Fishing For Togzilla

tautog, tog, site 11, site 9, delaware, sussex county, atlantic ocean, green crabs, white legs
Rich Seagraves with a tautog caught on structure with Captain Chuck Cook of First light charters.

The weather has been flip flopping as much as this cold I acquired.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of the winter “funk” going around just wait, it is the gift that keeps on giving.  Seriously I hope none of you get this because being in bed for days on end sucks.  Watching your friends go fishing when you can’t is even worse, even in the winter.  Now I know how everyone who doesn’t live here feels.  The pool in the backyard is looking good to cast to from the window.

Winter fishing is fun if you can handle the cold.  I have friends up north and out west that are having a blast ice fishing.  Something that never happens here, except for a couple of years ago when everything froze solid for a month.  Even then we had a difficult time finding the equipment to do that.  Not exactly a demand or need for ice fishing gear in Delaware, but we did manage to get on the ice one day.  Otherwise you fish the edge of the ice for yellow perch or crappie.  If need be you can always throw a rock an make a hole.  One thing that is hilarious is watching a pickerel try to slam a lure being dragged across the ice, and then hitting it once it hits the water.  My buddy Chris is trying to talk me into coming up to Wisconsin for some serious ice fishing.


snow near creek, tidal creek, white perch, sussex county, delaware,
Small local creek photographed by Bob Cleaver. These are fun to fish this time of year despite the weather.
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Tautog is still the choice of catches for charters and head boats in Delaware and Maryland.  The boats that are getting out are doing well, and putting some large quality tautog in the box.  Green crabs or white leggers are the choice baits.  Wreck and reef sites are the best locations, and where depends on your captains preference, they know where to go.  Many of the local charters have packed it in for the winter but you can hit up Fishermen’s Wharf in Lewes and the Morning Star out of Ocean City for trips which usually average in the hundred and twenty dollar range for the day.  I know there is an open trip on the Keena Dale 3 out of Lewes this Saturday, tautog $120 dollars, up to twenty-two people, call 645-tuna (8862).

White perch action is happening in the tidal creeks, rivers and along the beaches of the Delaware Bay.  Mostly up north the action is better in the bay.  Yellow perch are now moving into the area waters and soon will be spawning.  Great action in the Chester river and Susquehanna areas.  Some of the boys over there have been catching some quality sized neds with artificial jigs or using minnows.  White or yellow perch are great table fare this time of year and despite the chill in the air, a lot of fun to catch on ultra light gear.  I need to go hook up with William Van Sant and get another guided tour of the Chester soon for some perch action.  That will happen as soon as this winter funk is out of my system.

Fish On!!

Rich King


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