The 2022 Rhode Island Tog Classic officially begins on October 9 and your job is to jig deep and dig deeper. This is the largest one-day tautog contest in New England and is, most importantly, a family affair and charitable event.
No one loses in this Classic. All proceeds raised go to the Three Angels Fund, a local charitable group financially helping people dealing with a cancer diagnosis. If you want to catch ‘tog, support a charity then cut a rug after weigh-in while checking raffle ticket numbers, this is your day.
Ralph Craft of Crafty One Customs is behind the scenes for this contest. Ralph holds many things dear to his heart, like country, family and customers and if you know Ralph, then you will know the Tog Classic is far more than just a fishing derby. The primary objective is to raise money for a local Aquidneck Island group that thrives on helping neighbors who are dealing with the effects of cancer. Their help might be financial or emotional because they understand, personally and deeply, how tough cancer can be on everyone. There will be awards, raffles, a silent auction, platters of good food and good people all around. In typical Crafty One style, the Tog Classic will be classic indeed so your job is to jig deep and dig deeper. This day is all about charity and that’s something to brag about.
Rules, there are always rules…
Lines go in at 6:50 am. With boat, kayak, shore and youth divisions, anglers have plenty of options. The adult division, which means anglers 13 years or older, is $100 per angler. Jr. Division, which means 12 years or younger, is $30 per angler and a Jr. Angler may fish on a boat, on shore or in a kayak. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will be awarded to each and prizes will be determined based on entries and donations. Adult anglers will receive a t-shirt and a hat, youth anglers will receive a hat. Food is included together with one raffle ticket entry for the door prize. Additional food tickets are $25 each or $50 for a family. All tautog must be caught in Rhode Island waters and oxygen tablets are available for anglers to keep fish alive for release, which we highly encourage. The Ocean State is blessed with a world-class ‘tog fishery, for now. The best way to enjoy and preserve it is to let those fish swim again. In the words of Captain BJ Silvia, “Sharpies release big blackfish. That’s where the sport has changed because they’re happy just catching them.”
Lines come out no later than 2:00 pm. Weigh-in runs until 4:00 pm at the Portuguese American Citizens Club in Portsmouth. The party starts right then and there, unless of course, you are holding a record breaking tog in your tank.
Let’s preserve a healthy fishery as we jig deep and dig deeper
Many of us are supremely fortunate to go fishing. Many of us have our health, nice rods, maybe a boat. But not everyone is as fortunate. They might rely on the generosity of others. Events like the Tog Classic balance fun, fishing and thoughtful giving because a good life thrives on balance. This day will be a positive experience from lines in to end of the day bragging rights. Ralph and his sponsors will ensure full tables and some room to dance so your job is to be there. Jig deep, dig deeper. Prizes and donations are still be assembled and accepted. Take this early notice and start appealing for a seat on a friend’s center console for access to deeper rocks or clean out the fluke gear and make room for a bucket of crabs in the kayak. We know how Ralph rolls. This is going to be epic.
The 2022 Rhode Island Tog Classic is sponsored by Jigging World, Humminbird, Minn Kota and Crafty One Customs. Raffles and silent auction items have been donated by many motivated companies including The Saltwater Edge, Otab, The Kayak Centre, Ron-Z, Shimano, Costa, Daiwa, The Fisherman Magazine, 401 Motoring, East Coast Construction, Grainger Pottery and people who believe in supporting our cause to have fun, catch fish, be a community, eat well and possibly dance around a little. Everyone wins when we all battle against cancer by supporting the Three Angles Fund. These are the same good people who may support us one day.
Just to make sure you all read all the way down, Ralph has upped his game with a challenge. Catch the new Rhode Island record tog, on this day, with a valid license and a paid entry, and you’ll win a Northcoast boat. No joke.
The Portuguese American Citizens Club is located at 35 Power St, Portsmouth, R.I. For more information, entry details, rules, raffle and auction items, and registration forms, please visit www.ritogclassic.com. To donate, please call Ralph Craft at 401.293.0477.