Angler catches state record dubbed “Taugzilla”
By angelamontana

Posted: November 8, 2023

There has been a new state record in Connecticut!

Here’s content about the catch and release record blackfish from a post by Connecticut Fish and Wildlife:

“New State Catch and Release Record Blackfish: CT angler Aiden Cole reeled in the fish of a lifetime this morning. Catching and releasing a 36 inch 25.78-pound Tautog, aka “Taugzilla” amongst marine anglers. He caught this beautiful fish on board the Melissa Ann while fishing with Captain Luke Wiggins in the Thames River using a green crab for bait. Thanks to Karen Westerberg, the fish was measured and weighed at A&W Marina/Tackleshop. This gigantic Tautog was immediately released. It was an exciting time for all parties involved including all the onlookers.

Interestingly enough … Captain Luke had the previous state record catch & release tautog, which he caught back in 2020. This gigantic tautog was 32.5 inches long and nearly 24 pounds. Catch & Release Marine State Records see Marine Fisheries State Record Catch & Release Fish (
Tautog range from Nova Scotia to Georgia but are most common between Cape Cod and the Chesapeake Bay. They make inshore/offshore migrations triggered by water temperature. In spring, as the water temperature approaches 48°F, adult tautog migrate closer to shore to spawn, where they remain through the summer until water temperatures drop below 52°F in the fall. Fall is well known as the best time to fish for these bottom dwelling creatures. They are tough fighters and a ton of fun on light tackle.
Tautog prefer to aggregate around structure. As juveniles, they use shallow estuaries with vegetation such as eelgrass as nurseries, moving into deeper waters to join the adults as they grow. Adults utilize rocky outcrops, boulders, jetties, and other similarly complex habitats for shelter. They select a home site, from which they may stray during the day to feed, returning at night to become dormant and possibly sleep. Tautog are slow growing and can live to 35–40 years old.
Coveted among marine anglers, tautog are hard fighting, tough on tackle, and excellent on the table. They are one of the first species available to anglers in the spring and one of the last still available in the fall. April is a particularly rewarding month, along with fall months when tautog are concentrated in greatest number along the shorelines.

Tautog fishing is open until November 28. Angler can harvest 3 fish per day at a minimum length of 16 inches. Anglers are reminded to be vigilant and careful while fishing during the fall. Weather conditions can change quickly and become hazardous during the fall, typically a very windy period. Please review and inspect all safety equipment and personal flotation devices. Lastly, let someone know your fishing plans and use common sense.

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