The Tog Blog
It’s said beauty is in the eye of the beholder, which is a good thing given Tautog have all of the sex appeal of Austin Powers’ dental work. But these fish more than make up for their questionable looks with fighting spirit and succulent taste. Tautog fight hard at any size and larger fish that escape into the rocks or wrecks challenge even the most experienced and skilled anglers.
A rugged gamefish, Tog can be caught year-round on wrecks and reefs off the Delmarva coast. The next month or so can be good fishing if the weather cooperates, bridging the gap to the Spring Rockfish season.
Basic Tog Rig
- A finished rig will typically be a total length of 18-24 inches, tied with either mono or fluorocarbon.
- Tie one or two dropper loops in the middle and a perfection loop or similar at tag end.
- Feed a 1/0-4/0 hook through dropper loop (through the hook’s eye and around the hook) and do same with sinker. This makes it easy to switch to heavier sinker if needed, depending on current and depth, as well as smaller or larger hook size depending on size of fish.
- Rig is attached to the main line via a barrel swivel. Using beads is a personal choice;
- Go with smallest terminal gear possible so avoid getting hung up on rocks or wreck.
What to Feed Them
- A Tautog’s diet is heavy on shellfish—fresh green and white crabs are preferred. Clams are a decent 2nd choice.
- Boat rods (#30-50 class) matched with conventional reels loaded with 40- to 50-test braid will do the trick.
Thanks to Captain Chuck Cook of First Light Charters for the pic. Captain Chuck runs Tog Charters (only a fraction of his repertoire) out of Indian River Inlet trough the late Fall and Early Spring months. He grew up fishing the Delaware Coast - He’ll get on the fish.
Capt. Chris Dollar
Outdoor Writers Assoc. of America