Wow! I can’t believe it has been ten years since our first Surf Day, which started meagerly in the parking lot at Fisherman’s Supply in Point Pleasant Beach. We set all the tables up around the perimeter. A couple of our few big name vendors were PlugCaster Lures, afterhours custom plugs and Aquaskinz. We sold hot dogs and drinks, and the seminars were down the street at the old shop a couple blocks away. The feature seminar of our first Surf Day was “Crazy” Alberto Knie and yours truly, “Big Bass Brainstorm,” which was a blast to do with the great one. The other seminar was done by no other than local legend Shel E. Caris. Both seminars were well attended and SD was off the ground and moving forward.
When I started the JSS back in 2007, I not only wanted to build a club of really good guys that fished, but I also wanted to get guys that wanted to give back to the surfcasting community. I wanted to do a big surfcasting event here in NJ. In my mind’s eye I envisioned a “Surf Day,” and wanted to see that come to fruition. Through hard work, an open mind and surrounded by absolutely great people, the event grew into what it is today, one of the biggest and well run surfcasting events on the east coast. It is a day where novice and veteran surfcasters alike can come and buy, meet friends, and listen to seminars on a wide variety of subjects from all up and down the east coast.
The following year we wanted to (and needed to) stretch out and make the event bigger so we moved inside where we would have protection from the elements. It was off to Toms River Intermediate School south, in Toms River, on April 19. It was a risky thing to do as there was now rent to pay at the school, but we had faith in our vision and the last attendee through the door put us up $5 for the rent but the rest of the expenses weren’t quite covered, but regardless we were good enough for year #2! The keynote speakers for the second year were no strangers to the surf. Toby Lapinski a Connecticut sharp shooter, and LI’s favorite son Zeno Hromin who had just completed his first book. Throw in the mini-seminars of “When NJ Goes to Montauk,” “Fly Fishing the Surf 101,” and “Antique Lures Show,” and SD built momentum and a following of guys that wanted to learn and up their game. Before SD there was no place for NJ surf hounds to go and learn about fishing some of the great areas to our north or about special techniques.
The next year we made the move to Brookdale, which again was a big leap of faith but the JSS was working hard and determined to make this a huge success. Today, 10 years later, Surf Day is a thriving event which draws over a thousand people each year. Now a days there are 3 featured seminars along with 8-12 mini-seminars or workshops for guys to attend. I am proud that we have a Kid’s seminar and table just for the kid’s. There are great local plugbuilders, super rod companies, industry reps, you name it! All surfcasting-all the time! This year we are looking forward to another super day of friends and learning and buying until ones heart is content. See you there!
DJ Muller VP JSS 2017