Al Gag and Co. Head South to Surf Day

The 2018 World Cup is fast approaching, with national sides making their final preparations ahead of this summer’s tournament.

We now know the groups after December’s draw. England have been put together with Belgium, Tunisia and Panama in Group G.

Gareth Southgate’s side were not among the top seeds, meaning they featured in pot two during the proceedings.

And with England’s route now mapped out, Southgate will be able to ramp up preparations for the 2018 tournament. 2018 World cup, football News ,Gaming ,Betscore ,Casino …

Big Rock Comes to Surf Day

The JSS is very happy to have a good friend of the JSS come and sell plugs at Surf Day this year, and hopefully for many to follow. Russ Paoline, known by most as “Big Rock” is bringing da the house to SD!

Rock is a great plug builder! I have been fishing his stuff for over ten years now and it is nothing short of awesome. I remember one time he built me a special Cowboy to fish in Cuttyhunk, boy did that plug swim like a fish. I had a lot of affection for it because it produced some really sweet bass…that is until the day it kissed a rock and plastered the lip across its face, I worked so hard to straighten that lip and I was never able to get that sucker to swim sexy again. It now hangs on my wall of fame.

Anyway Rock made some notable plugs during our last peanut run, that ended in 2007. Then he had a little rough run there for a couple years where his production dropped off but for the last three years his guns are a blazing! The ranks have been jamming on these swimmers, they have been dynamite! His new stuff is sick and I honestly see Big Rock moving up to the next echelon of plugbuilders, joining the ranks of D-Mag and Cyclone, his stuff is that good. 

Now that said, besides what I call the “Artsy Fartsy” stuff (pictured above), plugs that will never see water, his roots are blue collar (pictured below), and the lures are meant to catch fish, not a collectors eye. So come Surf Day, the Big Rock table is in all likelihood one of the many that you will want to visit. I can’t wait for Surf Day!

Newbie’s to Surf Day Pack a Punch

Each year at Surf Day we work hard to bring “fresh.” Fresh products, fresh vendors, fresh speakers with fresh topics and since we love it all fresh we also want our house to be fresh, so we installed a new insulation from Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against our reliable, regular contributors but fresh doesn’t hurt. This year we again have newbies to Surf Day and I would like to introduce a couple right now. One is a speaker and one is vendor. The JSS warmly welcomes both to Surf Day!!

First the speaker, Dave Thomashey, known by most as “Big Dave.” He will be doing his seminar at 12:00 p.m. He lives in Monument Beach, Massachusetts, which is like right there on the Canal. I remember Dave saying, “I can roll out of bed at 3:30 and be in the water fishing by 3:45. (Damn!) He will be doing a seminar on fishing the Cape Cod Canal. He has been fishing the Ditch all his life and consistently for almost 4o years. His talk will be fascinating similar to a conversation that you may have with him. He is loaded with info and he is also a rod expert, if you have questions about a rod.  Along with all that he is also one of the nicest people that you will ever meet, very kind and gentle and very willing to help those that seek info. Bring your toughest Canal question to his seminar. Checkout Dave’s Profile at:

My next guest is another good friend of mine, Ron McKee. He is from Maine and he fishes for stripers like a maniac! Thus the name of his lure company, Striper Maine-iac! He fishes from Maine right down to the Canal, Martha’s Vineyard, through to Connecticut. He has an awesome line of blue collar, workhorse plugs. I have been lucky to have been fishing them for like 3-4 years now. They are made by a guy that knows what the hell he is doing! He has been fishing since he was a kid up in Maine and New Hampshire and he has deep roots in fishing the Canal. He was very good friends with two of our surfcasting (legendary) forefathers: Bob Pond and Stan Gibbs. He knew both guys before they became household names in fishing circles. He has lures by both that he was given by each of them when they were prototyping plugs and selling them out of the trunk of their cars. Go talk to Ron, this guy is fascinating, he’s got some great stories! Buy some of his wood and watch how how productive the plugs he makes can be.

Here are some of Ron’s Striper Bomb’s. Weighing it at somewhere around 3 ounces, they really cast great, you can really “bomb” them our there.

See you at Surf Day!

A Message from Hab Jr.

As most of you know Hab Jr. is coming to Surf Day. He has a collection of the rest of his father’s actual plugs that he is going to sell off at Surf Day. These plugs were in the works when Sr. passed. (See other blog for more details). Here is a list of what he is bringing and the cost of each. Remember each one will be accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.

My suggestion-get them while you can!

9″ Needle $100
7′ Needle $ 100
5″ Needle $60
Stubby Needle $55
Mullet $70
Fat Nite N gale $65
Med Nite N Gale $55
Small Nite N Gale $50
Tally Wacker $75

A Letter from John Hab Jr.

Hello Surf fishermen,

I hope you all had a great year fishing! I haven’t been on any of the surf fishing forums the last few years after I stopped making lures. The reason I came on this today, is to let all you know that I have been keeping a secret for almost 10 years. I saved the last batch of 417 plugs that my dad John Haberek of HABS CUSTOM PLUGS crafted. He painted those lures before his unexpected death on September 23, 2007, but never got the chance to assemble them. After his sudden death, I went into his workshop and took all his lures down, packaged them and hid them in the dark for almost 10 years. Now they are here to see the light of day again. In February 2016, I decided to get them out and take a look at them to see what I could do about them. It took a while but then I began assembling them little by little. It wasn’t easy for me. Once I got them all done, I designed a letter for each plug stating that it was in the last batch of plugs that he had crafted and I had each letter notarized. It is proof that those are from the last batch of plugs that my dad ever made….. The total number in the batch is 417 plugs. I am keeping between 50 to 60 plugs for my personal collection. What is available in his batch?

  • 12” needlefish, only 2 left. I am keeping one and will auction the other off in March 2017, as my dad’s birthday was in March.
  • 9” Needlefish, 13 pcs •
  • 7” Needlefish 83 pcs •
  • 5” Needlefish 42 pcs •
  • Mullets •
  • Small Night n gales 70 pcs •
  • Med Night n gales 26 pcs •
  • Fat Night n gales 10 pcs •
  • Tallywhackers 56 pcs •
  • Jointed Atom Jr 4 pcs •
  • Stubby 22 pcs •
  • Pencil Poppers 4 pcs

I will be attending the Surf Day fishing show in NJ coming up Feb 18, 2017. I will have tables there with my dad’s last batch of lures to sell. A limited amount will be kept until the Antique fishing show in April 2017 on Cape Cod.

Thanks John Jr.

John Haberek Sr.

The man, the myth, the legend, called home way too soon.

As an Executive Member of the JSS, I would like to say that it is our pleasure and honor to have someone like John Hab Jr. come to our show and give something back to the surfcasting community in this way. We welcome him and his family with open arms, we will have surfcasting royalty in the house!!!          -DJ

Surf Day 2017 – A true education!!

HOLY SMOKE have you seen the Surf Day lineup of speakers and presenters?  The JSS is pulling out all the stops! The big presentation will be at 3:00 and will be done by Mike Laptew (Striper’s Gone Wild, Secrets of the Striper Pro’s and more). If you haven’t seen one of his presentations yet you have not been properly educated yet. Mike and I go WAY back. It was over ten years ago when he and I drove around together around South County and Aquidneck Island looking for a good shot for a book cover. We were shooting for a big bass shot but it didn’t happen so we went with what is now the cover of Surfcasters Guide. Bet you can’t guess where that is?

Another one of headline presenters will be Big Dave Thomashey, a life-long Cape Cod Canal fisherman. He’s been fishing the Ditch for over 50 years, yes I said 5-0! He started fishing it weekly in 1977. WHAT??!! A short conversation and you will quickly be drawn in by his kind and easy way. He is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!! His seminar is not to be missed!!

Headliner #3 is no other than Jersey raised and favorite son, Nick Honachefsky. No one fishes harder than Nick and nobody presents harder than Nick. His seminars are usually high energy and loaded up with insights. This years seminar will be on sharking from the beach. Oh boy hold on!

The next guy is a one of the best (NJ) fly fishermen that you will ever meet, check that one of the best fishermen that you will ever meet. Billy Sistad is one of the most productive striper fishermen that you have never heard of. That’s because he does his job and keeps his head down and mouth closed (the way it should be). Listen to his seminar and get some serious knowledge, especially if you are just getting into fly fishing or thinking about getting a long rod. You will not be disappointed!

James Murtagh more commonly known as “Murty” just happens to be my right hand man both on the beach and on the road, this guy knows structure and he knows how to read water better than anybody that I have ever met! He can just flat out catch damn fish!! He will be doing a talk on using the beach buggy to find your fish. I have a feeling it won’t be like, “look for a bent rod!” This is a must-see for guys looking to up their buggy game.

Oh I forgot another ol’ chum of mine Dave Anderson will be on hand. He has a wide knowledge base on catching stripers using just about any type of offering. He is a super lure builder with many non-conventional lures under his belt. He will be discussing the needlefish, hard to learn, harder to trust. It will be, as always, a great presentation.

Doing his second Surf Day seminar this year will be Joe D’Agostino a.k.a. “Joe Baggs,” the great bucktail tier. He actually ties one of my personal favorite color patterns. He is a very good presenter and will give you a lot of insights on fishing deep fast water-I heard part of this seminar in Connecticut last year…very good!

Peter Jenkins owner of the Saltwater Edge in Middletown, RI will be giving a seminar on catching albies from the surf. Rhode Island had a fantastic run of false albacore last year and Peter will enlighten you on techniques for catching them on both spin and a touch of fly.

And there will be MORE!!!!!! Stay tuned for speaker profiles!!

Hab’s is Going to Make Surf Day a Special Day.

When I heard that John Haberek (a.k.a. Hab’s) “Junior” was coming back to Surf Day I was psyched!  It was my pleasure to be friends with John’s father, John Senior. John Sr. was one of the best plugbuilders of his time and he was out there really before all the present day builders inundated and flooded the market. His claim to fame was really the needle fish. Some true giants were taken on his big needle. One shining example was the 60 pounder that “Iron” Mike Everin caught back in 2003 on Hab’s big 3 1/2 ounce needle. When I was trying to get my hands on some the only way I could get them was to get them while I was up fishing in Rhode Island. And that was only if I was extremely lucky!


Related image

As John Sr. continued to develop his product line he began to branch out and experiment with new ideas. I was very fortunate to have a friendship with John , he and I would periodically have long phone conversations about many things striper related. Of course we talked big bass and at the time we had those great bunker-bass blitzes, John was fascinated but he never accepted my invite to come down to Jersey to run and gun a bit. I got the impression that he wasn’t into the crowds. Many times he talked about being out in his tin boat chasing bass and testing lures. Anyway he would occasionally send me a box of pencils to prototype for him, it was fun. He loved to laugh and tell jokes, right down my alley.

It was an unbelievable day in September of 2007, I remember it like it was yesterday when I got the call that John had passed in his sleep. I actually cursed the caller for a bad attempt at humor. I was mortified to say the least. He went way way before his time and he went without notice. He left behind a beautiful wife, who’s heart was broken, and John Jr. John Jr. is deaf. He is one of the nicest and funniest people, I love his spirit, it is awesome, great sense of humor, outstanding!!  Anyway he was not real tight to the lure building part of his fathers passion and after Sr. passed Jr. had the extremely difficult job of trying to put the pieces back together. With a lot of work and a lot of help from family friends, John Jr. went into the lure building, doing his best to walk in his fathers footsteps. I thought he did very good with it, he was a better painter than his father was, but it just wasn’t Juniors passion and his interest waned.

This year at Surf Day Jr. is going to sell off the rest of his father’s remaining stock. He is going to sell each lure, real collector stuff. This is wild!! Good going Jr.!! He is going to give certificates of authenticity with each lure. I wish I had rolls of cash to spend! What I would really like is what Sr. and I were talking about just before the end. I told him I really wanted him to make me a flaptail and we were working on one that I never received. I occasionally ask Jr. if he ever sees one laying around the shop somewhere. It’s cool because if I don’t get one at least I have the pleasure of thinking about Sr. every time I see one some where.

So go to Surf Day get one of the last Hab Sr. lures left on the planet. And hopefully Jr. will build again….

SURF DAY 10th Year Anniversery

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