TackleDirect Blog

Party Boat Tog Tactics

An angler on a boat holding a blackfish

Jersey toggers still enjoy a 6 fish bag limit until December 31. If your vessel is already on dry dock, that doesn't mean you can't be fast into action on eagerly chomping tautog.

Party boats such as the Norma K III out of Point Pleasant NJ (www.normakfishing.com) are dropping down to target tog every single day. Captain Matt Sosnowski of the NormaK III offers up a few tips on how to score with a limit of blackfish from the decks of the headboats.

"The number one party boat tog fishing tip is patience. We usually set up on a larger spot, or a section of real estate that may have 3 or 4 pieces within the spot. Sometimes we set up and it happens right away, other times it takes awhile to snag a bite," says Sosnowski. "But don't overlook any opportunity to make a move onboard as there is usually plenty of room to run around deck to find a spot if one area on the boat is not producing." Many times tog will only be stuck on a 10 foot or smaller section of structure and if you're not on it, you're not on fish. "If you're not getting any bites on green crabs, switch up the bait to a whitelegger or even a clam," adds Captain Matt. "Tog sometimes simply are fickle feeders and will only eat something that they fancy at the time."

For charter and head boat togging, a 7 to 8 foot conventional rod rated medium/heavy with a moderate action matched with a Shimano Talica 10 class reel, spooled with 50-pound Power Pro braid is the go-to set up. While party boats usually supply green crabs its always smart to buy a few whiteleggers at the local tackle shop just in case the boat is out of the premium baits. Important gear to also pack for the trip include a pair of shears to cut the crabs, plenty of Virginia style size #2 to #4 as well as Gamakatsu Octopus hooks ranging from size 3/0 to 6/0. A good spool of 50 to 60-pound Triplefish monofilament leader and an array of 6 to 12-ounce bank sinkers are also required. Mates on the boats will do the netting obligations for you as well as clean your fish, and as Carl Spackler said to the Dalai Lama in Caddyshack, just be sure to tip them well for their efforts!

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An angler on a boat holding a blackfish An angler on a boat holding two blackfish