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Sight-Fishing For Spring Tautog From Shore

Catching tautog from shore on Cape Cod during the spring is a blast! Plus it is super simple fishing. No expensive gear or boat required.

In this post I'll share with you a quick video overview of the concept, and also provide MFCC members with some locations I feel will produce tautog from shore this spring.​


First, the video...

Click play below for a quick overview of what to expect.

I've had success with catching tautog from shore on the Cape during the month of May, although you may be able to find them earlier. I wonder how this super cold winter will affect the timing?

I suppose we will find out soon enough.

As mentioned in the above video, live green crabs are the go-to bait for tog. You can cut the crabs in half or use them whole.

A light tackle spinning setup which you might use to catch schoolie striped bass works great for this type of fishing. The most difficult part will be knowing when to set the hook.

Tautog tend to "chomp, chomp, chomp" at the green crab before swallowing. Resist the temptation to immediately set the hook, and instead wait a second or two until the fish has eaten the crab.​

Where to fish

There's many fantastic places to find tautog on Cape Cod. They roam far and wide throughout the region and venture amazingly close to shore during the spring.

Below are 3 locations I feel will give you a good chance of finding tog during the month of May.

Click a button to view the location and an accompanying video.

These are certainly not the only places to find tautog.

If you spend some time on Google Earth, and explore a little bit early this spring, you will find dozens of similar shore spots throughout Buzzard's Bay, Vineyard Sound and Nantucket Sound which produce tog.

Anything else I can assist with? How's your winter going? Let me know by commenting below!

  1. Be mindful of the tides if you decide to fish the Hyannisport jetty, many sections of the jetty are broken away and only passable at lower tides. Many people get trapped out there when the tide comes up. Makes it even worse if the wind is whipping up waves from the southwest and you’re trying to wade through ice cold spring water.

    1. Excellent tips, thank you very much Kyle!

  2. Hey Ryan,

    You ever try for tog on the jetties at the entrance to Great Bay in Falmouth? I haven’t done it but plan on trying it out in a few weeks once i head down to get the moorings in for the family. Water is usually real clear around there in spring/ fall.

    1. Hey Sean,

      I have not tried those jetties, but I would imagine there will be at least a few tog there at some point this spring.

      I hope you find ’em, and good luck with the moorings!

  3. Hey Ryan are you coming to the grand opening of the Cabelas Store in Berlin, MA . If so would you let me know .
    Keep it tight .


    1. Hey Lima, that is news to me…when is the grand opening?

      1. March 28 I believe.

        1. Thanks! I have “stuff” going on that weekend, including a talk about surfcasting Cape Cod that Sunday the 29th at the MSBA show.

          So I don’t think I will be able to swing over to Cabelas this time.

          Thanks for the heads up though, and if you’re interested in attending the surfcasting talk on March 29th just let me know and I can send the details.


  4. Awsome job on the Tog video……………..Thank you

    1. No problem John!



      1. Great job on the Tog video Should start to see them in my area of Westport in a few weeks Take care

        1. Thanks John! They will be here soon.

          Gluck togging and keep in touch

  5. Thanks Ryan. Good information as usual. Winter is getting long… only 2 days above freezing here this month. So I’m ready for some fishing weather! Hey what style/size hooks do you use for tautog?

    1. Spring is coming Paul, I could feel it in the air today!

      I used relatively small J hooks, size 3-5.

      Basically one step smaller than what I would use for stripers.


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