Squalus acanthias, Tautoga onitis and Thanksgiving Turkey

Set out Saturday to find fresh turkey. Left the port in the am hours and traveled all the way to the Lancaster coordinates to secure a beautiful fresh bird.

On the way out nothing but life’s lil visual treasures, they are endless and for that I am truly grateful.

I had the pleasure to be invited on Capt. Don’s Boat  to try to find those beautiful striped ones and tautog. We loaded up and headed out to the inlet to secure our parking position with the tide and set up. I was having a bit of trouble and found myself leaning or holding on as it was like a “light wash” cycle out there.  After a few hours of no show on the striped one’s the decision was made to head out for the poor man’s lobster (Tog, Tautog or blackfish… whatever you call them). Out we went  into a solid 4-5ft very tight chop.

I admit on the way out I closed my eyes a few times but fully trust the Capt’s and the respect and experience they have on the water. We soon set up over structure and  I am happy to report I got a few.  Actually 5 but all short.  Not to let anyone down I managed to be high hook on spiny dogfish all on the bigger scale size (10 total). All putting up a fight, none coming off easy….. I rule.  It led me to read up more on the dogfish because they seem so abundant. They mature slow, most likely the ones I had on the line were probably close to 8-10 years old. I let them all go but can never get over the amount of them people hook up.  We fished about 55ft, the winds were SW  15-20 kts and the bait choice of the day was crab and clam.

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Tautog facts:

  • They have thick rubbery lips and powerful jaws. The backs of their throats contain a set of teeth resembling molars. Together these are used to pick and crush prey such as mollusks and crustaceans. Their skin also has a rubbery quality with a heavy slime covering, which helps to protect them when swimming among rocks.
  • The Tautog was the “secret ingredient” in the “Battle Blackfish” episode of Iron Chef America, which aired in July 2008. (*favorite show of mine Ryōri no Tetsujin)
  • fish of the wrasse family
  • Tautog become blacker in color as they grow older, and their coloring also varies depending on the local bottom habitat. The distinguishing feature of the adult male tautog is the large protruding forehead. Mature males are often referred to as “chinners” because of the white patch on the chin.

Source wiki

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In closing on this rainy, windy damp cold night I’d like to wish everyone a very blessed Thanksgiving. May you be surrounded by the love and warmth of your family and friends.

I feel like I always have so much to be thankful for and I do not miss a day reminding myself of it. I would  like to express my best effort into  letting the people in my life who have inspired be it fishing, life or friendship, cared for me, been there for me know that. I have some wonderful blogs of gratitude for this Christmas…

I am so very blessed to know some truly remarkable people.

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