Tautogolabrus adspersus

Also going by the name bergall, this small fish is expert at stealing bait off hooks without getting caught. A saltwater species that we occasionally catch in New York Harbor, it is most common around rocks, pilings, and similar structures that provide shelter.

The cunner and tautog are very closely related. Young ones can be difficult to tell apart. Most cunner we catch are brown, with a bluish tint in bright sunlight, and only a few inches long. A big one would weigh only a couple of pounds.