We’ve reached that magical sea surface temp of 50 degrees South of the Cape. Dandelion are sprouting up all over my yard. Let’s get a bucket of green crabs and check out a rock pile or two. It’s tog time.
We made plans on Sunday for an afternoon cruise out into Buzzards Bay. Wind was forecasted to lay down and I had heard rumors of the tog munching. Best case scenario–we freeze and maybe scrounge up a few tog fillets for tacos. Worst case scenario–we freeze and cruise around and run a second shakedown cruise. These are both good options for April in the salt, if you ask me.
Listen, there are days when you plan a trip and have the utmost confidence that you are going to find your target fish. Reports, wind and tide just line up and you are with one hundred percent certainty going to catch fish. This was not one of those days. If we even caught a few shorts, I was going to consider it a success.
We hit our first location–a nondescript rocky shelf in 20′ of water directly adjacent to a named rock pile. We dropped our JoeBaggs Togzilla jigs down and hooked up immediately. Then we hooked up again. This went on for an hour and before we knew it, we had 8 keepers in the boat, including two 20″ plus fish. The boys were buzzing (except for me and Tyler from Michigan who couldn’t buy a bite). I’ll tell you what–it felt good to see those big head shakes and quick runs of drag from the bigger fish.
It got colder. We pushed our luck and tried four other spots with nothing to show for it. The ride in was probably the coldest I’ve ever been on the boat. But it didn’t matter. We were having tog tacos that night.
Typically, to fish tog effectively, you need to “build up the bite,” or stay in a spot long enough to chum the water with your bait. This was not the case on Sunday. The sun starting to go down probably had something to do with the bite dying. This time of year, look to rock piles in 20′ to 30′ of water. The bite will only get better in the next few weeks! Get out there.