Fishing Anomaly: Topwater Tautog On The Fly At Night

Tautog—a.k.a. blackfish—are a unique saltwater species. Even where they're most prevalent from Maine to Delaware, they have a cult following, largely because you don't often catch them by accident. You have to leave the dock rigged specifically for these deep-water reef and wreck dwellers. When you drop a crab or piece of clam on a wreck, you have nanoseconds to strike, because these fish dart out, eat, and run right back into the rubble. It is also fact that toggers essentially go to sleep after dark and stop feeding. Yet last Friday night I found myself picking tog from under a bridge on the fly with my "Hook Shots" cohort Captain Eric Kerber between striper bites. They were hovering just under the surface in a line like brown trout, gently sipping tiny crabs that drifted past. If there is one thing this freak occurence teaches, it's that you will never stop learning or being shocked by what you see on the water. I'm pretty pumped about it...there are probably less than a dozen people on the planet who can claim a tog on the long rod!