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Blackfish (Tautog)

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Blackfish FishingBlackfish or “Tautog” or (“tog”) range from North Carolina to Nova Scotia.  However, the population is most heavily concentrated from New Jersey through Massachusetts with some of the most intense blackfish fishing occurring in northern New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.  The fish are very hardy after being caught and that makes them a popular choice in the live fish market.  They are susceptible to fish traps and slow growing.  Because of this blackfish fishing (tautog fishing) is very carefully regulated in all the eastern states.  Blackfish fishing is quite popular with charter captains and other fishing professionals because these fish can be so difficult to catch (and good to eat).

Click here to view all of our Blackfish Shows (with loads of blackfish fishing tips)

Click here for our recommended Blackfish Tackle.


Blackfish Fishing Techniques (Tautog fishing techniques)

Blackfish (tautog) can be very challenging to catch.  They can be finicky feeders and they like to crush a bait and spit it out before actually getting it to a point where the angler can set the hook.  There number of different blackfish techniques is really limited to traditional bottom fishing with sinkers and single/double hook rigs, and jig fishing.  Jig fishing is a rather new advancement.  Though it is limited to shallower depths, there is no limit to the size fish that can be targeted and will typically out-fish all other blackfish techniques.

Learn more about jig fishing at Blackfish – Going Light in October – by Capt John Marino focusing on light tackle and blackfish fishing with jigs.

Blackfish Fishing Tips (Tautog fishing tips)

Juvenile and adult blackfish (tautog) are exclusively daytime feeders, with feeding peaks at dawn and dusk. They are so inactive at night that divers can easily catch them by hand as they lie motionless on the bottom.  There is no sense in targeting them at night.  They are nearly always located in rocky bottom and wrecks.  They can be very finicky as they have no problem locating food.  Sometimes just changing the size of the bait can convince them to bite.  Tautog are very territorial.  If you miss a bite and lose your bait, and then drop a new bait in the same location, you will typically engage the same blackfish.  Certain stages of the tide will be more effective in a specific spot.  Browse through the list of YouTube blackfish fishing videos (links above) and find one that matches where you fish and watch.  Every video focus on the fine points and has plenty of blackfish fishing tips.

Blackfish (tautog) Behavior

The following videos demonstrate some of the behaviors that blackfish are so famous for!

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