As the fall run for striped bass and blues winds down in the western sound, the Tog fishing to out east is cranking up.
I love the simplicity of fishing for this species. Put away your plug bags, and the and all your other fish specific gear. Grab yourself some 50 and 60 pound fluorocarbon leader 5/0 and 6/0 octopus hooks a few hundred crabs and your good to go. Don’t let the simplicity of rigging and bait choice fool you. These fish are very sensitive to fishing pressure and changing weather conditions and they’re bite is lightning fast. A moments lapse in concentration often results in stolen bait or being hung in the rocks after a Tog grabbed the bait and ran back into his hole.
After talking to my buddy Jeff of Bad Influence fishing, I booked a spot on his boat with hopes of catching jumbo Tog. This November morning had air temperatures more reminiscent of May. The water was greasy calm and the skies were overcast with impending rain in the forecast for the afternoon. Not the most ideal conditions for Tog. It’s tough to stay o the the anchor and in position in these conditions. Which is paramount when targeting big Tautog. However, the water Temps were in the mid to upper 50s which is optimum for these fish.
We pull up to the first spot and are on fish right away. Respectable Tog in the 3 to 4 pound range with some decent black sea bass in the mix as well as some chokers . Not finding the weight class fish we were looking for on this particular piece of rocky bottom, Jeff decided to make a run to a rock pile he hadn’t fished yet this season. While running to this spot the weather changed. The wind picked up it started to spit rain the Atlantic started to chop up and the temperatures dropped. Very favorable conditions for for the fish to turn on and keeping good boat position.
The decision to move turned out to be the right one as the fishing was on fire right from the start with bigger fish in the 8 and 9 pound range coming over the rail at a pretty good pace filling the boat limit just in time to beat the rain.
Hopefully the weather and bite holds and for the rest of November allowing the opportunity to get out there with Jeff a couple of more times. The end of November, if conditions are right can be the best Tog fishing of the year with fish on the other side of 10 pounds being common. A true test of your tackle. I can’t wait to introduce them to that little winch. The BV 300.
Tight lines everyone.