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FarmerJay

Clinton Westbrook (Madison)Togs Sunday, October 24

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Hello. Good Monday morning. I hope you all don't mind. I also posted a report on another site. In the interest of time, I'm just going to paste it here rather than typing another one.

 

Saturday was too rough so we didn't leave the dock, but Sunday was supposed to be a great day. We left the dock around 7:00 and it was nice and fairly calm. Decided to go toggin first, then try for some bass later in the day. A few people recommend heading west for togs, so we set our sights on some rock piles out in front of Madison and off we went.

 

Just out of Clinton Harbor my fuel gage stopped working. I knew we left at 1/2 but I'm still on my first tank of fuel since buying the boat, so I didn't know how long to expect it to last. That pretty much killed the idea of running around for the afternoon looking for Bass, so we decided to make a day out of Tog fishing.

 

Green crabs was the bait we used. We only boated 4 fish all day. 1 Scup and 3 Togs. The one good thing was, one of the Togs was over 20 inches, and the others didn't even require a check. They were clearly keepers by far. The bait shop told me to look for shallow water and tried to get me to back in against the breakwall with all the other guys, but I just can't bring myself to fish shoulder to shoulder like that, so we went exploring. Is there really a difference between 18 to 20 feet at a local reef, and 10 to 12 at the beakwall?

 

For what was supposed to be a fairly calm day, it got pretty snotty in the afternoon. The outgoing tide wasn't overpowering the wind and swinging us full around, so we ended up fishing sideways with a strong side wind for what part of the outgoing we fished.

 

What action we had was on the incoming tide, and after that, all dried up.

 

Did spend almost an hour trying to get my anchor up though. Thought for sure we were going to have to cut the line. As a last resort, I pulled the line just about as tight as I could get it, tied off to the stern, and carefully used the engine to pull it about as hard as I felt comfortable, making a couple circles under power. Finally we got it to break free. Thought for sure it was going to be bent to hell when it came up but it was perfectly fine. Guess the Fish Gods didn't see it time to make me buy another anchor.

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View Post Is there really a difference between 18 to 20 feet at a local reef, and 10 to 12 at the beakwall?

 

 

 

Very much so. They will stay shallower on breakers because they hide in the rocks. Even when they move off to deep waters some will stay on the breakers as long as there is food for them. TONS of food on all the breakers I've been on. Fish right along with them.

 

Sunday was hard fishing. Most of the hots spots shut down. I was in touch with 4 other boats that tried several spots from wrecks to Middle Grounds. Which has been very hot. We picked up a fish here and there but nothing like it has been last few weeks.

 

So much for the 1 foot or less seas with 5mph winsds. Weather men stinkbeatin.gif

 

I could still see plenty of fish on the spots per all the high tech crap my buddy has. Still didn't help us boat fish. Only helps find them. wink.gif

 

Keep doing what your doing. It will pay off. In another 2.5 to 3 weeks when the temps go down in the water head out to 50 foot or so on the shoal.

 

Good luck

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One side of the boat to the other will make a difference tog fishing.

Now,

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER tie your anchor off to the stern and try to pull it out. That is the quickest way to sink the boat that you can imagine. It will happen so fast, you will not be able to stop it. IF The stern corner just goes under, the boat wil flood.

Pull with the bow cleat, or get a ball set up.

My Tog anchor has a 3/8" hole drilled in the bottom center plate, in between the flukes. I attach my chain there with a clevis, run the chain up the shank and wrap mono around the line and through the eye of the shank.

If the anchor gets caught up, you can pull from the bow cleat until the mono breaks and then pull the anchor up, upside down. Works great.

highfive.gif

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Thank you for the advice Finatic. I quickly saw it wasn't very safe. I did see the potential for it to pull the stern down under before I knew it, speciall when the stern was facing into the tide. I doubt I would ever consider it again. At the time, I saw it as the only way to circle the line under power without it drifting under the boat and getting close to the outdrive. I know it's little defense for a stupid move, but I did have my fishing partner sitting out of the way of the rope with a bait knife ready to cut the rope at a moments notice. It was still a stupid move and I don't plan on a repeat.

 

First thing I did Monday morning was start searching google for ideas on how to recover a stuck anchor. It was at that time that I learned how truly stupid it was to use the stern. beatin.gif I also learned several ways to rig an anchor to help in recovery. Your exact idea is the one I plan on rigging before going back out. The only variation I found was to use 3 or 4 plastic tie wraps in place of your mono, but other than that, it's exactly what I plan to do.

 

Others in my Marina told me they buy cheap anchors at tag sales just for Tog fishing. The use them as expendable anchors for rock piles. They retreive them as long as they can, but they don't get terribly upset if they have to cut one loose. They told me if all else fails, to get a cheap economy one from WM to use rather than loosing my $150+ plow anchor.

 

After reading though, I'm pretty sure the method of attachment you use will do the trick. Having the attachment point break loose and change from the shank of the anchor to the foot should allow it to come loose easily.

 

Thank you again for the help and advice! I'm always willing to listen and learn from those more season than myself!

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FJ, The reason I know is because I did it. I came within inches of sinking the boat in the Rip off Clinton breakwater on a full moon holloween night in about 1969. I still cringe thinking about it. My guardian angel was, and still is, working overtime.tongue.gif

Don't be afraid to use concrete blocks for an anchor. They are cheap and hold well in the rocks. Save the Plow for overnighting. They are much too expensive to loose. Good Luck Toggin'. I'm hauling this weekend.

R HappyWave.gif

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I'm glad you were able to save your boat Fin. I'm sure that's a moment that has stuck with you since it happened.

 

Your story fits right in with my feelings about that place. A guy in my marina told me when the water cools down a bit, he has great luck Toggin out off can 8. I have to admit, I told him that place scares me. eek.gif I've drifted and trolled it for Bass (with no luck yet), but I would never consider trying to use an anchor there. He claimed it was no big deal, you just had to pay attention to the tide. He said you can fish an hour each side of slack, but you need to be disciplined enough to pull up and leave even though you may be killing the fish. Clinton is a big area with lots of good fishing. I'll stick to getting used to boating again, and getting comfortable with my boat in places that are a little more forgiving for now and leave those other places for the seasoned boaters.

 

I don't plan on getting hauled until after the weekend of Nov 13th and 14th, so if you're itching to get out fishing after you're hauled, and you don't mind teaching a new guy a spot or two, you're welcome. Just send me a PM. I usually only roll with myself and a buddy. Big rule of the boat for me is no drinking while at sea, so you don't need to worry about safety. I've been known to make a pretty good sandwich too.

 

Thanks again for the advice.

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Appreciate the offer FJ, but family stuff has me booked solid. I adhere to the "No Booze till after the cruise" also. Good Toggin'

Check out this week's Fisherman and take it from there.

R

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