Avid angler Aiden Cole recently found himself in the midst of an unforgettable fishing adventure when he managed to reel in a colossal Tautog, affectionately dubbed “Taugzilla.” This impressive catch measured an astounding 35 inches in length and weighed in at a jaw-dropping 25.76 pounds. The catch was made while aboard the Melissa Ann, cruising through the scenic waters of the Thames River.
Tautog, known colloquially as Taugzilla for this impressive specimen, are known to roam the waters spanning from Nova Scotia down to Georgia. However, they are most prevalent in the region between Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay. These fish demonstrate an intriguing migratory pattern closely linked to water temperature.
Connecticut Fish and Wildlife experts provide insights into the intriguing habits of Tautog, explaining, “In spring, as the water temperature approaches 48°F, adult Tautog migrate closer to the shore to spawn, where they remain through the summer until water temperatures drop below 52°F in the fall.” This temperature-driven migration makes spring and fall the optimal seasons for anglers to pursue this species of fish.
One of the distinctive aspects of Tautog is their impressive lifespan, which can extend up to 35 to 40 years. These remarkable fish have become prized targets among marine anglers, renowned for their robust fighting spirit, the strain they put on fishing tackle, and their exquisite taste on the dining table.
Tautog fishing enthusiasts have reason to celebrate, as the Tautog fishing season remains open until November 28. This opportunity allows anglers to pursue this iconic species in the beautiful waters of the Thames River, where Aiden Cole’s legendary catch of “Taugzilla” has certainly set a high bar for fishing accomplishments.