|Fishing for TAUTOG
We are pleased to provide you with a "photo" tour of a
typical Lewes, Delaware TAUTOG fishing trip. Captain Chuck Ulrich, operator of the Louie Louie, a charter boat out of Anglers Marina, Lewes Harbor, Lewes, Delaware spends a
day of "tog" fishing with Marty and Bob Allsup, of Mapleton (close to Peoria),
Illinois, mate Alan Spanholtz (he enjoys being on the water), local guy Tom Miller, and
your Sandmaster, Dan Smith (nice to get a break from the computer). Marty and Bob, who are
accustomed to fishing the rivers and lakes of Illinois, found this ADVENTURE a memorable
one. This story photo gallery will endeavor to explain the SKILLS and experience required
of charter captains to bring their fishing customers to the FISH. On this day we ventured
out into the Atlantic Ocean a couple miles, then returned to the OUTER BREAKWATER WALL (a
protective barrier of huge stones placed here around the year 1900 to protect the boats at
anchor in the inner waters from Atlantic storms ) at Lewes, Delaware for the "TAUTOG"
catchin. Lewes, Delaware is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Delaware Bay.
The date was Oct. 14, 1996
After a short run of about two miles out in the Ocean, we are looking for a SHIPWRECK that Capt. Chuck often finds productive. The Captain along with mate Alan, monitor the loran location (tells us exactly where we are in the ocean) and eventually, the "fishfinder" (which shows bottom structure, fish, etc..) displays the location of the shipwreck below us.
Now, after several attempts to place anchors from the stern and the bow of the boat, we think we are close to being anchored over the top of the wreck. Turns out weare somewhat off of it. The current and waves make it very difficult to get a precise location on top of the wreck. Anyway, its time to start fishing. Being the courteous gentlemen we are, Marty (Martha) gets first LINE IN THE WATER and all indications are that she is excited and wants to show the FELLA'S she can CATCH EM..
Of course, Bob, is on the other side of the Louie Louie, hoping that he will not be embarassed and wife Marty will not outfish him too badly. You can tell that BOB is serious about this. We caught a few TAUTOG here, but, it was determined that this was not the most productive place to be on this day. So, Captain Chuck took us to our mid day "FISH CATCHIN" place.
We arrived at the OUTER WALL of the Delaware Bay entrance around 11:30 AM. This wall of huge stones, with lighthouse was put in place around the year 1900 to protect the inland waters from the Atlantic Ocean Storm waters and the boats harbored inside. It stretches almost two miles in length and is shaped like an arm with a bent elbow.
The first task upon arriving was to "anchor up" CLOSE TO THE WALL. First we layed an anchor off of the bow quite a distance from the wall, then, Captain Chuck SKILLFULLY backed us (and the boat) up to the wall. With the bow anchor firm, the next step is to anchor the STERN OF THE BOAT close to the STONE WALL. Captain Chuck is shown here after having thrown a small TOGGLE upon the rocks and trying to get it to CATCH THE STONE WALL... It was obvious that he does this frequently, and after a few minutes we were tied up pretty snug close to the wall for the "tautog" catchin experience.
With the toggle secure to the WALL, Allen, (our mate on the left), and Capt. Chuck (in the middle), under the watchfull eye of Bob (on the right) (from Illinois ), secure the end of the tie line.
Now, it is TIME TO FISH - and Capt. Chuck carefully explains to us "HOW TO CATCH A TOG". He says they are quick and like to steal the bait (sandfleas) with the hook and go HIDE IN THE ROCKS. So, we have to "set the hook at least a half second before they bite" - you figure out how to do that ? Often though, he was right. Catchin those TOG in the rocks requires a bit of SKILL and maybe half hour of seasoning with those TOG taking your rig into the rocks. Actually pretty neat and a real CHALLENGE.
As we are fishing, we observe the Lewes Harbor Ferry
bringing folks and their cars from Cape May, New Jersey to Lewes, Delaware. Many travelers
from the Northern Atlantic States use the ferry to cross the Delaware Bay to Delaware.
Of course, then Bob (on the left-Capt. Chuck on the right) did finally HAUL ONE UP CAUSE Capt. Chuck gave him some nifty ADVICE, which resulted in a keeper tautog. Most all of these tautog we were catching were two to 4 pounds in size. We ended up with 32 TAUTOG in the 2 to 4 pound range. Many days 50 or more are caught. Of course, there are size and catch limits which apply. These tautog are DELICOUS ON THE DINNER TABLE and MIGHTY FUN TO CATCH !
Well, all good things come to an end. It was time to go home. We pulled anchor and headed past the Lewes Harbor Lighthouse on our way HOME TO PORT.
Well, now the nice ride HOME to port. As the SUN setting ahead of us, BOB AND MARTY pose for a picture with the wake of the Louie Louie in the background.
We pass other charter boats in the Anglers Marina and
then our own private parking space on the water. After touching land, Captain Joe, Anglers Bait N Tackle,
skillfully filleted our catch, and we drove home with fresh fish fillets ready for the
frying pan or baking dish.
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