Tautog: A Tale From The Rail
Delaware Surf Fishing’s Community Cookbook presents … A Tail From The Rail
The crowds are gone and our usual catches have slowed for the summer. Evenings are spent watching anything dealing with fishing and or boating while both me and Christina tie up our much needed toggie rigs.
Fishing the inlet and landing a good size tog definitely has a learning curve involved with it. This makes the reward and taste of a keeper all the more sweet! Armed with rigs, and our new stronger leaders, we are ready to hit the rails for a change of pace with fishing. If you have ever walked by the Indian River Inlet and seen several anglers balancing their rods, they are looking for the elusive and delicious tautog (tog).
The catch in the catch is that they are bait stealers. Also they are happy to return to their ‘rock hotel’ were they notoriously reside waiting for one’s bait to wash by. The only issue with tog enjoying the carryout style of food is that it brings your hook and weight back into the rocks. Getting that out is a skill in and of itself and can require patience. I once saw an angler wait twenty minutes! The reward; a tog! When someone lands a fish on the rail there is always a feeling of excitement, everyone thinks the bite has picked up and the rest of us are happy for the angler’s good catch and land. We had several shorts, still a ton of fun to catch.
Finally, the bait was taken, the rod bends, and drag starts to pull. The excitement begins as I try to get him out of the rocks. This is always a delicate dance that happens in seconds to get him as fast as you can out of the water. This tog produced two nice filets and our good friends at Hook em’ and Cook em were kind enough to do a precision fillet job. Since I didn’t want to risk wasting a morsel on this guy.
I sautéed the two fillets in butter until it was solid and flaky.
Meanwhile, I reduced the white wine, vinegar, and shallots down, only to later add the rest of the ingredients slowly.
Make sure you season to taste.
For the sides I had some brussel sprouts sautéed up with diced prosciutto.
Tog is a white fish, medium density in texture and I would say that I prefer this over black sea bass.
There was nothing left on the plate.
Simply put, there is nothing like catching your own dinner.
Beurre Blanc Sauce
¼ white wine less than ¼ c.
white wine vinegar 2 tbs.
chopped shallots 1/3 c
heavy cream salt and pepper to taste
2 sticks of butter diced up and slowly add
I also toss in a pinch of flour to give some thickness to the sauce.
Nice work ladies and thank you!!
Just a heads up everyone, we are working on a community cookbook for the website. We talk fishing and food so much on some of the social media pages. I decided we need to compile recipes and the story of the catch (optional) for everyone to enjoy and try some new recipes. If anyone would like to contribute just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include some pictures of the catch, the dish and anything you would like to share. Stay tuned we have a lot of neat stuff coming up for this new section.
Check out some of the contributed dishes we already have online …
The Farmer, The Chef, & The Fisherman
Pompano Is A Hot Catch And Tasty Dinner
Blackened Lionfish Taco Recipe, (works with any whitefish)
Smoking The Blues
Spring Break Ceviche (Sheepshead)
Allure Of The Shad
Captain Bob’s Sautéed Flounder
MonkeySea’s Black and Bluefish
Old Bay Hot Sauce Test