Why?…why not

A lot of people ask me why I do what I do. Why mag, why blog, why book, why this or that. You might think I am a publicity hound but nothing could be further from the truth. I am never in any pictures and you don’t see me in videos either unless I make one at home. I kind of like the idea of promoting the sport and creating quality content. No, I have not retired yet, my stupid truck only starts after I turn the key three or four times, and seats are covered so it hides all the rips in leather. And yeah, still on a five AM train to Penn Station every morning…with two kids ready for college in a year or two, none of this will change. Heck, I might have to start driving a bike πŸ™‚

Lately I got few “why’s” on the new Montauk project. After all, Rich worked on his Montauk Rocks for 5 years, is it really necessary for me to do same thing. If it was a same thing, I would say resounding no. But I wanted to do something different. I think he succeeded in bringing the Montauk surf Β to your living rooms and I think he did a hell of a job.

I on the other hand had other motives. My hope was to preserve the history for the future generations. As Rich found out, getting some of the older regulars on camera is a feat in itself. Charlie Ruger, Donny Musso, Vito, Bragan, Schwab….even Many Moreno who is as closed lipped as they come. They are not from “look at me” generation, they don’t care what you think of them, they won’t be in a blitz line up, they just want to fish. And be left alone. And although they can’t seem to stop talking amongst themselves, you say “camera” and their faces drop faster than you can say “smile”. I know Rich tried to get them on camera for 5 years and did not succeed and it wasn’t for the lack of trying. It might be because they didn’t really know him and they did not exactly know what he was doing with the footage. I am sure after they watched Montauk Rocks today , that if he would ask them again, they would agree to talk.

Ok, maybe they would. But that is about as good as you are going to get with them.

By now you are probably wondering why did they all decide to sit with me.


What, you don’t get it? I am getting to it.

My idea was to try to capture some of the historical perspective, a stories from then to today, about people ,gear, place. After all, no one is getting any younger. And every day we probably lose another caster that fished the beach in the old days. We can’t stop life. But we can try to bottle it, preserve it for the future generation. How sad would it be ifΒ  my kids don’t have any reference or idea what the fishing was like in the 50’s or 60’s. Like I said, these guys won’t write books. Hell, most of them refuse to use a computer.

So how did they all agree to sit on camera? I told you, grandchildren. I had to invoke that sacred magic card on numerous occasions. At first, I got rejected for usual reasons. “I don’t like camera, I am a nobody, talk to someone else, I don’t have the time”. But then I pulled the grandkids card and told them “Look, I don’t care if you sit with me or not. But I am going to leave you with one thought. Imagine your grand grandson watching you on the screen fifty years from now, saying ” that is MY grand grandfather. He was a Montauk Regular”. It worked when nothing else did πŸ™‚

And that is why I do what I do. So my kid can say, my dad took time to document this for future generation of surfcasters. I know it sounds corny but they don’t make men like those salt-crusted old surfcasters any more.

24 comments on “Why?…why not

  1. BigFish

    Actually they are making those crusty old surfcasters as we speak….we just need to “season” for about 30 more years before we realize it! LOL!!

  2. mark m

    No explanations needed Z. I am glad it’s being done by a group with long ties to the surfcasting community who understand the philosophy & history of our sport without twisting facts.

  3. ChuckR

    GREAT e-mag!! Appreciate all the work and time you’re investing Don’t know how you manage to do it? As a fellow commuter If stumble upon you on the 5am Train I promise not to wake ya! πŸ™‚

    BIgFish …Very Funny and how true !!! πŸ™‚

  4. Steve S.

    “Jim says:

    December 5, 2012 at 8:46 am

    I give up. Who’s in this photo?”

    I’m going to take a shot in teh dark and say Dick Samms, 1952 πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for doing what you do Z! We ALL appreciate it!

  5. DirtyLunka

    Keep it up, luv the way you document fishing whether it be the surfcasting history or a recent trip to cuttyhunk. I feel like i was with you.

  6. Jimbo

    I commend you for your efforts in documenting the past, not only for future generations, but for guys like me who were born and brought up on Long Island, but never knew much about Montauk until you and this blog planted that seed. Thanks.

  7. Greg Tucceri

    The passion you bring and the team at SJ to this sport and everything else you guys do a is just amazing. Keep it coming, and thanks alot.

  8. Scott

    Z, Now that’s a post that moved me. Great work and thank god you have the energy and motivation to tackle something like that. Can’t wait to see it!

  9. Adam

    Tommy & yourself have given us photos,videos, & stories we all appreciate.
    without you guys recording these events they would become stories a only few ever heard.
    The MTK movie is a fantastic idea. Best Wishes!

  10. Moses Medina

    I agree with you Z! It’s important to preserve the history of surfcasting for the future generations. Thank you for taking the time to make these videos.


Leave a Reply

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