Blackfish (tautog) Shore Fishing Tips
Many of us saltwater anglers cannot get enough blackfish (tautog), this is why it is so hard to patiently wait for the fall season to have a try at these beasts.!!! I see so many people excited to catch tog but after heartbroken when realizing that tog are not the easiest to hook..
I also see a lot of articles on how to catch tog most effectively from boat but very rarely see any articles on how to be more successful from shore.
Many anglers wonder how to get the most out of a blackfish outing and here are a few tips that may help. Keeping in mind that blackfish are one of the hardest most brutal fighting fish pound for pound to target and become so much more difficult to successfully land from shore.
First thing you want is a heavy line spooled up, when targeting tog I use up to a 50# braid with at least 30# flouro carbon leader on a medium heavy uglystick paired with a penn pursuit 2 4000.. Blackfish in the cold water come up to about 3-5 feet of water and mostly hang out at the rock clusters or big shelf drop, this is why a heavy line is key and the leader is just as important in those rocks.. I’ve seen plenty of people loose keeper blackfish from fraying the braid on the rocks, although 50# braid may seem overkill that 50# won’t hold 5# if it gets nicked or frayed so run your leader at least 2-3 feet.
My go to bait is green and Asian crab, I fish a high low with one of each bait, or a 1 ounce blackfish jig with an Asian crab. It is important to leave your bait on bottom and DO NOT MOVE!!! You will have plenty of fish checking out your bait but when that tog comes along you will know it..
Blackfish are all shoulder and they will dive as soon as they are hooked so keep your drag tight and you must pull and force them to turn before they gets to the rocks.
You will be surprised at how shallow these fish come up in the cold water. I’ve caught some of my biggest blackfish just feet from shore. Keeping in mind that blackfish are in up to 3 feet of water, there is no need to cast a mile as most of your success will come just feet away from the waters edge.
If you are new to fishing for blackfish (tautog) please keep in mind and use caution as they do have quite a set of teeth.
Are you ready to try to tame these beasts??? Pack your gear and take a ride anywhere on the shoreline from New York to Rhode Island and any rock cluster in between.
Try these tips I’m offering to you and please leave a comment and let me know how they worked out for you.
Please remember to play by the rules. Although these fish are very tasty they are not worth the humiliation or the hefty fine that comes with poaching makes sure to check your states regulations on season and size. Tight lines and wet nets.