BASS BARN banner
1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Right now we're all trapping away and collecting as much crab as we can getting ready for an all out assault



Tog are one of the first fish to consistently catch in our back bays. So I'm going share what I look for and what I found to be the most productive way to catch them.

First, our technique is a little different. It will work on all fish in all locations. Bridges, rockpiles, banks etc. This is based on structure fishing where you'll find tog on the most of the time. Natural structure mainly. Since that what they used in the backwater before humans arrived.

I prefer a nice running tide. I try not to anchor over the structure. They are sight feeders. And they also move around a lot too.
If you haven't fished for tog a lot and you don't know where to start always looking to what the current is doing and how the water looks. Tog, like most fish will find shelter from the current at the same time allowing the current to bring them food.

Once the water starts going pretty good the tog will start to stage behind the structure, waiting for the food (crabs, shrimp etc.) to come floating by. This is when the tog want a moving presentation. Once the stike zone is located the fish will hammer the bait everytime it swings over their heads.

The depth depends on a lot of factors. We've tied into many fish up to 7 pounds in 4 to 5 foot when the water was stained. They could be really deep or shallow on any given day. You have to really work the entire area before moving on. One slight nibble in a small area can lead to a serious drop and reel session. Once that first fish bites it can set the entire school off.

In a deep water area , say 15 to 20 feet. Look for current breaks and eddies kicking up from the bottom. Usually, not always, this will be near a bank where something had fallen off creating a lee from the current.


What we were doing with the lighter jigs was casting up current, quickly stripping line out, and letting the jig hit bottom in the path of the target area, working it through the fish, and then working them around the bow or the stern. If the jig slowed down in an eddy or stopped below the boat we would stop the jig and watch for the fish.

I'll use a 1/4 to 3/8 once jig. Anything weighing too much more than that will effect the detection of a strike.

I'll let the jig swing in the current just above the bottom. That's how tog naturally feed on crabs and shrimp that get swept by in the tide.
I've watched them behave in this manner on my underwater video camera. They'll stage behind a small structure and come up and grab crabs or anything else that floats by. Very similar to a striped bass staging in a rip.

If the jig does hit bottom, either the tog will grab it, or it is waiting near by, behind a structure.
So if there is no takes I'll feel for the structure and put the jig behind it where the tog may be holding.
If they are, it will usually result in a very hard, instantaneous, strike.

Having a quality medium graphite rod is very important using this technique.
I use a variety of Gloomis's Greenwater series spinning rods.
The rods are very light with a max rating of a 1/2 ounce, but they are very strong and can move some bigger fish.

At first , most of the tog strikes are never felt. The rod tips give them away.

The tog will slightly bend the tips without feeling any pressure or resistance, at that point the rod is slightly lifted and the hook is set. This is how fishing for sheepshead is done. A slight jigging action to "watch" for a bite. After a while doing this you'll learn how to hook fish that showed no evidence of biting at all.


If you are in a boat, then you want to make it as stationary as possible..
A variety of two anchors systems can be deployed so you can work an entire area inch by inch. If a bite slows down, even a foot or so of anchor line taken up or let out can drastically effect your results. This is the most frustrating part of learning to fish for tog. If the boat is "off" by a small distance then jigs won't the hit feeding zone. The hassle and time it takes hauling anchors just to move a few yards over can have huge pay offs.

There's a lot more meat to the bone on this. So feel free to ask questions here.

Even more you can call up (609) 884-0444 to reserve your spot @ Off The Hook B&T in Cape May on Saturday April 19 @ 6pm. I'm doing an extensive talk on this, showcasing the underwater footage of how they actually behave, plus a ton of other content focused solely on fishing the back water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
This was a great post. When do you normally start targeting tog in the back bays?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks

Early April in normal years. Now maybe mid and I certainly feel by late April. In the past, This time of year I've videoed some really large early season fish on the aqua vu camera . They can be real selective but have a preference for white crab.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
590 Posts
Dan:
Is the talk at Off the Hook Restaurant in the highlands?

Thanks
Frank
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,238 Posts
Great post,Thanks for sharing.:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Don

Dan:
Is the talk at Off the Hook Restaurant in the highlands?

Thanks
Frank
Thanks Frank
It's being held at Off The Hook bait and tackle in Cape may
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
Great info. Wish I could make the seminar but we will be away for the kids Easter break. I love catching calico crabs at low tide then headin' out for some toggin'
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Great post! Thanks for sharing.

Thanks



Great info. Wish I could make the seminar but we will be away for the kids Easter break. I love catching calico crabs at low tide then headin' out for some toggin'
Thanks yeah calicos are awesome! We'd just walk around in the water and look for their claws above the sand and scoop them up
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,779 Posts
my experience is that any crab in our waters will be good for tog! mole crabs, green, blue, calico....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28,819 Posts
when you look for sod cuts and so on.. what do you look for in what areas? do you fish bridge pilings, bridge walls and so on? how about around docks? what do you look for in an area for back bay tog? what tides do you like? do you look for water temps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
my experience is that any crab in our waters will be good for tog! mole crabs, green, blue, calico....
Absolutely! Each one has there advantages during specific times of year. Tog are a peculiar fish in that they prefer what they do when they do. So many baits that make for stellar days render very few fish during other times.

when you look for sod cuts and so on.. what do you look for in what areas? do you fish bridge pilings, bridge walls and so on? how about around docks? what do you look for in an area for back bay tog? what tides do you like? do you look for water temps?
These are all really great questions.

Really I've done exceptionally well on both high and low tide. Oddly enough, most of my larger tog and sheepshead have come after dead low.

I'm rendering a quick video right now that's just taste of the seminar. I'll put it up as soon as it's finished. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,543 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
When can people start signing up? It's it free? I'm interested
Thanks
Seating is very limited so you can call up (609) 884-0444 to reserve your spot. It's being held @ Off The Hook B&T in Cape May on Saturday April 19 @ 6pm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
Dan, I've been a big fan over the years of your knowledge and posts. You are truly an exceptional fisherman and I applaud you for sharing your knowledge. I remember reading about your jig fishing for tog several years ago and and have always had 1 big question.

1) How do you get such a light jig to drop that fast while the current is moving swiftly toward you? It would seem that the jig would not even get close to the bottom before the line goes running past you. If there is a stiff wind it would seem to be even more difficult to achieve. I always want to go lighter with my rigs, but for this fishery I've not had much success trying this in strong current.

If april is the start, when does it shut down? I have not fished for tog in the spring as I am always working on the boat instead of fishing from it. I wish I was able to make the seminar. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,356 Posts
Thank you very much Dan I've been trying to match your technique by following your posts and videos and you've aswered some key questions here. I have not had too much luck except during slack tides fishing the sods andI've been getting better using jigs. I know you used the camera to figure it out but I have so many other equipment needs that a camera is not inthe budget. Toggin is my favorite type of fishing and one of out neighbors used to come home with a bucketful when I was a kid but never shared any info just fish. You are a true sportsman to share as you do.
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top