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Tautog

Illustrator
Duane Raver, Jr.
Season
January 1 to March 31

April 1 to May 11

July 17 to August 31

September 29 to December 31
Size Limit
15 inch minimum (total length)
Daily Limit / Person

5 during January 1 to March 31 season

3 during April 1 to May 11 season

5 during July 17 to August 31 season

5 during September 29 to December 31 season
Delaware Range
Atlantic Ocean
Abundance in Delaware Waters
Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences
Tautog prefer nearshore coastal waters, near artificial reefs, wrecks, jetties, piers, and bridge pilings.

They feed on mussels, clams, crabs, amphipods (small shrimp-like creatures), shrimps, small lobsters, and barnacles.
General Description
Tautog have stout, rounded bodies that vary in color from brown to grayish or black with irregular bars or blotches on the sides

They have a blunt head, thick lips, and strong teeth.
Did You Know?
Tautog have a blunt nose and thick rubbery lips. With their powerful jaws and incisor-like front teeth, Tautog can scrape mussels and barnacles from rocks.

They also have molar-like teeth at the back of their mouth to easily crush the shells of mussels, which is their prime-choice of prey.
Common Fishing Lures and Baits
Tautog do not take to artificial lures well.

Green crabs, and pieces of peeler crabs are often used on bottom rigs.
Typical Sizes Caught
Tautog are commonly caught in the range of 13 to 20 inches (2 to 6 pounds) by Delaware anglers.
Citation Minimum Lengths/Weights
Length: 25 inches (for Live Release Award only)
or
Weight: 7 pounds
Delaware State Record
21 pounds 4 ounces
Glenn Cave
2005