How to Fish for Tautog

Fishing for tautog can be an exciting and rewarding experience. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just getting started, it’s important to understand the basics of how to fish for this species.

In this post, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide on how to fish for tautog, from gear selection to techniques and more.

With the right knowledge and preparation, you’ll be ready to hit the water and start catching some tasty tautog!

Where to Find Tautog

Tautog can be found in shallow waters off the Atlantic coast and are often found near rocky structures such as reefs. They also like structures such as pilings, jetties, and breakwaters that they can use as cover while they feed.

If you’re looking for them in deeper waters, look around natural or man-made wrecks; these areas are usually very productive in terms of finding tautog. In general, anywhere there is structure you should be able to find some tautog.

Gear Selection

When fishing for tautog you will need relatively heavy tackle with at least a 30 lb test line and a 6/0 hook or larger. You should also use at least 2 ounces of weight depending on the current conditions when using live bait so your lure stays down near the bottom where the fish are feeding.

It is also important to have a good quality net so that you can bring your catch up without harming it or yourself!

You may want to consider using circle hooks instead of J-hooks since circle hooks tend to keep the fish hooked better than J-hooks do when fighting them underwater.


The best way to catch tautog is by using live bait such as crabs, clams, or worms fished near the bottom.

You should cast out your bait and wait until a tautog takes it before setting the hook firmly but gently so that you don’t rip its mouth out. Once hooked it’s important not to horse them in; instead, try slowly reeling them in while letting out line if they fight hard.

It’s also important not to fight them too long because they have delicate mouths that can easily tear if overplayed which would result in their death even if released successfully afterward.

To maximize your chances of success when fishing for tautog, try different baits and different depths until you find what works best for where you are fishing on any given day – patience is key!

Also, remember that many states have regulations about size limits and bag limits so make sure you familiarize yourself with those before heading out on any fishing trip!


Fishing for Tautog can be an enjoyable experience whether you’re an experienced angler or a beginner looking for something new – all it takes is some knowledge and preparation beforehand!

With this guide under your belt, now all that’s left is packing up your gear and heading out onto the water! Good luck!

Joshua Hickman

Joshua has a vast knowledge of different types of fish and how to catch them, and he loves sharing this information with others. When he's not writing or fishing, Joshua enjoys spending time with his family and friends.

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