With spring weather knocking on the door, it only made sense to change the mindset. Tautog has been on my mind nonstop since having many conversations with the "tog tamer" Rob Choi. He has such a passion for these fish which he naturally shares. One thing he doesn't share is his spots. It's like getting a secret recipe from your grandmother which doesn't come easily, if ever. Rightfully so for this style of fishing, you have to just get out there and earn your stripes.
The conditions were decent, but not ideal. The winds were forecasted to be light until mid day before they were supposed to pick up. Either way, I was going toggin and nothing was stopping me.
The fishing was tough the whole day! Spot after spot, piling after piling all yielded the same result...Nada! The wind started to pick up and so did the thought of making the paddle back to dry land. "Tap Tap", instincts kicked in as the hook was set into the first tog of the day. She was only 13 1/2", but a fish none of the less. She was tagged and released immediately so I could get my line back in the water. It was not long after when I felt the same bite once again, this time it was a better fish.
This fish put up an awesome fight for the size! I instantly thought of what a brawl with a tog over 20" would be like. I honestly contemplated keeping this fish because of the quality of table fare I had in my hands. It didn't take long to decide that a tag, photo, and release was the way to go. For some reason, I believe that releasing legal fish instead of keep them all will bring blessings for the future. It's sort of like giving back to nature.
The wind got really bad soon after the release. White caps popped out of nowhere which made the decision easy for me. Anybody that has ventured out to the CBBT knows that a strong southeast wind sucks! As you can imagine, the paddle back was long and wet. Even so, the lessons learned ran through my head along with the feeling of optimism for the next time out at the complex. Until then...
~See ya on the water!