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Land-Based Tautog Fishing Advice

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Good morning everyone,

I have been surfcasting for a while but had never targeted tautog before up until yesterday and was hoping for some advice. When fishing for tautog from shore, more specifically from a jetty, where do you believe it is best to place your casts? Is it best to have your bait very close to the rocks where there is a drop-off or a bit further out? And typically, how long do you let your bait soak before moving/casting elsewhere? I’m primarily a striped bass fisherman so letting bait sit and not casting far out just seems counter intuitive. Any nuggets of wisdom would be greatly appreciated, I would like to hook up with a few this spring.

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Watching the fishermen in moco they seem to work the bait in  the holes between the rocks in a slow pace ..seems they fish as many holes as they can then move a little bit to a new area...it's a slow process..

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There's really no simple answer, it changes by the spot, season, day, tide, etc. Sometimes they'll be right at your feet feeding on mussel beds that are only under water at high tide, other times they'll be holding on drop offs further off shore, sometimes they'll be in the middle of an inlet holding on deep water structure that you can only fish for 30 minutes at slack. Pick a spot you want to fish and start learning, watch the guys who are catching and do what they do. I'll typically stay at a spot until I'm convinced there's no fish there but I'm constantly moving around within the spot to find the biting fish. When searching for fish I won't let my bait sit for longer than a minute or two before at least moving it some.

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Thank you for your reply. I went yesterday and to two spots and didn’t even have my bait stolen once. I casted next to big, partially submerged boulders in the surf, I tried dropping the bait right where the jetty dropped off (like 10-15 feet in front of me), and I tried casting it out 30-40 feet out from the jetty. I didn’t tried casting into the middle of the channel (one of the places I was at was a breachway). I’m just trying to come up with a game plan for next week. I want to make sure I’m at least putting my bait roughly in the right place. 

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I see you are in MA so this advice may be not conducive to your area.   

 

1.  White cotton gloves.  Must wear them.

2.  Bucket of asian crabs.

3. Poultry sheers to cut up the crabs from the white bucket. (Required to leave the trimmings on the sidewalk)

4. You must walk up and fish within 5 feet of someone throwing lures.

5. Your reel must cost over $500

6. Your rod must be of sufficient stature that said rod / reel can balance perfectly on the railing along the jetty / inlet while unattended.

7. Don't take your trash with you when you are leaving.  Please place it in the bag from your favorite store and tie it to the railing or the fence.

 

PS.   You also have to smoke like a chimney and throw the buts in the water.   Also helps if you have a herd of kids running around like crazy behind you.

 

Just a few tips.   :worms:

 

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2 mins ago, Stryper Snyper said:

I see you are in MA so this advice may be not conducive to your area.   

 

1.  White cotton gloves.  Must wear them.

2.  Bucket of asian crabs.

3. Poultry sheers to cut up the crabs from the white bucket. (Required to leave the trimmings on the sidewalk)

4. You must walk up and fish within 5 feet of someone throwing lures.

5. Your reel must cost over $500

6. Your rod must be of sufficient stature that said rod / reel can balance perfectly on the railing along the jetty / inlet while unattended.

7. Don't take your trash with you when you are leaving.  Please place it in the bag from your favorite store and tie it to the railing or the fence.

 

PS.   You also have to smoke like a chimney and throw the buts in the water.   Also helps if you have a herd of kids running around like crazy behind you.

 

Just a few tips.   :worms:

 

This is the way.

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First rule of tog fishing

 

If your not losing rigs, your not fishing the right spot.

 

Find structure and cast into it. If there is current. Bounce your rig a few times and be ready to let out more line if you find a hole in the rocks. You will feel it drop.

 

I use a really cheap and simple rig. Overhand knot with loop for weight. You wanna be able to swap out weights if you need to. Then I make another looped knot as close as i can to weight and out on my hook. I pour my weights so each rig costs me almost nothing.

 

Tog are great at stealing bait. Get extra, especially if its crab.

 

If you happen to catch a bunch of tog, then it does, move spots. You may have clear that area of fish. Tog like to stay at a certain spot. 

 

 

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22 mins ago, Stryper Snyper said:

I see you are in MA so this advice may be not conducive to your area.   

 

1.  White cotton gloves.  Must wear them.

2.  Bucket of asian crabs.

3. Poultry sheers to cut up the crabs from the white bucket. (Required to leave the trimmings on the sidewalk)

4. You must walk up and fish within 5 feet of someone throwing lures.

5. Your reel must cost over $500

6. Your rod must be of sufficient stature that said rod / reel can balance perfectly on the railing along the jetty / inlet while unattended.

7. Don't take your trash with you when you are leaving.  Please place it in the bag from your favorite store and tie it to the railing or the fence.

 

PS.   You also have to smoke like a chimney and throw the buts in the water.   Also helps if you have a herd of kids running around like crazy behind you.

 

Just a few tips.   :worms:

 

Why the white gloves? Lmfao. 

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3 mins ago, ijuanaspearfish said:

First rule of tog fishing

 

If your not losing rigs, your not fishing the right spot.

 

Find structure and cast into it. If there is current. Bounce your rig a few times and be ready to let out more line if you find a hole in the rocks. You will feel it drop.

 

I use a really cheap and simple rig. Overhand knot with loop for weight. You wanna be able to swap out weights if you need to. Then I make another looped knot as close as i can to weight and out on my hook. I pour my weights so each rig costs me almost nothing.

 

Tog are great at stealing bait. Get extra, especially if its crab.

 

If you happen to catch a bunch of tog, then it does, move spots. You may have clear that area of fish. Tog like to stay at a certain spot. 

 

 

Agree with most of this.  Losing rigs no.  Losing sinker or weight yes.   Still lose some it's inevitable.  Line to weight I run a light line so if I hang up I only lose the weight.  As for weight use what ever you can.  Think out of the box. Just no litter. Lead ain't cheap anymore.

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Just now, Stryper Snyper said:

Agree with most of this.  Losing rigs no.  Losing sinker or weight yes.   Still lose some it's inevitable.  Line to weight I run a light line so if I hang up I only lose the weight.  As for weight use what ever you can.  Think out of the box. Just no litter. Lead ain't cheap anymore.

To add to this. I will put an overhand knot above my weight specifically so if I lose something, hopefully its just the weight and not the whole rig. The knot makes that line weak so it will break easier. 

 

And yes, littering is never a good thing so every attempt to free a snagged line should be taken before breaking it off. 

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One trick I use is Spark Plugs for Sinkers, Found photos as to how but use heavy duty paper Clips or light weight snap swivels. It has been Years since the fish have been on the small size in many areas. and bragalls have gotten bigger Hint Locate some Bucket Sitters english speaking ones they gather in the Hot Spots. But beware they keep everything they Catch. There is also a Trick to Chum in a bag method that is a Magnet guaranteed but attract all and everything to the spot just have to pick thru them .   

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I catch a lot of tog from shore I use 10lb braid and 20lb fluoro leader with usually tog candy jigs or bottom sweepers. Usually not heavier than an ounce I use a a loomis rod rated 1/4. -1 and a 2000 series daiwa reel. 
I concentrate on piers with deep water and not much current 

prefer fiddlers and Asians to greens and I usually do well when my buddies are focused on the arrival of

striped

bass. 

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If you get the Navionics App it my be useful to find rock piles and holes you didn’t know were there. You can also explore spots sitting on your couch to check out at a later time. It’s a 10 to 15 dollar per year app. I love it. I am a boat guy but always have it on a tablet in addition to my sonar.

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On 4/21/2021 at 0:21 PM, Stryper Snyper said:

I see you are in MA so this advice may be not conducive to your area.   

 

1.  White cotton gloves.  Must wear them.

2.  Bucket of asian crabs.

3. Poultry sheers to cut up the crabs from the white bucket. (Required to leave the trimmings on the sidewalk)

4. You must walk up and fish within 5 feet of someone throwing lures.

5. Your reel must cost over $500

6. Your rod must be of sufficient stature that said rod / reel can balance perfectly on the railing along the jetty / inlet while unattended.

7. Don't take your trash with you when you are leaving.  Please place it in the bag from your favorite store and tie it to the railing or the fence.

 

PS.   You also have to smoke like a chimney and throw the buts in the water.   Also helps if you have a herd of kids running around like crazy behind you.

 

Just a few tips.   :worms:

 

Heeheehee

 

I've never seen so many stellas till I started fishing for tog.

It's incredible.

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