Fishing for Blackfish – What is the Best Bait for Catching Blackfish?

Sep 22, 2023
Joshua Fuld

CEO and Founder

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Fishing enthusiasts, whether beginners or seasoned anglers, often find themselves drawn to the challenge and excitement of pursuing blackfish, also known as tautog. These remarkable fish, with their powerful strikes and determination, make for a rewarding catch. However, to truly conquer the art of blackfish fishing, one must master the art of selecting the right bait. At J&H Tackle, your trusted provider of high-quality fishing gear and accessories, including renowned brands such as Joe Baggs and Dark Matter, we recognize the pivotal role that bait plays in your blackfish angling success.

In this comprehensive guide, we embark on a journey to unravel the mysteries of blackfish fishing and identify the bait options that yield the best results. Whether you’re a novice angler looking to improve your skills or a seasoned pro seeking to refine your approach, this article is your gateway to a more fruitful and enjoyable blackfish fishing experience.

Understanding Blackfish Behavior

Exploring the Depths of Blackfish Behavior

Before delving into the realm of bait selection, it’s essential to gain a profound understanding of the blackfish’s behavior and habitat preferences. These insights will serve as the foundation upon which we’ll build our bait choices and fishing techniques.

Blackfish, scientifically known as Tautoga onitis, are renowned for their bottom-dwelling habits. They tend to reside in the vicinity of rocky structures, shipwrecks, and underwater reefs. Their preference for these environments is not arbitrary; it is closely tied to their feeding habits.

The Art of Crushing Shells

One of the defining characteristics of blackfish is their powerful jaws, specifically designed for crushing the shells of various marine creatures. Their diet primarily consists of shellfish and crustaceans, which they crush with ease, thanks to their robust dental apparatus. This natural feeding behavior adds a layer of complexity to catching blackfish, as it necessitates using bait that closely resembles their preferred prey.

Understanding these nuances of blackfish behavior sets the stage for making informed decisions about bait selection. By choosing the right bait that mimics the blackfish’s natural diet and by employing the appropriate rigging techniques, you can significantly enhance your chances of a successful catch.

The Best Bait for Blackfish

Green Crabs (Carcinus maenas)

Green crabs are a tried-and-true favorite among blackfish enthusiasts. These small, hard-shelled crustaceans are abundant in many coastal areas, making them an attractive and readily available bait option. What sets green crabs apart is their uncanny resemblance to the natural prey of blackfish, particularly small crabs and other shellfish.

Preparing Green Crabs for Blackfish Bait

To make the most of green crabs as blackfish bait, it’s crucial to prepare them properly. Follow these steps to ensure your green crab bait is enticing and irresistible to blackfish:

1. Remove the Legs and Claws

Begin by carefully removing the legs and claws of the green crab. These parts can be set aside for later use as they can also attract blackfish.

2. Expose the Succulent Body

The key to successful green crab bait lies in the succulent body. Gently crack open the top shell to expose the tender interior. This is the part of the crab that blackfish find most enticing.

3. Secure to Your Hook

With the crab’s body exposed, secure it to your hook using a reliable and secure rigging method. Make sure the hook is well-embedded within the crab to prevent it from being easily stolen by cautious blackfish.

Pro Tip: Joe Baggs Togzilla Lay Perfect Blackfish Jigs

For an extra edge in your green crab bait game, consider exploring our Joe Baggs Togzilla Lay Perfect Blackfish Jigs. These specialized jigs are designed to work seamlessly with green crabs, ensuring an enticing presentation that blackfish find hard to resist.

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