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NJ Fishing Regulations Overview 2017

name Season Bag Limit Size Limit Note
Tog OPEN 4 15.00 Season Closes 2017-02-28

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Blackfish

(Tautoga onitis)

Other Names: Tautog, Tog, Whitechin

General information 

Blackfish are considered very good to eat. Tautog have many adaptations to life in and around rocky areas. They have thick rubbery lips and powerful jaws. The backs of their throats contain a set of teeth resembling molars. Together these are used to pick and crush prey such as crabs and small lobsters. Their skin also has a rubbery quality with a heavy slime covering, which helps to protect them when swimming among rocks. 

NJ Fishing Season

Blackfish is a heavily regulated species.

It is an extremely slow growing fish which is prone to depletion if overfished. 

NJ Tog Regulations History
  2008-1 2008-2 2008-3 2008-4 2008-5 2008-6 2008-7 2008-8 2008-9 2008-10 2008-11 2008-12 2009-1 2009-2 2009-3 2009-4 2009-5 2009-6 2009-7 2009-8 2009-9 2009-10 2009-11 2009-12 2010-1 2010-2 2010-3 2010-4 2010-5 2010-6 2010-7 2010-8 2010-9 2010-10 2010-11 2010-12 2011-1 2011-2 2011-3 2011-4 2011-5 2011-6 2011-7 2011-8 2011-9 2011-10 2011-11 2011-12 2012-1 2012-2 2012-3 2012-4 2012-5 2012-6 2012-7 2012-8 2012-9 2012-10 2012-11 2012-12 2013-1 2013-2 2013-3 2013-4 2013-5 2013-6 2013-7 2013-8 2013-9 2013-10 2013-11 2013-12 2014-1 2014-2 2014-3 2014-4 2014-5 2014-6 2014-7 2014-8 2014-9 2014-10 2014-11 2014-12 2015-1 2015-2 2015-3 2015-4 2015-5 2015-6 2015-7 2015-8 2015-9 2015-10 2015-11 2015-12
Bag limit 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6 4 4 4 1 1 1 1 6 6
Min Size(inches) 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 14 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15 15
Season Length(wks) 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 42 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36 36

 

Blackfish Sizes 

They can grow up to 20+ pounds.. They can be as small as 2 lbs. Average is around 5 lbs. 

Current Records
 
Weight
Catch Place
Catch Date
Angler
IGFA World Record
  25 lbs. Ocean City, NJ Jan 20, 1988 Anthony Monica
NJ State Record
  25 lbs. Ocean City, NJ Jan 20, 1988 Anthony Monica
       

Food (Bait)

Primarily Crabs and Shrimp.  Popular baits in NJ are Green Crabs and when available "White leggers".  Clam also can be used, especially in the Spring.

Angling Tips

Blackfish are caught around wrecks and other rough bottoms. They are notorious as a difficult to catch fish. Patience is mandatory. Small crabs dropped to the bottom and kept perfectly still will tempt the Blackfish to come out from it's quarry.

 

Reproduction

Spawning occurs offshore, in late spring to early summer The eggs hatch and develop while drifting. The young take residence in shallow protected waters and live and hide in seaweed and eelgrass beds for protection, and are green in color in order to camouflage themselves. During the late fall, they move offshore and winter in a state like hibernation..

Handling

As with most fish, the quality of the flesh and thus the flavor, will be best if the bonito is bled and iced as soon as possible after capture.

Cooking

Cook as you would any white fish.

 

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