The world record tautog was caught in January of 2015 by Ken Westerfeld, from Queens, N.Y. In a year with monster tautog being caught up and down the east coast, it’s no surprise Westerfeld was able to land his record catch off the coast of Ocean City, Md. Westerfeld was aboard a charter captained by Kane Bounds out of Sunset Marina.
Capt. Bounds was able to put them on a wreck in about 85 feet of water. Westerfeld was fishing a snafu rig with White-Legger Crabs for bait, which had been producing many large fish that season. The tautog slammed Westerfeld’s crab and shortly after he pulled in his 28.83 pound, 35-inch world record. The fish also had a whopping girth of 25 inches. Westerfeld’s catch shattered the previous world record tautog by just under 4 pounds, which had been held by Anthony Monica of New Jersey since 1998.
The Connecticut tautog state record is currently held by Thien Nguyen, who was fishing aboard the Sunbeam 5 charter, captained by Bob Wadsworth of Waterford, Conn. Nguyen dropped a crab into the rocks off of Two Tree Island in Niantic Bay and hooked up with his monster tautog. Nguyen had to free spool his reel to give the fish time to swim out of a snag before he was able to pry it away from the bottom and land it. When he got it to a weigh-in site at Hillyer’s Tackle, the tautog tipped the scales at 26 pounds 4 ounces and was 34 inches long, becoming the new Connecticut tautog state record.
The Maine tautog state record was caught by Chris Morrell from York in August 2013. His catch was the smallest of all the state records weighing 7 pounds and 13 ounces.
The Massachusetts tautog state record was caught by Michael Horsely, on Jun. 29, 1978. His record fish was caught off Gay Head and weighed in at 22 pounds and 9 ounces.
The New Hampshire tautog state record was caught in May of 2012 by Mark Schloss out of Hampton Harbor. His record fish weighed in at 9 pounds even and measured 21.25 inches.
The New Jersey tautog state record was caught by Chris Sullivan on Dec. 22, 2020. Sullivan was 20 miles offshore when Capt. Tom Daffin of Fishin’ Fever Charters was able to put him back on a wreck they had been fishing earlier that day. They were in about 100 feet of water fishing with White-Legger Crabs when the record slammed Sullivan’s line. Initially Capt. Daffin thought the fish may have been in the low 20-pound range. However, when they got the fish back to shore at Utsch’s Marina the tog officially weighed 25 pounds 8 ounces and measured 32.5 inches.
The New York tautog state record was caught by Bill Taylor from Amityville, in Nov. of 2014. He caught the fish off Jones Inlet located on the southwest side of Long Island. His tautog weighed in at 22 pounds and 8 ounces.
The Rhode Island tautog state record was landed by C.W. Sunquist off of Jamestown in November of 1954. The catch weighed in at 21 pounds and 4 ounces.