Blackfish are one of the NYC sportfish that require skill and practice to catch. It can be relatively easy to reel in a 3 to 6 pound tog, but to get a trophy tog in the 9 to 10 pound range and greater, you will need to have the right location, right hook and bait, and the right technique. Even then you can expect a good fight from one of these fierce fish.
Fishing Tips for Catching Tautog
Blackfish, or tautog, is a bottom feeding fish. Their season runs from spring to fall, although it can go as late as December. In cooler months, tog will be closer to shore waters that are around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. During the height of summer, they will move into deeper waters offshore.
On average, blackfish can be between 3 to 10 pounds, with those upwards of 10 pounds considered impressive trophy fish, although tog of any size will put up a good fight and be an extremely tasty fillet at dinner.
Here are the facts you will need to know for a successful catch:
- Their Habitat – Tog live round hard structures. These include natural settings like underwater boulders, piles of rocks, reefs and mussel beds, and manmade structures like bridge pylons, shipwrecks, moorings, and docks.
- Correct Bait – Blackfish feed on crustaceans and shellfish, so bait like crabs, clams, and muscles work the best. Sandworms can work well too, particularly in the spring when there are fewer porgies out to steal your bait.
- Right Rig – Tautog will put up a fight so you need tackle that can handle them. Many tautog anglers prefer a high-low rig with a lead sinker. 50lb braid as your main line is not overkill, particularly if you are hoping to catch larger tog.
When you get a bite, be prepared to reel in quickly. Also be prepared to lose a few rigs and a lot of bait. Still, most fishermen find it worth it for the blackfish they do hook throughout the day.
Fishing for tautog on the Marilyn Jean can increase your chances of catching these fish. Our experienced captain knows where to look for tautog and our crew can give you pointers to help you reel in an impressive catch. We also provide high quality bait that is ideal for blackfish. Schedule a tautog fishing trip in NYC. You can book your trip on our online calendar.