Personal Best Tautog Two Drops in a Row

By Scott Lenox

Personal Best Tautog Two Drops in a Row

It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be on the ocean today where there were light winds, calm seas and warmish temperatures throughout the day.  I know this firsthand today because I had the honor of being on the Morning Star with Captain Monty Hawkins and mates Brian and Vic today for some tautog fishing for a new episode of Hooked on OC.  The weather was absolutely perfect, but the best part of the trip for me was catching my personal best flounder of nine pounds on one of our Deadly Tackle bottom/tog jigs!!  And on the very next drop, with the same white 3 oz jig, I beat that personal best nine pounder with another personal best tautog of 10.5 pounds….it was awesome!!  I added another eight pound fish a little while later to close out an awesome day on the water with some great anglers.  Many thanks to Captain Monty and mates Vic and Brian!!

It was a tough day to be in charge of putting folks on fish today with little to no wind and switchy current, but Captain Monty got the job done per usual.

They’re coming to take me away, HaHa!

Tied her loose into an amazingly calm sea this morning; so flat you could scarcely tell between back bay and ocean in the dark of night. One of the most addicted gentleman anglers I know, a self confessed togaholic; Joe from up Long Island gave a pair of today’s reef pyramids a hearty push atop Michael McGowan’s Memorial Reef — Bruce from Point Pleasant, another dyed in the wool togger, did same. 

Because Scott Lenox from Hooked on OC was aboard, I asked my anglers to illuminate the pyramid drop with their iPhones so they could film it. 

Worked too. 

Soon underway again; rather than a sunrise, the sea surface simply grew lighter shades of gray as the sun rose. Hmmm.. Wonder if any of that would work in a book.. 

Anyway, there is often a penalty for fishing the most gorgeous of calm waters – that goes for tog especially. Ultra light winds, switchy, with no current? Anchoring was near-impossible. 

So we drifted. 

Rare bird that. Usually two tight anchors. 

Caught slowwww.. But did. 

Double anchored once at 1pm with a 180° straddle – one anchor off the bow, one off the stern – tight-tight. Worked too. 

Went to do it again at the next spot and, yeah no. Every test drift was different. Even with a tight 180° clothesline set a boat has to have ahold of something be it breeze or current – or you’ll have to reach or just be close enough to cast..

This is the stuff that makes skippers crazy – especially in this fishery where positioning is everything. 

The opening tune from the Dr Dimento radio show back in the day fit well.. “They’re coming to take me away, HaHa! They’re coming to take me away, HoHo! To the Funny Farm where life is beautiful all the time!”

Fitting, I promise. 

Current finally picked up out of the south. With exactly the same pressure on my hull, so too did the breeze increase from the north.. Drift would set south – I’d compensate and the drift would set north. 

While clients enjoyed a beautiful day with some decent fish, the skipper kept his pepcid and advil near while contemplating life in a rubber room. 

All was well. 

Not uncommon that an angler will catch a personal best tog on my rig. Some of those have been truly good fish. Scott began the day with a pretty low bar of 18 inches and broke his PB with three of his today. 


No 30 inch monster like yesterday; at ‘just’ 27inches, Ben’s pool winning bull will have to do. And, I’m sorry to report another not at all unusual event — a truly skilled angler landed a goose egg. 

This fishery can be like that. It’s not always just the skipper going crazy. 

Looks like we’ll get another shot at em before long. 



Captain Chase Eberle of Chasin’ Tides Charters had a great day of tautogin’ today as well with a limit of fish up to 13.5 pounds.  The crew had five fish over 10 pounds and some bluefish up to 14 pounds.

You wanna see a big tautog?!?!  Check out our YouTube for a 23 pounder!

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