• Posted by Nick Honachefsky
  • On November 22, 2017
  • Comments
  •  6

Blackfish season in New Jersey “reopened” on November 16 with a 6 fish bag limit at a minimum length of 15 inches, and that put toggers on notice once again to get out to the grounds to fill the cooler.

Tog aren’t that far offshore right now and you’ll be able to find them in the 50 to 90 foot depths as water temps still remain in the high 50’s, so start by targeting wrecks that lay generally from right off the coast out to about 10 miles. A nice stout set up is preferred.

Start with a 7 to 7-1/2 foot rod rated for medium/heavy power and a mildly softer tip like a medium to fast action so as to have the power to pull a tog off the wreck when it tries to dog down, but also to have the sensitivity to feel the bite and set the hook. I actually use an unconventional rod the Fin-Nor Tidal series FSGC7040, but other friends use a Lamiglas 7040CT. Match up with a Shimano Torium 20 or Talica Reel. Spool with 50 to 65-pound braided Power Pro, then I like to Albright knot a 10 foot section of 50-pound monofilament shock leader to which a double overhand loop is tied and a 6 to 12-ounce bank sinker slipped on. Pinch a loop 4 inches above the sinker and loop-to-loop on a snelled 5/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hook, secured with a lark’s head knot.

You can also opt to simply tie on a pre-tied tog rig straight to the braid, which usually consists of a 100-pound barrel swivel then a 18-inch section of 50-pound monofilament leader with a overhand knot on the end again for the sinker, then a small dropper loop tied 6 inches above, to which a double tandem snelled rig with two 5/0 Gamakatsu Octopus hooks are looped on so you can sink two hooks into a whole crab bait – this is also known as a “Snafu” rig. Use whole whitelegger crabs as best baits to target titanic tog over the 10-pound mark. Its tog time. Load up that cooler for the Thanksgiving Day weekend!

Suggested Gear



The Fin-Nor Surge Conventional rods will match up to almost any reel for all saltwater angling techniques. These rods are made with a durable composite blank construction and solid tip section that can take on hard fighting fish and rough conditions.



TOR20HGA Torium SW Reel

The Shimano Torium Star Drag Reels are new to Shimano’s Torium series reels. They are compact, rigid, and powerful saltwater conventional reels with excellent castability and durability expected by saltwater anglers.



Grand Slam Leader 50 yd. Coil Clear C-B-50CL

For everyday use in fresh or salt water, there’s Grand Slam Leader, the leader that’s at-home bottom fishing as it is trolling for tuna. An advanced monofilament extruded with properties that make it supple, yet extra tough – Grand Slam Leader performs!



Bank Sinkers

Bank Sinkers are typically preferred for bottom fishing applications, where its tapered hexagonal shape will help to prevent it from becoming snagged in wrecks, reefs, hard bottom, and other structure. Available from TackleDirect ranging from 1/2oz up to 24 oz.



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