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Chinacat

Well-Known Angler
Dec 20, 2018
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That is one hell of a Tog and congratulations to the lucky angler. It is also the third 20#+ Blackfish I have seen written up this season with the other two coming from CT and RI respectively. On a sad note, I don't believe any one of those fish were returned alive. A real shame since we all know how slowly those fish grow. Plus, with the very high-resolution photos we can all take with our phones today it seems a couple of good shots should do the job when it comes to bragging rights. Heck any decent taxidermist can make a very nice commemorative mold of a trophy Tog like this with a few good pictures.

I realize that it is everyone's individual decision and right to keep any legal fish but I would encourage folks to do what they can to preserve this very important species. Tog are a very hearty fish and will usually survive even the most spirited battle as long as they are not brought up from some of the very deepest drops.
Kudos to all those anglers that do their part in returning these extraordinary fish.
Well said Capt Mike!!
 
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Leprechaun

Kind of a Big Deal - In My Mind Anyway
Staff member
Dec 19, 2018
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So, a couple of thoughts here.

First - the fecudity of such a older fish is questionable - meaning that its ability to generate a good quantity of eggs is inferior to a much smaller fish. Not to say it would be sterile, but the eggs would probably be very diminished in both quantity and quality. At least that's what I read in the past.

Second - the odds of such a large fish surviving what must have been a titanic fight are probably not great, particularly so given its advanced age, and also would greatly depend on how it was handled once landed. I can't really say, but do suspect that a smaller, less age-ed fish (say, in the 10 to 15lb-class) would have a better recovery rate from such an event, taken in the whole.

Third - as to a taxidermist having a mold that would properly emulate the monstrous size of such a blackfish - yeah, also doubtful. How many time would any one taxidermist have seen a 20lb+ tog, that he would have been able to record the relavent dimensions - and then create (or order) such a mold? Probably nil on this.

I for one would greatly prefer a gentle return of such a fish to the water - depending on its condition. If it looked like it would swim off, then fine, off it goes. If its bleeding heavily, or just can't seem to regain its strength, then most probably its would be heading to a good taxi-man, for a proper old school "skin mount."
 
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captmike28

Angler
Dec 21, 2018
730
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Southold, NY
www.captainstablecharters.com
So, a couple of thoughts here.

First - the fecudity of such a older fish is questionable - meaning that its ability to generate a good quantity of eggs is inferior to a much smaller fish. Not to say it would be sterile, but the eggs would probably be very diminished in both quantity and quality. At least that's what I read in the past.

Second - the odds of such a large fish surviving what must have been a titanic fight are probably not great, particularly so given its advanced age, and also would greatly depend on how it was handled once landed. I can't really say, but do suspect that a smaller, less age-ed fish (say, in the 10 to 15lb-class) would have a better recovery rate from such an event, taken in the whole.

Third - as to a taxidermist having a mold that would properly emulate the monstrous size of such a blackfish - yeah, also doubtful. How many time would any one taxidermist have seen a 20lb+ tog, that he would have been able to record the relavent dimensions - and then create (or order) such a mold? Probably nil on this.

I for one would greatly prefer a gentle return of such a fish to the water - depending on its condition. If it looked like it would swim off, then fine, off it goes. If its bleeding heavily, or just can't seem to regain its strength, then most probably its would be heading to a good taxi-man, for a proper old school "skin mount."
Lep, I agree with some of your points and have my own opinion on others.

For points #1 & #2 it is most likely true that fish at this stage of their development are not producing the greatest volume of viable eggs. What I was thinking about here is that returning a live and healthy fish of these proportions gives others the chance of also catching the Tog of a lifetime.

For point #3 if you have a number of high-resolution photos from a few angles I do believe a really good taxidermist can get a reasonably close representation of the actual fish. Over the years I have seen a couple of very close models made from photos of trophy fish made from a variety of different species, including Tog. I sure hope that either I, or one of my friends/customers has to deal with such a challenge down the road!
 

Togilator

New Angler
Dec 21, 2018
67
76
18
I’ve seen my share of tog from 15 lbs and up including two 20 lbers that were released on a trip I was part of last December.I’ve released plenty of large tog as well up to 16 lbs.You cant catch 20 lb tog if guys don’t release 10-12 lb fish first and pay it forward.A 20 lb tog has done its job and it’s easier said than done to release such a fish.One really has no idea what he will do when put in that situation.Here’s a picture below of a 20 lb huge narley male tog that came up and went back on one our trips last year.This thing was so scared up and cool looking I would have killed it in a instant and tossed it in the Yeti.Kudos to the Angler Jonathan Matu for releasing the huge whitechin.5CBB99CB-1A61-4E66-8809-2FC027840428.jpeg5882723C-08D3-445B-A862-7C52A0E0A25F.jpeg
 

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