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How to Fish for Blackfish - Ultimate Guide



Blackfish, also known as tautog, have stout bodies with mottled gray or black coloring. They have strong jaws with prominent teeth and are well adapted to feeding on hard-shelled prey.

Size and Weight

Blackfish typically range in size from 12 to 24 inches in length, although larger specimens exceeding 30 inches are not uncommon. They can weigh anywhere from 2 to 20 pounds, with the average catch weighing around 4 to 8 pounds.


Blackfish are found along the Atlantic coast of North America, ranging from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. They inhabit rocky areas, wrecks, jetties, and other structures with plenty of hiding spots and access to food.

Aggressiveness and Behavior

Blackfish are known for their stubborn and territorial behavior, often staying close to their preferred habitat and defending it from other fish. They are opportunistic feeders and will consume a variety of prey, including crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish.

Feeding Preferences

Blackfish feed primarily on hard-shelled prey such as crabs, mussels, barnacles, and small shellfish. They use their powerful jaws and teeth to crush the shells and extract the meat inside.

Fishing Techniques

Popular fishing techniques for blackfish include bottom fishing with rigs baited with green crabs, Asian shore crabs, or other crustaceans. Anglers also use jigs tipped with crab or clam baits, as well as artificial lures designed to mimic crabs or other natural prey.

World Record Catch

The current world record for blackfish stands at 25 pounds, 0 ounces, caught off the coast of Virginia Beach, Virginia, in 1998.

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