The first I’d ever heard of jigging for blackfish was 6 or 7 years ago when a hardcore jetty jock buddy of mine, Bob Misak, started getting some custom tautog jigs made for fishing the local inlet walls. Now I know there were a few local guys who’d been experimenting with designs prior, but the whole concept has really exploded in the past half-dozen years, resulting in a multitude of regional manufacturers.
Add the folks from Tsunami to the mix, as their new line of Tsunami Tog Treats are great for targeting blackfish by boat or by jetty; they come in two to a pack in four colors (White Legger, Orange, Chartreuse/Orange and Green/Orange) and six sizes ranging from 1/2 to 2-1/2 ounces. With Tsunami adding their Tog Treats to their brand array, expect to find these jigs most local shops as tautog season kicks into gear.
The idea of “jigging” blackfish is a bit of a misnomer as it’s not the traditional jigging style associated with sea bass, fluke or tuna. A Tsunami Tog Treat jig essentially takes over for the traditional sinker and hook combination (Belmar, Snafu, etc.). Pieces of crab or even whole crab are applied to the hook of the lightest jig you can get away with – as the conditions of the day allow – providing a somewhat delicate but natural presentation.
Where traditional toggers have gone the conventional route, tying on a length of 20- to 40-pound leader (again depending on depths and currents) to lighter braid in the 20-pound class allows anglers to deploy Tog Treats on a quality spin set-up (read: durable gears and increased torque), opening up a world of structure fishing for those who refuse to give up their trusted spin tackle.
And not just blackfish either, as I’ve been using the Tsunami Tog Treats out back for Jersey sheepshead as well; equipped with an “X” strong, custom-made and chemically sharpened black nickel hook you can count on these jigs to hold up on whatever brute you’re trying to wrest away from the structure. For those building their fall blackfish arsenal, the price ($4.50 to $7.50 per two-pack) will leave you with a full battery and some discretionary funds or “open beach” stocking of a few more Tsunami Surface Blasters!