Tautog Fishing Aboard Tools of the Trade

A great experience for island visitors is a trip aboard Tools of the Trade, Chincoteague's largest and nicest charter boat. The boat is owned and operated by a husband and wife fishing team here in Chincoteague, Virginia. Captain Kevin Merritt is one of the most experienced and respected Virginia charter captains. Working the cockpit is his wife Cindy, who is as friendly and capable a mate as any on the local waters. The couple takes pride in their operation and it shows in every aspect of the fishing day. The boat is 40' sportfisherman built by Ocean Yachts, powered with safe and reliable twin Cat marine diesel engines.

Our trip consisted of spring time fishing for tautog, a local ocean fish. Tautog are a challenge to catch, and thrilling to fish for. The fish live in and around structure such as rocky bottoms, sunken ships and artificial reefs. Tackle and techniques are simple and no prior experience is needed to catch these tasty fish. They vary in size from about 12 inches to perhaps 12 lbs or more. They are very tough fighters and excellent table fare. Tautog are only one of the many ocean fish that visit or live year round along the Virginia coast.

We had a short trip to the fishing spot and enjoyed an excellent catch. Tools of the Trade is equipped with state of the art electronics and all tackle was provided and in excellent condition. The boat also features a generator, full tower, spotless head and galley.

Throughout the season anglers might also catch sea bass, gray trout, flounder, triggerfish, spadefish, cobia, bluefish, cod, pollack, porgies or others while bottom fishing off the coast of Chincoteague. During the summer and early fall, Tools of the Trade offers deep sea fishing for tuna, mahi mahi, wahoo, shark, billfish and other species. During the late fall and winter, Tools of the Trade moves to Virginia Beach for exciting fishing for trophy striped bass, known locally as "rockfish". The boat returns to Chincoteague in early spring and fishes inshore and offshore until the following fall.

For more information on Tools of the Trade, visit the website at www.hooksandfeathers.com or drop by Curtis Merritt Harbor and meet Kevin and Cindy.

Tags: fishing, fish, recreation, tautog, artificial reef

Submitted by: dwd