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Thread: Last OC Tog Trip of 2017

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    OC Area
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    831

    Default Last OC Tog Trip of 2017

    I tried one last time for tog in OC today before the season closes on the 27th. I brought out a handful of frozen green and Asian crabs I had leftover from my last trip and planned to flip rocks to gather more Asian crabs as I headed out of the launch to make sure I had enough bait for a full day of fishing. Well, by first light the tide was already too high and covering the good crab rocks to flip. I eventually found some crabs and a half dozen small clams, but it wasn't going to be enough. I decided to just go fish with what I had and planned to paddle over to one of the bait shops on the water whenever I ran out of bait. This would come back to bite me later.

    Fishing was fast from the start! Tog were hitting as fast as you could unhook them, rebait, and send it back down. But sadly they were small. Real small. And I blew through my bait in no time. No sweat, I'll pull anchor and paddle across the inlet to Oceanic Pier for more bait. Wrong. All sold out of tog bait. In fact every bait shop in town was sold out! Crap! The tide was too high at this point to flip rocks for crabs, but I tried anyway and got a few tiny ones, a couple mussels, and I even picked up a few of those big roach looking things that scurry over the rocks. I figured why the heck not? It still wasn't going to be enough bait though, so next stop I crossed over to the Assateague surf to maybe get lucky and still find some sandfleas this time of year? Sorta; got like 10 after digging forever as a big surf break rushed up the beach.

    Back out to my spot after spending over an hour trying to scrounge up some bait. Same story though. Small tog as fast as you could get your bait to them. Although now they were slightly larger but the biggest was still too short at 15.75". Out of bait again, I headed in early.

    Overall, I caught more tog than I could count whenever I found the right hole, but no keepers. I think if I had had enough bait with me, and it was good bait, I would have eventually got into some keepers. I caught tog today on frozen green crab, frozen Asian crab, live Asian crab, live sand flea, clam, mussel, and those roach looking bugs you see on jetty rocks - tog ate them all. I wasn't expecting every bait shop in town to be sold out of tog bait, so next time I'll have to start carrying frozen shrimp just in case. Or buy bait the night before if I'm planning to launch before shops open.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Fairfax, VA
    Posts
    2,843

    Default

    Great effort on trying to get bait. Thanks for the report.

    Oh, I may hang it up for the season as well. Seems like keeper tog is getting tough to get nowadays.
    2015 Hobie Outback (yellow)
    2011 Hobie Outback (yellow)
    2009 OK Prowler Trident 13 Angler (orange)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chantilly, VA
    Posts
    1,524

    Default

    I love to catch baits. But not for togging because of the very expensive fishing time. And I don't even know how to catch bait for tautog.
    Having reliable sources for bait had been my biggest issues in the past. To me, either bait stores weren't open or no baits at the stores. Luckily, I have many large Asian grocery stores. I can still get blue crab. Frozen shrimp (sold as fresh shrimp) is almost always available. In my freezer, I have about 12 LB of shrimp just in case. I think I will buy a DZ of live blue crab soon, and cut them up and freeze the chunks in zip bags for spare.

    On Nov 21, I brought 4 LB of shrimp for two anglers. Even though we caught only one keeper at CBBT while catching many under-size and having many stolen bait. The guy who fished with me was amazed by the productivity of the shrimp. He had to use shrimp because he can't get other baits.

    It's too bad that you don't have the large Asian grocery stores near by for inexpensive shrimp. I googled. The only one I can think of is Food Lion for the inexpensive shrimp (uncooked frozen shrimp in a bag, headless or head-on).

    Cooked shrimp worked before. But I didn't perform the extensive test. I will test salad shrimp (cooked and peeled) again next time.

    Joe
    Last edited by ComeOnFish; 11-26-2017 at 08:07 PM.
    Fish like there's no tomorrow.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    OC Area
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    831

    Default

    Yea I was really surprised that ALL the bait shops were out of crab. I've never had a problem getting tog bait ever before. I guess with the MD tog season closing on Monday they didn't want to stock up too heavily in case it didn't sell out, but there were a lot of people tog fishing in town. There are a bunch of seafood markets near the launch I could of gotten crab or shrimp at likely but they were all closed for the season too. I probably should of headed back to the launch and tied my kayak up to the dock then drove to the grocery store. But oh well, lesson learned.

    Tufnik, I believe you can still get keepers in MD if the season wasn't closed. If it stays somewhat mild through December then I'll probably try again in January when the season opens back up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Deal Island, MD
    Posts
    12

    Default

    Great report- are you done fishing for the season or just done toggin?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Elkridge, MD
    Posts
    3,567

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    Man, I totally forgot season closed earlier in MD. I was looking to take a togging day later in the week, I guess my options just became more limited.
    Ryan
    Blue 2016 Hobie Outback
    Chesapeake Bay Kayak Anglers, Inc

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    OC Area
    Posts
    831

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    Dan - No. Unless arctic temps drop in, I'll try to fish all year if I can.

    Shady - yea it makes no sense to me why it closes for December? Inshore fishing for them is just getting good too. You would think it would be closed in like April or May when female tog are fat with eggs?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chantilly, VA
    Posts
    1,524

    Default

    Fish the Virginia waters (INSHORE) for tog in Dec, Jan and Feb. Until the mid-DEC, togging is very good. Jan and Feb are doable as along as you don't mind getting skunked.

    Joe
    Fish like there's no tomorrow.

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