Tuesday, April 9, 2013


If you're a salt water angler in the mid-Atlantic region, you've heard about the mystique of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel "CBBT". For the kayak angler, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Guys like Kayak Kevin and Rob Choi have made this place famous with their catches of trophy sheepshead, taugtog, bull reds, black drum, etc. So needless to say, its guys like them that we have to blame for our reckless pursuit for some of the Chesapeake Bay's most challenging creatures.

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.

17" Tautog

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!


  1. Nicely done Richie! Can't wait for the water to get warmer so I can get my son on some spades!

    1. Thanks Chuck! The way this weather is going, it might be sooner than later.

  2. Wow Richie, your world just keeps getting larger and larger. To experience "Life" at it's fullest has to be a dream come true. I also believe in giving back to nature. There is a time to eat and a time to replenish what feeds your body. Keeping that in good balance is a win win. Interesting fish, I am off to look it up as I have never heard of it. Do not know many saltwater fish. Need to brush up. The black and white photo: great DOF (depth of field)and very good contrast. Keep it up. Stay safe out there.