How To

How to Fish for Tautog

Fishing for tautog can be a fun and rewarding experience. These fish are known for their fighting ability, making them a popular choice for many anglers. Tautog are also a delicious fish, with a white, flaky flesh that is perfect for cooking.

In this post, we’ll give you some tips on how to fish for tautog, so you can enjoy success out on the water.

Tackle and Bait

Tautog are not particularly fussy eaters, and will often bite on a wide variety of baits. Live baits such as crabs, lobsters, and clams are all very effective, as are cut baits such as squid or bunker.

When it comes to tackle, heavier weights are typically required to keep tautog bottom-dwelling habits in check.

A good rule of thumb is to use the heaviest weight that you feel comfortable casting. 20-30 pound test braided line is a good starting point. leader material should be no lighter than 50-pound test fluorocarbon.

Where to Fish

Tautog can be found along the entire eastern coast of North America, from Maine all the way down to Florida. These fish typically inhabit rocky areas such as reefs, ledges, and wrecks.

Tautog will also often congregate near structure such as docks and piers. When fishing for tautog, it is important to pay attention to the tide. These fish are most active during periods of incoming or outgoing tide.

Tips and Tricks

One of the most important things to remember when fishing for tautog is to be patient. These fish have notoriously difficult mouths, and will often spit out baits that are not properly secured.

A good trick is to use a double uni knot to tie your baits onto your hooks. This will ensure that they stay securely in place, even when being aggressively pulled on by a big tautog. Another helpful tip is to use circle hooks rather than J-hooks.

Circle hooks tend to lodge in the corner of a tautog’s mouth, making them much easier (and safer) to remove than J-hooks.


Fishing for tautog can be a fun and rewarding experience for anglers of all levels of experience. By following the tips and advice outlined in this blog post, you’ll be well on your way to success out on the water.

So, get out there and give it a try – you might just end up with a freezer full of delicious fish!

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