Posted on February 7th, 2016
There’s not much fishing going on this time of the year in Ocean City……the lone exception being tautog. Some of the local charter and private boats are trying the tautog out when the weather cooperates and at least one party boat Captain is going whenever he gets the chance. Captain Monty Hawkins and the boys on the Morning Star brave the cold weather on a regular basis when the wind isn’t blowing this time of year, and they were on the rip yesterday for some winter tautog action. Here’s the report from Captain Monty.
Here’s Chol Chang of Fulton, MD. with a truly once in a lifetime double. The big one went about 17 pounds; the smaller one had one of our an ALS tags in it…
The smaller one was re-released after the info was logged with tag intact.
One of the first things we learned from tagging back in the mid-1990s wasn’t growth & migration, but that tog are homebodies. If they had cable TV & pizza delivery, they’d never leave a reef at all.
More interestingly, we’ve learned from tags over the last 7 or 8 years that when a new artificial reef turns 4 (sometimes 3) we will witness a few tog emigrating from nearby artificial reefs..
I suspect “bull & harem” behavior rules how habitat is settled & then occupied over time, but that’s just a gut feeling — and it does not jibe with actual observations of spawning. I’ve personally witnessed large females with nearly a half dozen smaller males broadcast-spawning near the surface. Yet a big bull male will not have smaller males nearby in video monitoring work..
Something for future biologists to look into.
The main thing is: everytime we build reef it gets colonized as soon as the reef’s production has grown-in. When mussel & crab production is solid, a few tog will somehow find it.
We have no idea how that could be ..but if future generations of tautog anglers wonder why anyone EVER thought togging was tough, we’ll have done a good job.
That truly is the double of a lifetime! Congratulations to Chol, Captain Monty and crew!
Don’t forget to visit us at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA now through Sunday, February 14 in booth 2518 in the fishing hall. We’re giving away Judith M party boat tickets, a 10 hour shark fishing trip aboard My Cin, an offshore fishing trip aboard Spring Mix II with overnight accommodations at the Dunes Manor Hotel and a surfboard courtesy of K-Coast Surf Shop! It’s free to sign up…or just stop by and talk Fish in OC!
On another note, here’s my Super Bowl 50 prediction….Denver 24….Carolina 17.