It seems as if trophy-sized record fish have been hitting the scales more often as of recent. Is this due to better fishing tackle and equipment? Or is it attributed to better technology? It could very well be a combination of both. As a matter of fact, just recently, a pending New York State record white perch was weighted in before the holidays and since we’re talking tog here, the Rhode Island state record was just broken by Paul Newman with a 21.57-pounder. Even bigger than the Rhode Island tog and larger than the current New York State record tog was the 23.15 pounder brought to the scales at Stella Maris in Brooklyn by Cliff Kayser.

Cliff’s fish would have eclipsed the current state record of 22.53 pounds set by Bill Taylor in 2014. The only problem is the fish was caught outside of the recreational season on rod and reel while commercial fishing. The NYS commercial season for tautog in the NY Bight is open until January 25th, making it a legal catch for him but doesn’t fit the criteria as a quantifiable record catch recreationally.

This was a once-in-a-lifetime catch for Cliff, along with anyone else for that matter. There was no sense in harvesting the trophy-sized, prehistoric fish in Cliff’s mind so after it was removed from the livewell, the fish was quickly weighed