Tautog, is a fish of the wrasse family found in salt water from Nova Scotia to South Carolina. It lives along the
bottom, in and amongst rocks, wrecks, mussel beds, bridge pilings or other bottom features. 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 mollusks and crustaceans. Their skin also has a rubbery quality with a heavy
slime covering, which helps to protect them when swimming among rocks.
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Popular among fishermen, Tautog have a reputation for being a particularly tricky fish to catch. Part of this is because of their tendency to live among rocks and other structures that can cause a fisherman's line to get snagged. The current IGFA World record sits at 25 pounds. It was landed off Ocean City, NJ in 1998 (photo above right). They are considered excellent eating. Photo above left is Steve Kendall with a nice Chesapeake Bay tog.