Best fall run in years, and it’s just what the Dr. Ordered!!! Excuse the Pun. Despite the heavy winds, and having to wait on the weather windows, when the weather permitted, it was full on! It’s still full on at time of press. Gee, where do I start? Let’s go with the elusive Tautog (Blackfish). Granted weather conditions are very important when it comes to fishing for Togs, but this year they were just about everywhere! If you planned the wind and tide right for the spot you chose to go fish that particular day, you probably were not disappointed. I chose the Blackfish topic first because their season will be closing on December 22nd. Remember the bag limit per person is 4 fish at 16 inches.
Still have plenty of time to catch some of these hard fighting, tricky to hook, delicious bottom dwellers. Anchoring the boat is pretty much a must. Green crab, Calico crab, and Hermit crab are your best baits. Trim the legs and claws off of the crab, don’t hook the bait too deep, because you’ll only be getting 2 bumps. You better be swinging on the second bump, or your bait is gone!!
Much like Golfing, many an angler has felt the urge to throw his or her rod overboard from the frustration of trying to hook a Blackfish. Just try to be patient, and practice getting your timing right, and you’ll be rewarded with some delicious table fare!! Southwest Ledge, Cartwright, Cerebus, South East Light (Block Island), just to mention a few. Basically any decent rock pile that hasn’t been picked cleaned yet.
Black Sea Bass are also in full swing. Black Sea Bass season is open till December 31st. with a bag limit of 7 per person at 15 inches. They are on their way out to deeper water for the winter that doesn’t seem to want to come. You have to venture out close to 20 miles to find the major biomass of fish, but on a nice day it’s well worth the ride. Party boats with their limit of passengers have been limiting out within 2-3 hours. The further you go, the less throwbacks you incur. Once again, look on your charts for the rocky bottom, and historical spots that are listed, and you will be having steady action in no time. Now if the weather permits try drifting, Black Sea Bass like the movement, so if there is minimal wind and current, give it a try. Clams work great, but don’t put aside the crabs either, they love the crabs too!! Double hook high low rigs work great, as opposed to the single hooked rig you would use for Blackfish. Remember to not drag your lead across the bottom, all you’ll do is loose rigs and lead. There is no need to “drag” bottom. Black Sea Bass have been known to follow the bait halfway off the bottom before biting!!
As a special bonus the Cod have been showing up on the Black Sea Bass spots the last 2 weeks, anglers feel the bite and then the rod bends right on over!!! The Cod have been easy keepers too! The daily bag limit per person is 10 Cod at 21 inches. Season is open all year long!! So good luck!!
Hope everyone had a very Happy Thanksgiving, because we really have a lot to be thankful for this 2020 fishing season for sure.
Stay Safe & Be Well!
~ Tight Lines, Capt. Skip