First Keeper Tautog of 2020

By Scott Lenox

First Keeper Tautog of 2020

I was pleased to have the 2nd day of the new year produce my 2nd fishing report as well as some of my buddies were out taking advantage of what started out as a nice day.  It was flat calm first thing this morning, but by this afternoon the wind had picked up something fierce and some even called it a day early.  Tomorrow brings more wind and rain that sticks around for a few days so I’m pretty certain that the run of fishing reports will probably take a break.

Captain Monty Hawkins of the Morning Star saw first hand how the wind can change conditions, but not before he had the first keeper tog of 2020 come over the rail.

Slick calm this AM. A photogenic sunrise; our block drop at Two-Tanks pushed the reef’s tally into four digits (1,013 blocks w/7 reef pyramids) — even had a start on today’s catch right out of the gate with young Mr. Patrick Enoch of Baltimore showing some very skilled hands how to do it. Patrick caught our first keeper (19.25 inch F) of 2020 and another, a male.
Soon after Bill Dacosta from Long Island put a tag in a 23.5 inch male & Joe Mole’, also from LI, sent a 19 in female home with a yellow ribbon. Bill’s first release would win the pool.
Nice pace. Kept at it for some while until the weatherman’s prognostications came to be. Ended the day coming home a bit early. Went from glass-smooth seas to pretty saucy with S winds a steady 23 knots.
Looks like we’ll lose Saturday’s tog trip. Buckets of rain in July might be doable – January? Not so much..
Will announce more tog trips soon along with yet another attempt to harpoon MRIP’s recreational catch estimate data in the heart – a task than needs done.
Dae Yoon & Yan Yoon put on a clinic. They limited and tagged a few keepers but weren’t much on pictures.
George Steiger of Belcamp MD, often high hook, managed dinner.
Anthony Lasky of Forked River NJ (black bibs) shows off a nice keeper female.
Walt Gan, also of Forked River, shows off a double keeper.

My good friend John Wittmyer of Crabs to Go joined another of my good friends, Big Bird Cropper for some fishing today.  The guys found it too rough to fish the outside of the south jetty this morning, but they salvaged a nice trip at the route 50 bridge releasing 8 short rockfish on Bird’s World Famous Roy Rig.

Check out the latest episode of Hooked on OC where I fish the route 50 bridge with Bird and his Roy Rig right after some casting with my man David Wells and Deadly Double inventor Dale Timmons.  There’s also a cooking segment at the aforementioned Crabs to Go 1/2 way through…..Enjoy!!

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