fishing equipment you will always have your family.
    Whatever you decide to do or going forward you will have a following of people who have enjoyed your blog and online magazine. You may not like the Facebook thing BUT you probably did not like 2 piece rods at one time. Just remember change can be a good thing if you want it to be and make it.
    As for the amount of work required to keep up all of these things you do maybe just think about delegating out the ones that are consuming most of your time. A lot of successful ventures will require this at some point in time. It is tough to think about someone else doing what you do but you can always go back and take control if and when you do get time.
    With that being said I thank you and your buddies for all of the great information you provide in the blogs and online mag. I hope it will continue if only a once a week blog or bi-monthly or bi-annual magazine.
    Whatever your decisions, Good luck.

  21. mark m

    Thanks for being so honest in your feelings Z. It’s tough for a lot of folks right now. Do what feels best and remember we all focus on family first.

  22. Nick D

    Hey Z-
    For What it’s worth… You have answered every email I have sent. Like I told you in those messages, you speak from the heart, and have a gift of putting that down on paper or the blog- o- sphere or whatever. Your books have helped me and Im sure many others catch more fish and more important, connect with our natural world through fishing.
    I know you do not want handouts, but I think you would be surprised as to how many people you touch with these posts and the mag and your books. A donation suggests you are begging for help, but I would consider it an even trade to contribute to this cause with real US dollars. Personally I get so much from you and give nothing in return.. So maybe it’s time to put up a pay pal link.. See what you can muster up.. I’m in..
    Side note- you must be one hell of a carpenter, but you are a better writer.thanks buddy- I’m gonna take my son fishing.

  23. Jim Kavanaugh

    Life is to short. Do what you have to do. I must say if you do call it quits I’m really gonna miss those Jan./Feb. blogs 6 am when its hawkin out there and I know I’ll be out there for 8 hrs.They help make it through the tuff days. All the best Z.Oh yea, 20 bucks works for me.

  24. DirtyLunka

    Luv this site man! Hope to see it continue. It has changed my view of surfcasting to the point that its the only way to fish for me. I would love to see an actual magazine too tho.

  25. The Surfrat

    It looks like the time spent on this is the big issue. Why not cut the Mag back to 6 issues a year and cut the blog down to twice a week?

  26. uncatim

    Whether you continue or not, we are better anglers & better people for your efforts. Hell, I live 3 hours from the beach & mostly fish smallmouth rivers but Surfcasters Journal still helps me. Thanks.

  27. Iverfish

    Man, I barely have time in my life to sit down to read your posts and Magazine… In my eyes, you all are saints. You keep the love of fishing alive in me when life’s toil surmounts…

    I personally like the concept of an digital magazine, I always have a hard time throwing away the hardcopy ones. I try to support you when and where I can, and would be happy to pay a subscription.

    Thanks Zeno, and all the people behind the scenes…


  28. Scott

    Z, I think it’s time to go to a paid subscription. You’ve done the work and it’s only fair to be compensated for it if it keeps SJ going. Just think if you had a dollar for every hour you guys put into it so far you could retire. I’m willing to pay because reading your blog/mag take me out of my surroundings every time i read it. That effect is worth a few bucks to me any day. BTW- I have Sirius radio in my truck and couldn’t even tell you what I pay for that, and that’s just for music! Your blog actually teaches me something. Good luck and go fishing, it helps with decisions.

  29. captn bob

    Hey there Z, I can totally relate to your dilemma.You and Tommy and all the other people behind the scene do a bang up job. I too am a union construction worker and over the years have had to struggle with the weekend work. But anyone in our industry knows we have to get it while we can because it might not be there next week. So the family time takes a hit and the fishing always gets put on the back burner. Life is way to short, had to bury a good suds fishermen lastweek RIP Dan, age 60, So seize the moment hug your kids and do what you need to do! If the site goes to a subscription so be it I’m in. I read other blogs and believe me I’ve learned more and laughed harder reading your excerpts at 5am before work than the other slug blogs. Also agree with Rclapp this is a comfortable place to go to,and yes if I saw a SJ hat,hoodie or Tshirt I would most definitely extend my hand. Thank you for a job well done. In closing I too worked this weekend and am just getting time to respond. Hope you enjoyed the game.

  30. Garrry Moore

    Hi Z,

    Pollos is one of my haunts. The paella is incredible, as is most of the menu! Spot burned? Only, if I see a line at the door(very common on weekends)and bunch of roof racks in the parking lot.


  31. Steve Knapik

    Another thing I find amazing is that when Zeno & Tom have a free giveaway there are at least 400+ “I’m in” comments made by those who have their hand out for a freebie. But when the two of them talk about taking this website/blog in a different direction less than 40 members make a comment one way or another. It seems to me that we are living in a time where people only give a crap about themselves. Go figure. Very dissapointing.

  32. Jason

    JS Crew,

    If you are trying to make a company/business out of the Mag/Blog, more power to you all. I enjoyed the magazine from the beginning and the same goes for the Blog. I have no clue how much time you put into it, but I know we as readers have spent a good deal of time going over the content.

    I casually read a bunch of fishing related mag/blogs pages and this is one of the better ones. I say that because it is well maintained and that is a credit to everyone at SJ. But with that there are other mags and blogs that have started the same way and now come with a subscription fee that has turned me away.

    I am in no place to be spending money on magazines and by next year I will have eliminated almost all my magazine subscriptions. I do how ever try my best to contribute by spreading word about the mag/blog and I do support some of the advertisers. But even that is scratchy ground. I understand the need for advertisement, but I hate it when content is driven by these companies. SJ may not think they are driven by advertisers, but more and more of the content has started to focus on products.

    If you are going to a fee bases publication, good luck to you all. If you are making efforts to continue with free content and spend less time or have less stress surrounding the SJ mag/blog I offer the following.

    The blog is awesome and I know you say it supports the magazine, but I view it the other way around. The Blog is the loaded with content and the magazine is a time consuming bonus for me. If the Magazine is the pride and joy, I would seriously consider reducing the blog to once a week and not preview the magazine so much. I have started to loose interest in the magazine because I feel like I have already read parts of it in the blog.

    If the magazine is what is costing the most time and money I would reduce it or bag it all together. The blog, even if reduced to weekly or bi weekly publication can survive on its own. Heck everyone that you have at SJ and in the mag can pick a few days out of the month to produce an entry.

    Regardless of direction, I have enjoyed SJ and wish you all the best in the future,


  33. Hardcore

    Z, there have been a lot of great things written here but I’m not much of a writer. All I can say is that you guys are a big part of this thing we do. If I can drop $25 on a plug I can give it to you guys to keep thing going.


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