Of all the fish I have caught in my lifetime I would have to say that the powerful Tautog is one of my favorites.
I remember late April of last spring when I headed out with my long time Captain Kevin Seldon on the Nancy Anne. He
gave me the choice to work as his deckhand or just go along and fish, it didn't take long to decide knowing that two
of my friends had caught citations the previous morning. The first wreck produced a few small tog but nothing like I
was looking for. I went to the wheelhouse to talk to Kevin, and as usual he started joking me and asking what was wrong
I simply replied that some days you have it and some days you don't. As we approached the next wreck I went back
to the deck to put on some fresh crab. I dropped down to the bottom and patiently worked the wreck waiting for the hit.
Suddenly I felt one of the strongest knockdowns of my life from a Tautog. I set the hook as fast as possible and got
him away from the wreck. As I slowly cranked he started to take line as he headed for his home. The thought that I was
never going to see this fish was in my mind because I knew if he got back down to the wreck he would be gone for good.
After a long fight he finally surfaced and the mate Robby Kitt netted the fish. It was the biggest Tautog I had ever seen.
And then just a few wrecks later I had another big Tog on.
Not as giant as the first but still a big Tog by any standards.
What a trip this turned out to be. I couldn't wait to get back to the dock because I knew the state leading Tautog
was 15 lbs 7 oz. I was dying to know if I had beat it. We placed the small one on the scale first and he was 14 lbs 9 oz.
I couldn't believe it. Then the big one, 17 lbs 10oz, the new state tournament leader. What a day of wreck fishing. I
want to say thank you to my long time Captain and mentor for putting me on the fish that day. The big Tog ended up holding as
the leader all year. Now it's almost time to try again.
Visit our Photo Gallery to view other great fishing pictures.
by Captain Bryan Noel of The First Chance