The Tautog AKA blackfish is a species of wrasse which is native to the Western Atlantic Ocean.

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These sons of b---- can live up to 40 years old and they are ugly as sin, unless you're an angler. The anglers apparently love these babies, especially Aiden Cole who caught a record breaking Tautog on October 25th, 2023 in CT's Thames River. Aiden and Captain Captain Luke Wiggins are pictured below holding the fish dubbed "Taugzilla."

CT Fish and Wildlife
CT Fish and Wildlife
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"Taugzilla" is reportedly 36 inches and 25.78-pounds. I say is because the fish was released back into the Thames River, where he could be caught again. Here is part of the CT Fish and Wildlife statement on "Taugzilla."

He caught this beautiful fish on board the Melissa Ann while fishing with Captain Luke Wiggins in the Thames River using a green crab for bait. Thanks to Karen Westerberg, the fish was measured and weighed at A&W Marina/Tackleshop. This gigantic Tautog was immediately released. It was an exciting time for all parties involved including all the onlookers.
Interestingly enough ... Captain Luke had the previous state record catch & release tautog, which he caught back in 2020. This gigantic tautog was 32.5 inches long and nearly 24 pounds. Catch & Release Marine State Records see Marine Fisheries State Record Catch & Release Fish (ct.gov)
Tautog range from Nova Scotia to Georgia but are most common between Cape Cod and the Chesapeake Bay. They make inshore/offshore migrations triggered by water temperature. In spring, as the water temperature approaches 48°F, adult tautog migrate closer to shore to spawn, where they remain through the summer until water temperatures drop below 52°F in the fall. Fall is well known as the best time to fish for these bottom dwelling creatures. They are tough fighters and a ton of fun on light tackle.

Is it a real mutant?  Not in the sense of the words ``real" or "mutant" or in reality but how do you look at that and not think about mutants?

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I see something like this and immediately start thinking of some of the more infamous fictional mutants of the world. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles come to mind when I look at "Taugzilla." They have wide, broad noses and a big face just like this Tautog.

New York Comic Con 2023 - Day 4
Getty Images for ReedPop
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The Tautog is also super bald which conjures up reminders of Professor X of Marvel Comics fame. If this fish was in a wheelchair, we'd really have something to fear in Connecticut.

Where was I? Oh yeah, congratulations Aiden! This will be the weirdest article you will ever be featured in.

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Gallery Credit: Lou Milano

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Aurora Photography
Aurora Photography
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