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Johnsfolly

TR Placeholder Tautog Fishing out of Ocean City

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Got my Betterhalf's permission to book a trip off shore for tautog on Christmas eve.  I have the opportunity to catch another species for 2018. This trip will likely cost more than I had originally figured. That's because my Betterhalf and daughter will be heading down with me and we have a hotel booked for Sunday night. Also they are going to go shopping while I am out fishing. 

I will post any fish that I catch. 

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2 hours ago, Quillback said:

Never caught one, but I hear they are good to eat.  

QB I have eaten quite a few. After I graduated high school my mom moved to Wilmington NC and I spent two summers working in Wrightsville beach. We would spear fish the inlet jetty quite a bit and tautog or blackfish were mostly what we would take home. I also used to catch them when I worked in Newport Rhode island. Depending upon their size I would bring one or two home for dinner. They are a white fish similar to cod or pacific rockfish. I don't know if I will catch any keepers on this trip. Really just hoping to put one more species on the list before the end of Dec :D.

1 hour ago, Ham said:

He puts fair weather fisherman like me to shame. 

Actually Monday is supposed to be a fair weather day ;).

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             Looking forward to a report and pictures John.  

  Is this fish a mini micro, micro, mega micro, micro to the fourth power or leviathan sized micro. Bigger than a bread box? Smaller than the titanic? Good luck buddy,

   BilletHead 

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9 minutes ago, BilletHead said:

             Looking forward to a report and pictures John.  

  Is this fish a mini micro, micro, mega micro, micro to the fourth power or leviathan sized micro. Bigger than a bread box? Smaller than the titanic? Good luck buddy,

   BilletHead 

Keeper size is 16 inches. Most are 1 to 3 lbs. Saw one that was over 17 lbs. So they are a solid macro fish species.

Hopefully will have some photos to share.

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My Betterhalf used my Hilton honors points to score a decent rate for a night and a late checkout for a room with a view of the beach. I didn't suck looking out onto the ocean. Also meant that I could get up at 5:30 to catch the boat and not 3:15 am and drive down to the boat on Monday morning. Water was looking really calm Sunday evening. It was going to be relatively calm in the morning, but the wind would pick up later in the morning. It would be a NW wind so it would likely be choppy when the wind did pick up.

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Got to the dock about 6:20 am. It was weird seeing all of the offshore boats in dry dock around the marina. It was a nice sunrise.

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There were ten folks on board. The mate never showed up. So the captain recruited one of the regulars to act as the mate for the trip. That was Ben and he is a dentist. It made for a strange trip. Ben did a great job. Anchoring became a challenge and that extended the trip by an hour. We fished a dual hook rig where the hooks were on both end and attached to the line near the middle between both hooks and an 8 oz sinker. i expected to get hung a bit and was not disappointed. But if you weren't right in the structure you didn't get bites. As with most party boats, there were a few guys that are in the right spots or just that much better fisherman than the others and caught the most fish. Walt must have caught over a dozen tautog on this trip. I'm sure that he caught one or more keepers (>16"), but he would measure them and throw them over the side calling them shorts. Ben when he could fish caught 6 or more. I got hung a bit. One the first set up I was right on top of a steep piece of structure. I could feel the weight slide down the structure. I hung into it a couple of times before we moved the boat slightly.

I caught my first fish of the trip, a cunner (a bait stealer), a species of wrasse. Didn't expect to catch a microfish on this trip, but I did and it was my 65th species of the year!

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Not a tautog, but at least I was on the board with a fish. Then came a strong scraping and a strong bite. I set the hook on my first tautog of the trip and landed my 66th fish species of the year! The captain measured it, 14.5" and quickly over the side before I could get a photo. So when the guy next to me caught one I had to take a photo so people can see a tautog.

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After our next move, there was a long time for Ben and the captain getting the anchors set. It was after 11:30 am and the wind picked up to a 24 knot blow, which made a bit of chop on the water and we were in a spot with a lot of current. It took three times to get the anchors set for our last stop. On my first cast, I got a solid bite and good hook set. I reeled in my biggest tautog of the trip and the first keeper on the boat :D! Now the captain had to measure it as well since I wanted a second opinion before putting it in the cooler.

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I didn't get another, but I enjoyed the trip. I hope to get out for these guys again. Oh and my Betterhalf and Livie did do some shopping, but mostly spent time in the hotel pool. Still had their own great time.

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