• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On January 19, 2017
  • Comments
  •  1

In late January and early February, trophy blackfish of 10 to 20 pounds will be holing up a bit deeper in the 80-120 ft range along the DelMarVa coast.

Some truly titanic blackfish show up in late January and early February as the bite slides south off of south Jersey, through Delaware and into Virginia. Trophy blackfish of 10 to 20 pounds will be holing up a bit deeper in the 80 to 120 foot range now along the DelMarVa coast. Rod and reel gear requires serious backbone.

A 7 to 7-1/2 foot rod, rated for heavy action is recommended. I use a Lamiglas 7040 CT, Fin-Nor Tidal FNTC61040, and have tried out the Maxel OMGC 701-4080 OceanMax Gold Conventional Rod, all which have worked well to turn a tog’s head. Reels need to be sturdy and powerful. Go with an Avet SX 5.3 G2 or Shimano Torium 20. Spool with 50 to 65-pound braided Power Pro line, Albright knot at a 10 foot section of 50 to 60-pound monofilament leader, then tie an overhand loop to loop on a 6 to 12-ounce bank sinker, heavy enough to quickly get to the bottom, but light enough to feel the subtle bites. About 8 inches above the sinker, loop on one snelled 5/0 Gamakatsu or Owner Octopus hook, the snell just long enough to rest the hook on the bottom. If you choose, you may also tie a small dropper loop 8 inches up and loop on a two-hook snafu rig for hookset insurance.

For bait, white legger crabs reign supreme. Serve the crab baits up a la carte; either cut a large monster crab in half to use, bigger can be better, but don’t be afraid to go with one small one, cracked shell, legs off. Large tog tend to pick up the entire rig, you will feel like your sinker just disappeared as it comes off the bottom as the weight alleviates, signaling the big tog has grabbed it and has started to run off. Fighting trophy tog requires patience and muscle. Its of paramount importance to turn a blackfish’s head and pull it off the wreck before it dives back down to cut you off in the structure, much like a large grouper or snapper. Keep your rod tip high and reel as fast as you can to winch him off the structure, keeping in mind your drag should be almost locked down. Once you get blackfish above the wreck, expect three or four more dives back down, reel up slow and steady through the water column and have the net man ready for the scoop. Last year during this time period, a few 20-pound plus whitechinners came up. Time to catch your Moby Blackfish!

Gear Used


Lamiglas Triflex 7040CT

These Tri-Flex Graphite Inshore rods add power to move the most difficult Stripers, Blackfish, Amberjack and Grouper quickly away from line-parting wrecks. Tri-Flex stands for our proprietary blank designs in which three layers of material, each carefully chosen to provide specific characteristics, are integrated at specific intervals within each blank. More to the point, these rods contain a combination of lightweight power, durability, sensitivity and structural integrity that you’ll go gaga over.



Avet SX G2 Lever Drag Casting Reels

Avet SX G2 Lever Drag Casting Reels fill in the line class gap between Avet’s original and Raptor series. Avet’s Generation 2 Reels add impressive new features, like an updated frame with new look and feel, 40% more drag output, increased line capacity, and a ratcheting Glide Plate/Lever System, making one of the Avet SX G2 Reels a great choice for your next fishing trip.


Power Pro

PowerPro Braided Spectra Fiber Fishing Line

PowerPro braided Spectra fiber with Enhanced Body Technology (EBT) gives you awesome handling performance on any reel. Unlike the older style braided lines, fishing with PowerPro is as easy as fishing with monofilament. An incredibly round, smooth, and sensitive line, PowerPro doesn’t bury in the spool, and casts long and smooth — even after a hard strike. PowerPro outperforms monofilament lines in any situation and leaves other superlines in the dust.



Gamakatsu Octopus Hooks

The methods used in creating Gamakatsu hooks is what makes it so superior to all other brands. First, only the most premium grade of high carbon steel is used. This insures against any blemishes in the metal which can weaken the hook.



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