Monday, March 21, 2011

Kiss the Tog

After last week's recon mission and failure to capture the mighty Tog, it became imperative that I make another assault.  With the need for tog-pullage now at code red, I was granted permission by my superior (the Mrs.) to search and redeem myself.  Operation "Kiss the Tog" was a go.  I transported my vessel to Virginia Beach from my home base in Richmond late Saturday afternoon and upon arrival at the local intelligence center and supply depot, Oceans East 2, I stocked up on a deadly arsenal of fiddlers & bluecrabs in preparation for my strike in the morning.  I was also able to acquire valuable reconnaissance from a few highly decorated officers.  Afterwards I was briefed at a POL meeting about future missions and subsequently invited to participate in a side raid to the infamous Hot Ditch.  The time was 2030, and with launch time for Operation Kiss the Tog being 0700 I had time to kill.  I accepted the invitation with hopes of capturing the ever elusive speckled trout.  Dan Smullen and I launched and met up with speckled trout guru, Tim Morris.  With "Specks" as his moniker, he proved his namesake having already captured a 23.75" trout before we even got there.  However, the action had slowed significantly and by 0200 I had only one trout to show.

Dan had one at 19" and Specks got a 32" Striper surprise.  

I was awakened at 0600 by the howling of the wind and violent swinging of the trees.  I urgently checked the forecast and the previous predictions of 8-12kts turned into 20kts with gusts to 25kts.  DAMN YOU NOAA!  I retreated back to Ocean's East to vent my frustrations and hopefully devise another plan of attack.  Kiptopeke was suggested since the concrete ships are known to hold small togs, however, while continuously checking the weather, I noticed the forecast called for diminishing winds later in the morning and afternoon.  By 0930 the 20kts came down to 14kts and I decided it was time.  At 1030 I launched my kayak and accepted the 3 mile punishment I was about to endure for that chance to fight the togs. 

It took me almost and hour and half, but I got there in good spirits, optimistic and focused on the mission.  With the incoming tide almost done, I deployed my blue crab on a dropper loop with 4oz of lead and felt it infiltrate the rocky hold out of the togs.  It took a little while to find the right place, but once I did, I felt that quick tap, followed by another tap, and I jolted my rod up.... but my rig was already disarmed by the skilled blackfish.  It took me 5 or 6 times of getting picked off before I was able to hook one up.  And as soon as I did, I was grinning ear to ear.  It fought hard.  Hard enough for me to think it was going to be bigger than 15". 

Over the next several hours I did battle with about a dozen strong togs with the biggest going 20".  That fight from the 20"er is what I came for.  All that traveling, prepping, paddling in the wind was worth it to fight that fish.

Mission Accomplished!
Justin Mayer come out to join in but sadly, the bite was just about gone by the time we met up.  Plus, the outgoing current was extremely fast and without the proper anchor system, Justin had a hard time staying in the eddies behind the pilings.  Sorry buddy, I'm sure you'll get on 'em next time.
We got off the water around 1930, grabbed a bite to eat and rendezvoused with Ric Burnley at the HRBT for a night raid on the light line stripers.  The incoming current was just as insane as the outgoing earlier and made for very tough striper hunting conditions.  After a few more hours of punishing myself and not hooking up with any, I decided to leave the stripers for another day and be happy with the successful tog trip.  Tired, exhausted..... happy.


  1. Nice Work Rob! I know you were itchin' to get one.

  2. Very cool Rob even if your mission did pull Colorado away from his appointed tasks.

  3. Damn boy, that's a pretty mistress you got there.

  4. I'm pretty upset at myself for that day. Total skunk all around. Good work rob! Glad at least one of us got some fish.

  5. Ohhhhhh yeah! just so everyone knows...that's a male tog :)

  6. Man, this is the second time I read this. I HATE YOUR LIFE!!! Just kidding, im just jealous.

  7. Really fantastic! Seems like with the economy my time has been so tied up with my business Ablaze Home Improvement Siding that I haven't had the time for fun lately.
    I just followed you and I just started my new blog and would appreciate you coming by and follow. Maybe we can keep up with what each is doing. Thanks.

  8. Great read, had me chucklin. Damn, that's one ugly fish !


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