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Expect a variation a few degrees one way or the other. Tautog particularly like to hang out in areas where there is a large concentration of crabs (their favorite food) and shellfish (especially mussel) beds. But they will let you avoid areas where fish are most unlikely to be found. Focus on fishing wrecks and rocky bottom between 20 to 30 miles off the coast from New Jersey through Massachusetts. Fish move—eat and run, tails beating, predators and prey, nature in action. In the air, in the water, on the bottom and at home too. The graph below shows the range of monthly Jamestown water temperature derived from many years of historical sea surface temperature data. Place the fish filets in a baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. when temperatures start to drop especially in the mid-Atlantic. Tautog primarily spawn in pairs, but under certain conditions they may spawn in groups of one female and several males. Temperature preferences are only a rough guide, and Farhenheit at that. Monthly average max / min water temperatures. Dirty, sandy water, kicked up by rain, enhanced runoff, wind and rough seas is not good for tautog fishing. Non-linked temperatures in the monthly columns are average water temperatures. This recipe is so super simple. The tautog (Tautoga onitis), also known as the blackfish, is a species of wrasse native to the western Atlantic Ocean from Nova Scotia to South Carolina.This species inhabits hard substrate habitats in inshore waters at depths from 1 to 75 m (3.3 to 246.1 ft). The best time of year to fish for tautog is fall and spring i.e. Spawning reaches a peak in June and may last throughout the summer. During spring when water temperatures reach about 48 Degrees F, adults migrate inshore to spawn within estuaries or nearshore marine areas. On windy days, for example, oxygenated surface areas may attract species to areas above their optimum. Tautog inhabit large rockpiles and heavy structures in depths of 30 to 70 feet preferably with temperatures ranging from 55 to 70 degrees. It’s more sensitive in comparison to the latter. However as of right now there are plenty of small tautog around (as well as other species of fish) providing quick and fun action. Top with butter that has been melted with fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice. Add fresh sliced scallions, Old Bay Seasoning and fresh cracked pepper. Clicking on the hyperlinked "Recent Temperatures" will display station information for the location. The general protocol is to anchor up in an area where tautog spawn or like to feed (often around underwater rock piles or weed beds). If you are looking for just keeper tautog, then you might have to wait another week or two for the water temperature to drop into the high 50's. Fall and spring are the two best seasons of the year to catch tautog in the Mid-Atlantic. Use braid rather than monofilament. Know that tautog prefer cooler water temperatures. (Complete List of Average Temperatures) Use the near real-time water temperature data with discretion, because they may contain errors. The sand in the water irritates the gills of the tautog. They generally remain in waters that are less than 60 feet deep. Migrations are happening all around—herring, gannets, bluefin tuna, striped bass, crabs, blackfish, lobsters. The drop in water temperature triggers a response. During this time of the year, it is not unusual to find tautog in water depths of 5 to 30-feet. They share with their tropical cousins a love of underwater structure, but also a sensitivity to low water temperatures; tautog will go into a torpor in temperatures below about 40 degrees F. In warmer climes wrasses tend to be non-migratory, but tautog undergo seasonal movements to stay within their preferred temperature range of 50 to 68 degrees. 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