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Bill Wetzel
N.Y.S. Licensed Guide

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  • My personal in depth fishing log, which covers my techniques, strategies, thoughts, and my life as a Long Island Surf Caster. These reports are nearly on a daily basis during the season! Example:

    Report Date: MECCA 8/25-8/26
    Fishing Report:
    My old buddy August finally came through with a quality fish and several other good fish. The wind made her switch to easterly, which made for sloppy conditions. With the change, I was jacked up pretty much the whole day, as easterly slop is always a good bet. I met up with fellow subscriber Mat Martin at 11pm to fish until 5:30am. Matt had booked the August full (for no results), and I let him know right off the bat that August had sucked thus far, except for one decent night. However we were both hopeful, as the new conditions screamed large. We made our way to the south side and found fish rather quickly. The first being a nice blue, on an eel. Matt continued to throw eels while I scouted with a yellow SS darter. After banging my second or third decent striper (18lbs) I switched Matt over to the same plug. At about 1am I put a 11/2 oz lime green bucktail with red trailer buck. On the first cast I had a screamer. The drag was sizzling for a good 30 seconds as I felt the line twist around a rock. OH MY GOD NO!!! YES, a moo moo broke my line, leaving me with another life long memory. My mouth spat out so many uncontrolled obscenities, that it would have even made my Dad proud. That was the best fish I had dropped in a few years. Anyway I banged a couple more decent bass as the tide lowered itself enough for me to decide to get deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep on the south side. I knew getting deeeep to a big water spot had big fish potential with all the bait that has been around, combined with my buddy- white water. After making the walk, I put on a yellow SS darter for myself, and a white SS darter for Matt. I put Matt on what I thought was a decent rock, but more importantly in a position to cast to the better water column. As Mat got smashed by waves I recall him asking, “ you call this a good rock?” I screamed into the dark, over the white water and said, “ You should be on the rock I am standing on”. Who cares about good rocks when you’re hauling in stripers, which I began to bang immediately? For some reason Matt just was not connecting. My screaming continued, as I advised to maintain contact, and to be sure that contact was made as soon as the plug hit he water. After a couple more stripers I told Mat I had to take a wiz, and asked if he would be all right for a few minutes alone. As the big sloppy water threatened his life in the darkness Matt shouted over the roar “ I guess so”. As I was getting dressed after relieving myself, I see Mat screaming, as he walked towards me in the surf. My first thoughts were that he was impaled with a hook, but then I heard “ I got a fish”. “OK, he needs a little help to get a schoolie off” I thought. I hurried to get my gear back on, and entered night the surf. Ahhhhh, so that what’s he was screaming about. We brought her onto the beach, and she weighed out at 30lbs on the nose. I banged another decent fish on a SS darter (16lbs), and another on a buck, and that was all she wrote.


  • The SURF RATS BALL Forums. Here you can interact with other casters to obtain information about our sport of surfcasting that is not tainted or influenced by sponsors So ya don't get any BS!. These forums are unlike any other forums you will find. For expample, we have the RIP IT UP forum where reading water, winds, tides, bait migrations, moons etc. are discussed in detail. Here is an Example:

    Here is a pick of a caster somewhere in the northeast near Montauk. At high tide this piece of structure is under water. It is mid November and the winds are blowing 35 knots NE. We have decided to fish the last of the ebb current, which is flowing hard and fast.


    • Why have we chosen to fish the last of the ebb?
    • What are the most likely primary baits? Why?
    • Is this a good wind? Why? Explain what effect this wind has as related to this structure and current.
    • What kind of structure are we targeting? (Bar, trough, point, hole etc.)
    • What lure or plug might be your best choice. Color?

    Where is the most likely spot in this pick as related to wind, and current, that stripers would be holding? Explain how you would target



  • Tip of the week from December to April. EXAMPLE:

    Many of you own what I consider to be the best surf-fishing reel on the market, bar none. I am speaking of the Van Staal of course. Like every piece of surf fishing equipment the VS is not perfect. One of the bad things that can, and does happen, is braid wrapping around the drag nut. There is an easy fix for this that Donny Musso taught me. Just file down the outer edges of the nut. Do this and you will eliminate this problem completely. See pick.



  • Tournaments! We have some of the best surf casters on the east coast participating in the forum, and The June Surf Rats Ball Striper Tournament. This is the only striper tournament on the east coast that covers the entire striper coast, and makes catch and release possible. Following the tournament we have an award ceremony, and barbeque (the Shin Dig), where all proceeds go to charity. Shooten the poop with your fellow rats, awards, food, and over $10,000 in prizes from the best manufactures in our sport make this a very special event.

       2009 Winner Rob Koch. 63lbs!

    Plug Giveaways from Gibbs, and Super Strike.

  • Guided trip Giveaways & Plug Giveaways. Yes you can win a free trip! I'll give away a few trips a year in the forum to show my appreciation to all the rats that share there knowledge in the Surf rats ball. We also have plug giveaways from the top manufactures in our sport!
  • Reports from other members. Here you have the opportunity to share your observations. Each report is reviewed before posting, therefore there is no "spot burning". Only general locations will be given, with an emphasis on bait movement.
  • Articles: From The Last Striper By Bill Wetzel

"As I pulled into the Shagwong parking lot to gear up the 25-knot merciless northwest wind pounded my buggy with an end of the season vengeance. Temperatures had dropped into the low twenties, who know how cold with the wind chill. I backed my buggy into the parking lot so the wind would hit the front of my buggy, and I would have at least a little shelter while getting into my neoprene gear in the back. With neoprene top and hood, neoprene gloves, 5ml neoprene waders, I was bullet proof, or at least I had a false sense of security that I was, but a sense none the less. I hoped back in my buggy and made my way to Shagwong point. As I entered the beach the wind blown sand sounded like a billion ants trying to eat away at every nook and cranny of my truck. I looked out of my salted drivers side window and saw the bright moon light beat against the big white water, as my buggy rocked from the hard winter winds. I reasoned that Montauks surf was daring me to fish it. That seemed reasonable at the time. Nobody on my right, nobody on my left, nobody on the firing line. Shagwong is a fairly easy place to fish but in conditions like that if you screw up and fall, with nobody around, your ass is grass. With that in mind I stuck my chest out, hoped out of my buggy, grabbed my 11 foot Lami, with a Gibbs bottle plug tied to 50lb braid and screamed at the top of my lungs lets go you mother *&%$#@’s. To make matters more challenging the point had completely changed from just a couple of weeks ago, and now stuck out about 50 more yards into the Block Island Sound. The outer bar had also shifted to the North side of the point creating a huge slough way between the point and bar. More dangerous and more fishy."

I believe it is well worth the $35 per year fee. So much so, if you don’t think it is worth it during your first 30 days of membership, I’ll refund your money!  Upon receiving your check or money order I will send you an e-mail with your confirmed user ID and password, which you will be able to use immediately.

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Bill Wetzel
PO Box 131
Wading River, NY 11792