Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Sea Bass, Tautog, Scup, and Albies

Over the last four days I've been bouncing around between sick and busy, not really an optimal situation. I didn't even fish at all on Saturday because my sinus infection was giving me vertigo... not fun. But on Sunday night Rick called and asked if I wanted to go out on his boat to target tautog,and maybe some albies if they were around. I hadn't done any bottom fishing for a while so that was an easy yes. I made sure I was ready to switch between dropping flies to the bottom and casting for bass or albies, which just meant I had two reels for the same rod rigged very differently. I'm still not willing to go in depth about my deep fly rig, but that isn't just because it's blurring the lines between what can and can't be considered fly fishing. There are just some things I've learned that I consider to be too hard earned and valuable to publicize. 

So I was gear to the teeth when Rick and I got onto the windy and wavy Long Island Sound yesterday, ready for a broad variety of fish and methods. We very briefly gave some scattered pods of albies a look before anchoring and looking for tautog. I alternated between conventional and fly gear, covering all bases. I definitely caught more fish on the fly, most being black sea bass, but the biggest fish I got was a 19 inch tautog on the conventional rod that came home with me for dinner along with one porgy. 

Rick caught an oyster toadfish, something I've been hoping to get on the fly for a while. They are not exactly a pretty fish.

The sea bass though, were savage. I could not keep those little buggers off the fly. I caught a ton of them ranging from 8 inches to about 14. They are beautiful fish and a lot of fun on the fly rod but I really was hoping to get some tautog. Even the live green crabs weren't bringing the tautog out that well though.

After a while fishing a couple spots hoping for tog the only keeper we put in the boat was my 19 incher. The tog were not playing nice and the albies were showing more and more, so we went to chase those funny fish.

I was the first to hook an albie, and it went rather poorly. I had the fish on for just a short time when it surged and managed to break off. Unfortunately it was my only real chance, but Rick made up for it by hooking and landing two really nice ones.

Every time I have a day like this here I have to take a moment to recognize how great the fishery we have is. Yes, it could and should be better, especially as far as striped bass go, but the diversity and quality of fishing that can be had in just one small area in Long Island Sound is exceptional.


  1. These fish are all so different and interesting. How did the black sea bass taste?
    Tie, fish, write and photo on...

    1. None of the sea bass were quite past the legal size. I have had black sea bass though, it is markedly better than tautog.