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Land-Based Tautog Fishing Advice

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25 mins ago, natejeep said:

I might have to reconsider how I want to target tog lol. I bought some tog jigs this spring after talking to someone at a local tackle shop but never got around to actually using them. I don't really plan on targeting them near/around any inlet or jetty though.. the spot I have in mind isn't really fast moving water but very rocky. I guess i'll give it a shot with what i have and go from there.


Yeah tog jigs are much easier (cheaper) to use when you're actually jigging.

But when casting/adding drop angles I bet losing em gets reallll easy.

 

However, 8+ hours of jigging sounds like hell.

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19 hours ago, Notable Catch said:

How the heck do you manage to fish with 20lbs line and leader? :)  I would lose most of my fish if I use that.
 

The thing you also have to consider is we are fishing rocky mussels bed structures. Even after one or two casts, your main and leader could have nick on it and 80lbs is no longer 80lbs and 65lbs is no longer 65lbs.  There are multiple occasions where I set the hook and the line just gets sliced.

 

i use 20-lb when I am fishing a few boulder fields. I use the same setup for fluke, accurist baitcaster with a acid rod

 

For any other tog fishing, its go big or go home for your exact reason, mussels and rocks beat the heck out of the lines, I will try to use a longer leader so that gets the beating and not my braid

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19 hours ago, Notable Catch said:

How the heck do you manage to fish with 20lbs line and leader? :)  I would lose most of my fish if I use that.
 

The thing you also have to consider is we are fishing rocky mussels bed structures. Even after one or two casts, your main and leader could have nick on it and 80lbs is no longer 80lbs and 65lbs is no longer 65lbs.  There are multiple occasions where I set the hook and the line just gets sliced.

 

i use 20-lb when I am fishing a few boulder fields. I use the same setup for fluke, accurist baitcaster with a acid rod

 

For any other tog fishing, its go big or go home for your exact reason, mussels and rocks beat the heck out of the lines, I will try to use a longer leader so that gets the beating and not my braid

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1 hour ago, ijuanaspearfish said:

i use 20-lb when I am fishing a few boulder fields. I use the same setup for fluke, accurist baitcaster with a acid rod

 

For any other tog fishing, its go big or go home for your exact reason, mussels and rocks beat the heck out of the lines, I will try to use a longer leader so that gets the beating and not my braid

Ok so basically same way I do which makes sense. :)  I was thinking you must know something I don’t. :)

 

Yeah, I started out with probably 3 feet of leader but now using about 12’ tied with FG knot.  Lot less break off of main line now but did notice 65lbs main line snaps more than when I was using 80lbs when pulling snag.

Edited by Notable Catch
Bad grammar

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Jigs I use my 8’ weapon jr with 6-10lb braid and 25/30lb leader (easy places to land fish only and calmer days). Rigs I tie a swivel, 3ft leader, egg sinker, swivel, 8-12” leader, and then my 5/0-7/0 circle hook. I tie rigs if I places need distance or choppy surf. Slay em. Can’t spill the beans on my technique to find holes and togs quickly though lmao if I don’t find tog in the first 5 minutes, I move it along

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I spend 10 minutes at a spot and move, tog are territorial, if I catch a bunch at one spot, Ill move to another because the fish I caught aren't going back there for a while. Especially after getting a hook in the mouth. I have also noticed if that really big togs don't school together, most of the time I just catch one and the rest are smaller.

 

I use a very simple and cheap rig, I tie up about 8 before I head out. This is one of the few times will actually use a snap or TA clip to make it easier to swap out rigs. I tie a loop at the bottom to hold my weight, then I tie another loop about 3 inches above for the hook, in between that I tie a knot in case the weight gets hung up so I don't lose my hook. I used to do a dropper loop but a double surgeons knot is quicker and works just fine for me.

 

As for technique, yeah, I have one as well. it works pretty effectively but I prefer to spear fish for tog, that way I can target which ones I want and spearfishing is just very peaceful for me.

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Togs are always close to structures like jetties, so probably no need to cast far away, sometimes they are just underneath. Also if you cast far away, current may make your rig snag. Bring a lot of cheap and simple rigs since you are going to lose a lot, get the cheapest sinker, there are local people selling sinkers on FB marketplace which are cheap. No hardwares like swivels on the rig, they will cause snagging and also waste money, connecting the rig to the main line with a double uni loop.  

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As with all fish but more even more importantly with blackfish/tog, the most important thing is the spot.

 

The jigs/hooks/times dont matter at all relatively speaking. 

 

FIshing jetties on LI is useless because they are all shallow 8-12ft. You need ~20 ft or more for blackfish and that means youre line is sloping 45 degrees with the current. Take a look at shinnecock and waht a mess it is at 20 people trying to throw at that micro reef about 30 years southeast of the western wall. It's a disaster.

 

Find a spot, like Mattituck or north of montauk. Robert moses also has deep dropoff with a 4x4 permit.

Edited by dmac95

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Good info in this thread.

 

I prefer using jigs when dropping vertically, especially off a pier or jetty with a steep drop off. You'd be surprised where you can find some tog holed up on shallow water structure. I've watched tog cruise out from under a dock in shallow water and set the hook when I saw them chew. really cool. 

 

I go out at low tide at night to gather crabs. Asian shore crabs work fine on the jig. I like to crush them to give a little scent. 

 

If I'm casting a decent distance, I prefer an egg sinker rig similar to what Locked Drag mentioned. The jigs tend to get hung up a little more often. 

 

If I don't get bites in a few minutes, I move. I find if they're there, they don't pass up a fresh crab for long.

 

Good luck! shore-based toggin' is a challenge but super rewarding. 

tog.jpg.0a6880f956d4f1b61f57ff2db9d45cd5.jpg

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I'm fortunate enough to fish land based tog with friends. Jigs are my preferred way to catch but often I was less successful than hook/sinker companions. Now I fish mainly h/s with a 1/0 gami octopus and just enough weigh to be straight up and down. Using 10lb braid if they get me into structure I'm done. Now considering a top shot of 40lb mono for some added protection, braid, 40 top shot and 20 mono for the rig itself. I've caught about 15 so far this season one of which may have been a keeper and within 25' of an area. Recently the area has been overrun with small sea bass which seem to attack the bait before the tog can get to it. Fishing that area yesterday and couldn't get a bite including sea bass , water was dirty and the slack tide seemed to last forever. I moved about 100' feet away and got one short. Very curious as to their behavior, do they stay on the same structure all day or do they forage the surrounding area ? (huge fidler colony nearby).

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Try the knocker rig. Mainline leader egg sinker then hook. No swivel.  It casts like a jig and falls in holes like a jig. It has the added benefits of being able to let out some slack to get the bait floating a bit in the current like a Carolina rig. You can use your hook of choice instead of whatever they poured the jig with.

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On 9/15/2021 at 11:19 AM, LockedDrag said:

Jigs I use my 8’ weapon jr with 6-10lb braid and 25/30lb leader (easy places to land fish only and calmer days). Rigs I tie a swivel, 3ft leader, egg sinker, swivel, 8-12” leader, and then my 5/0-7/0 circle hook. I tie rigs if I places need distance or choppy surf. Slay em. Can’t spill the beans on my technique to find holes and togs quickly though lmao if I don’t find tog in the first 5 minutes, I move it along

6-10lb braid, this holds up? 

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10lb braid is fine especially for less resistance for deep water fishing. Is 20 or 30 going to withstand sharp contact better, don't think so. Plus with heavier line better chance of snapping your rod. MHO

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