November 9

I Never Knew Just How Competitive Tautog Could Be…Until I Saw This!

by Ryan Collins

I've had a lot of fun so far tautog fishing this fall on Cape Cod! I was also pretty excited at how this latest underwater footage came out.

Honestly, I never knew just how aggressive and competitive tautog could be until I reviewed this footage.

In the rest of this blog post I'll share with you details behind this video. Plus I'll give you some helpful tips and reports for November fishing on Cape Cod. 

Let's dive right in! 🎣

October 31st - Catching Bait

The first step to catching tautog is to use the right bait. Tog can be caught using different types of crabs, clams, sea worms, and other baits.

However I always seem to have success using green crabs. I'm happy to report the green crabs were biting well back on Halloween after a 24 hour soak...

Perhaps the blonde wig was good luck, because these were the largest green crabs I had caught all year.

This makes sense, as I'd imagine the crabs have been feeding all summer long, and are probably at their bulkiest right now.

As you of noticed, I finally got my Instagram account back after getting hacked in May of 2022! If you aren't already following MFCC on Instagram then you can check us out and give us a follow here.

Fishing the "25 foot hole"

Not all areas on Cape Cod have large populations of tautog, so when targeting tog, a good idea can be to fish within the confines of the area shown below. This region of the Cape has many rocks and boulders, which were deposited after the glaciers melted.

For years I have been eyeing one specific spot in the map above, because of its swift current and amazing structure. Specifically I am referring to a 25 foot "hole" that probably hasn't changed much in the past several thousand years. The hole is surrounded on all four sides by drastically shallower water that's only 5-10 feet deep. 

It is quite literally a hole in the ground that was probably created by the same glacier that deposited all the rocks to begin with. As you can see in the following video, the 25 foot hole has a sandy bottom with scattered boulders, aquatic vegetation, and corals.

There is also a very swift current that rushes over the top of the hole. The fish in the hole can conveniently stay out of the current by swimming along the bottom. It's an amazing little spot! 

Tautog, Stripers & Albies!

I wanted to go tautog fishing Halloween afternoon but I ran out of time and didn't end up going until the mornings of November 2nd and November 3rd.

The morning of November 2nd was clear and comfortable with a moderate breeze from the north.

During this trip I caught a bunch of tautog using a 3 ounce orange jig and green crab, but I focused more on filming the underwater footage shown above.

In case you are interested, here is the camera I used for filming these underwater shots...

On November 2nd I also saw stripers blitzing on the surface and I believe I even saw false albacore. I was very surprised to see the albies, and was honestly not sure if I was hallucinating.

Typically the albies have migrated out of Cape waters by this time in the season. However, a few My Fishing Cape Cod members reported in our forum that they saw albies yesterday, so apparently they are still around! 

Conditions on November 3rd were almost summer-like, with warm sunny skies and no wind at all. I did not see any albies this day but I did see stripers and caught plenty of tautog and black sea bass. 

Tautog Casado

None of the tautog I caught were huge but I did catch quite a few that were just over the legal 16 inch minimum size limit. I brought a couple of the tautog home because tautog are a very delicious fish to eat.

There is no shortage of wonderful ways to prepare tautog, including Mediterranean style and tautog with creamy tomatoes and fried okra (to name a couple of our favorite recipes).

However for this tautog Lauren borrowed a page from Costa Rica and made a tautog casado.

A casado is a very traditional lunch for all Ticos. It consists of rice, beans, meat –it could be fish, chicken or meat in any of its presentations-, and green or pasta salad.

Lauren is working on a new recipe post that will further explain how to make Tautog casado, but overall it's a very simple-to-make and nutritious meal. I hope you will give it a try the next time you decide to keep a tautog!

What's Else Has Been Happening So Far This November

In conclusion, it appears that the saltwater fishing scene here on Cape Cod is still going strong. Obviously the tautog are biting well, false albacore are still being seen, and the fishing for striped bass, bluefish and tuna has been terrific.

For example, just today I was browsing the Monomoy thread inside our forum when I noticed photos of some of the fattest and most healthy-looking stripers and bluefish I've seen in a while. This is terrific to see, especially considering it's November!

Thank you to Eric Cronin for sharing the above photos in the forum. I had fun reading your report about bass and blues feeding on pogies. Even if I can't personally get out there to experience the bite, it's just great to know that action like this is still occurring.

The anglers in our Surfcasters' thread have also been fishing hard the past few days. From the beach it appears the bite is slowing down, but there are still some terrific catches being reported, especially considering it's early November.

In Conclusion

Aside from saltwater fishing I've noticed that quite a few folks from MFCC have switched over to freshwater fishing for bass and trout. This is certainly another great option as we move deeper into autumn. We are certainly blessed with many different fishing and outdoor options right now!

Best of luck if you are able to get outside this week. I hope you're able to catch a few fish and enjoy the fresh cool air. If you are a member, then please be sure to make a report inside our forum so we can follow along with your adventures. I appreciate all your posts!

Tight lines 🎣

About the author 

Ryan Collins

I'm fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I've been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!

  • LOL! I recognize the deck of the boat those fish are on at Monomoy!

    What a day that was! Glass calm in the sound. It was one of two trips we were able to make in my little puddle jumper, a 1977 Montauk 17. That say we ran from the Bass River and were able to make the trip with the engine flat out, rounding the tip in under 30 minutes. I’ve been meaning to post more pictures and info from the trip but life has gotten in the way.

    I don’t get out to Monomoy much in my small boat, but this fall the visits have been unbelievable. It’s just beautiful out there!

  • Great Tog videos. No wonder you feel rat-at-tat-tat-tat-tat when your on the bottom! There’s several togs picking at your green crab!

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