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Sight Fishing for Big Tautog (Blackfish) | June 27 Report

Ryan Collins

This past Monday afternoon was so gorgeous, I decided that I just had to launch the boat and invest a few hours into exploring some new areas. 

Little did I know I would stumble into a rare sight fishing for tautog opportunity! 

Typically I anchor up in 20 feet or more of water when fishing for tautog, and drop my bait straight to the bottom. However, every so often I find tautog in shallow crystal clear turquoise water.


At about 3pm this past Monday afternoon I spotted a nice big tautog roaming the shallows. You can see him by the yellow arrow in the photo below.

I observed the tautog for several minutes before deciding on the best way to stalk the fish, and the most effective way to fool him.

After pondering the situation, I figured a sea worm fished without weight on a size 6/0 Trokar circle hook would be my best bet.

The tautog was swimming around quickly, but more or less hanging in the same area. Finally I took a deep breath and carefully cast my sea worm ahead of the tautog.

I watched as the tautog turned, and I knew he had noticed the worm. 

Without hesitation the big old tog swam directly at the sea worm and engulfed it before my very eyes.

My rod doubled over and line began peeling from my reel. I was hooked up and I could not believe it!

The tautog put up a great fight! 

It was so cool to be able to watch the entire sequence unfold in such shallow clear water.

Oftentimes I will keep tautog for table fare, however after thinking it through I decided to release the fish.

In this instance, I felt that releasing the big old tog back to his home in the crystal clear turquoise water was the right thing to do. 😎

If you would like to learn more about sight fishing for tautog, including the general area where I caught this fish, then please click here to view my extended fishing report.

Tight lines! 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Great report! Nice you let him go. He was big!

  2. Sight fishing is always fun, although normally smaller fish. Nice report!

    1. Thanks for reading Peter and gluck if you make it out this weekend!


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