South Jersey Fishing: Ferocious Tog Bite to Close Out the Season
Boat, jetty, pier, or other types of terra firma access to rocks and structures...all are producing blackfish in both numbers and sizes.
The April portion of the split seasons concludes Sunday, April 30, and while the first week was spotty, as expected, the second week showed rapid improvement to the point where four fish limits were being dropped in coolers and buckets with smile-wide regularity. Hefty sizes, too, with tog approaching and surpassing double-digit weights not at all uncommon.
And the pace continues.
If you plan on enjoying some succulent tog fillets after some fun time catching, better get to it!
This is a wide-open bite, with jigs getting the nod when probing the shallower reaches, and rigs the choice on the deeper wrecks and structures. When it comes to tog jig color, we opt for the darker hues this time of year, with black, wine, or dark purple the go-to shades. (Our Fool Month fave is the S&S Purple Nurple armed with either a shrimp or small greenie.) However, we’ve seen sharpies dropping glow, chartreuse, and white jigs and multiple catches, so whatever works for you. Snafu rigs and single hook rigs are top choices when going that route.
Bait? Take your pick. Green crabs remain the constant, but if you can get your mitts on some white leggers (Jonas crabs), fiddler crabs, or Asian crabs, all the better. Fresh clam is eagerly glommed, as is freshly thawed frozen shrimp.
Gotta hand it to the tog: they are April eating machines!
Early spring weather can be fickle, going from bluebird to penguin, especially with those brisk ocean breezes, so be prepared. One can always remove a hoodie, or jacket but can’t put one on if not available.
As noted, the daily limit is four blackfish at a 15-inch minimum length.