Pier and Surf Forum banner

Are we Tog anglers sane?

4983 Views 21 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Manayunk Jake
Let's see - 100 miles of driving one way to reach a hopeful looking shoreline, 4 hours round trip on the road. At our destination we find wet slimey rocks, crowded conditions, and litter from many slobs. We lose mucho tackle, tie mucho knots, cut up mucho dirty smelly green crabs, in windy cold conditions, for about 15 minutes of productive fishing when the tide is just right - maybe.
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Haa haa.. that was a good post. Speaks volume for passion people have for fishing on this site. I don't know if I'm top angler (just a rookie), but I love just being out there... open sea, drink of choice... nice... i already have catch of my life, thats my wife...

Just like being out there to get away from all the hectic things around here...
Well worth it for Mr. Whitechin! When you catch a real roaster you don't complain about the drive. Even whacking throwbacks is worth it to me.

I will be driving up to NJ to do some togging on the Big Mohawk. I have seen several times when all 40 people on board limited on tog and there were multiple fish over 10 lbs. Fishing the rocks is fun, but can't compare to fishing a wreck. The numbers are often about the same, but the size is usually much better offshore. The tog season is really just warming up. November and December are going to be prime time.

IRI is HOT for tog action! Eight pounder caught this weekend! :)
It's probily worth it to drive 2-3 hours to drive to a good fishing spot? However, my vehicle is not in its best conditions for long distance driving too mutch,but will survive the trip.I hope I can make to the seashore one more time this year.They can pull up some good stripers and Blues from places like IRI,3RS,and AI.AI is a little out of my range though. :(
went to IRI sun tog fishing for the first time LOVED IT going back this weekend, cant wait :D
Hey Duke of Fluke, Is the Big Mohawk a head boat that runs out of NJ for Tog? If so I'd like the directions to the dock or phone #.

Hope you have a great day, thanks.
hey folks new on the board but not to the tog game fished herfodr inlet nj lst weekend tons of shorts ended up with 9 keepers 3 over5# still waiting on the stripers have a good source in barnegat
told of a bass and blue blitz on the north
jetty some of the blues close to 20#
hope them slammers hug the beaches
Are the tog still going to be at IRI around thanksgiving? I'll be in MD for the holidays, and am planing on making my first trip to IRI. I would love to catch some tog. I'm an avid SW fisherman, but havn't really ever gone after tog.

Any preffered rigs, hook size/color, line weight, leaders, fishing tech? How do they hit? Sounds like you go thru alot of terminal tackle.

Finn 74,

Check your E mail.

The URL is www.bigmohawk.com

The site is not updated very often, so call to check on sailing times. They are different on weekends than weekdays due to bridge openning schedules.

You can catch them at IRI year around if you are willing to brave the elements. November and December will be prime months. There will still be fish around later in the winter, but it will be slim pickings. After Christmas I would wait until spring. Should be hot around thanksgiving though.
Thanks Duke of Fluke. I'm sure I'll make a trip up there soon.
Greetings All!

No tog for me this weekend... opted for the comfort of a party boat out of Ocean City, NJ (see BOATING board.) North Wildwood rocks will probably hold fish through November, unless surf temps take a sudden dive (who knows with these @#%&* cold spells!) Will be in Wildwood next week for a striper trip, and will probably hit the rocks before leaving. Hopefully the air temps will be back to normal by then!
Greetings lowpine!

Duke of Fluke wrote a great instructional post on tog fishing -- check it out under:


I'm still trying to develop "the touch" you need to hook keeper tog consistently. That's something that only comes with experience. Those "tug-o-war" fish can get under your skin!
OOPS! I see that you found it 11/01... my brain must still be frozen from Friday's Partyboat trip! Good luck chasing those blackfish!!
Yo bud! I am glad you did well, but you should not be giving the NS any business!
Maybe you do not know, but our"friend" captain Barrus was caught by a sting operation last year.

He was allowing customers from NY to bring livewells on board to keep live blackfish to be sold on the blackmarket.

Many of the customers involved were over the limit and had undersize fish.

The captain and deckhands contributed to this catch as well!

The NS has a tarnished reputation, and rightly so. This is not the first time they have gotten in trouble for this type of behavior.

The captain is skilled at putting people his fares on fish, but allowing and even contributing to this type of behavior is just wrong!

The recreational limits on tog are being cut back significantly, and it is this type of behavior that contributes to lost opportunity for many honest ethical anglers.

There are many other good party boats in NJ for tog fishing. I would recommend the Big Mohawk out of Belmar as my first choice followed by the Capt. Cal out of the same marina. I would also try one of the Bogan's boats out of the Point Pleasant area.

Please do not give your business to a person who is hurting others in the angling community.

Anglers pay $5,000 in fines in blackfish sting
By JACK KASKEY Staff Writer, (609) 272-7213, E-Mail

OCEAN CITY - Seven anglers caught in a state fishing sting pleaded guilty Tuesday to 17 citations involving illegal possession of blackfish aboard a party boat here, paying nearly $5,000 in fines and costs.

Many of those who pleaded guilty said they just wanted to put the matter behind them, even though they feel they did nothing wrong.

Alan Dresner, 51, of Brooklyn, pleaded guilty to possession of 19 blackfish over the limit, totaling more than 100 pounds. He agreed to pay $825.

"Let them go get the real criminals, instead of wasting taxpayers' money," Dresner said as he paid his fine.

Law enforcement officials are considering filing criminal charges against eight other anglers, including Paul Barrus Jr., of Marmora, owner of the North Star party boat, and boat Capt. Chris Hyland.

Municipal Court Judge Richard A. Russell postponed action on 72 citations issued to Barrus, Hyland and the remaining anglers at the request of the state Attorney General's Office, which is investigating possible criminal charges.

Marine enforcement officers allege the boat hosted an illegal trade in live blackfish that supplied hundreds, perhaps thousands, of fish to Asian restaurants in New York and Philadelphia. An officer posing as a fisherman aboard the North Star gathered evidence over 18 months, ending with an April sting operation.

Asian cooks prize young, fresh blackfish, also called tautog or tog. An undersized, live fish can fetch $4 to $5 a pound, three to four times what a dead one fetches wholesale.

Some of the New Yorkers who pleaded guilty Tuesday complained of the numerous postponements in the court date, each of which meant a missed day of work and six to eight hours in a car.

Froilan Vazquez and Randy Brown, both of the Bronx, said the only time in the past two years they were on the North Star was a two-day trip on Jan. 28 and 29. It happened to be when an undercover officer was aboard.

"We came down here for the big fish," Brown said, noting the world record blackfish, a 25-pounder, was caught aboard the North Star in 1998.

The pair thought they each could keep 20 blackfish, because the daily limit is 10. But enforcement officers said the limit applies to the number of fish in an angler's possession, and they were charged with exceeding it.

Brown pleaded guilty to possession of five fish over the limit and four undersized fish, paying $290 in fines and court costs. Vazquez pleaded guilty to possession of five blackfish over the limit and eight fish under the minimum size of 14 inches. He paid $310 in fines and costs.

"I just happened to get on that boat on the wrong day," Vazquez aid. "After that day, everything I bring up, I measure."

Also pleading guilty Tuesday to blackfish-related charges were Steven Groenewoud 32, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y, who paid $1,560; Aracelio Lopez who paid $1,135; Anthony Reyes who paid $285 and James Whitten who paid $430.

Meceo McEaddy, who was issued four citations, failed to appear in court.

The judge honored the state Attorney General's request to postpone action against the boat owner and captain, as well as anglers Anthony Belisario, Chueng Lan, Tse Tian Wei, Kenneth Krause III, Michael Dougherty and Peter Lewis.

Lewis wanted to plead guilty, but Russell would not let him because of a citation for buying fish illegally, potentially an indictable offense.

"I'm a working man," the Bronx resident told the judge. "I can't afford to keep coming down here. I don't have a car."

The judge told him not to plead guilty to anything until authorities decide whom to indict with a crime. The lesser charges could be used as bargaining chips in a plea bargain, he advised Lewis from the bench.

"I'm sorry about the inconvenience, but they filed hundreds of tickets and they are trying to sort it out," Russell said.

The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has proposed halving the legal blackfish catch next year, because too many are being caught. The commission this spring decided to study the magnitude of the illegal trade.


This is just one of many of these types of articles that have appeared recently.
See less See more
Greetings Duke!

I am aware of Capt. Barrus' legal problems, and I don't condone his past role in market fishing. The courts will decide how to punish him. You have to remember that the "Bogus" empire was also involved in a sting, and I was on a fluke trip aboard the Catherine III when a short mako was gaffed and thrown in a cooler, while the mate tried to covince the man who caught the fish it was an "inedible" blue shark. Bad things happen, and we rely on the justice system to enforce and punish. I've been on the North Star twice (once before the bust, and Friday's trip.) I did well both trips, and will probably go out again next year, provided the boat isn't "seized." My $37.00 isn't going to make a difference in whether Capt Barrus tries market fishing again. If he is truly rebelling against perceived over-regulation by the government, he might. If motivated purely out of greed, the courts will see that such ventures prove cost prohibitive. I think the five fishpots on the wreck will remove more fish in one haul then market fisherman can take all winter, but that's another issue.
Time to put away the soap box, the Simpsons are on...
See less See more
I have never heard of the Bogan's getting in any trouble. I'd like to know more.
Greetings Duke!

The short story is either the Paramount or the Dauntless, which both bottomfish throughout the summer, had a group of regulars that were taking large coolers of mostly short sea bass every week. After a short investigation, DEP agents were waiting when the boat docked, and numerous citations were written. Bogus's argument was that he is not there to enforce. I don't know what the final outcome was because the story was not followed as closely as the North Star incident. Although not involved in market fishing, the captain and crew were looking away while regulations were broken. A similar "bust" was made when patrons of the Catherine III came in with short fluke. Again, the captain's defense was that he is not there to enforce. However, when the VFW/AFGE chartered the boat two weeks later, the mate earned the nickname "Shorty" because he was measuring every fluke as it was netted. Only two keepers were caught that trip (the same trip that "Shorty" and the Captain gaffed the undersized mako...) I'm sure that if NJ DEP had enough personnel, they could cite thousands of "fishermen" each year. Most boats rely on repeat business, and rules are "bent" for regular customers. I'm not going to make the call on which is worse -- market fishing or bending the rules for patrons. That is what the legal system is for.
Putting the soap box away for the last time; my boss is giving me the "hairy eyeball", and I asked for Friday and Tuesday off for some striper fishing in the Cape May Rips....
See less See more
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.