How to Fish For Scup (Porgy's) - Skill Collecting

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How To Fish For Scup - Skill Collecting

A.K.A. PORGY FISHING

Sometimes when you and your kids are hoping for that big-game fish, you get skunked. That’s fishing. It’s especially easy for kids to lose interest when the big ones just aren’t biting. That’s when you take a break from the fancy fishing and go fishing for Scup.

Scup, also known as Porgy’s, are a type of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic ocean. In the Spring, they move away from the deeper, colder waters and migrate inshore once the water temperatures there are a little higher. You can easily fish inshore for them, especially in Tidal Estuaries. Porgy’s are revered by most saltwater anglers for how tasty they are.

What makes fishing for scup so much fun is that they are a “high percentage” catch. Just a few simple steps and you’ll catch a Scup, likely a bunch of them. That makes it especially great for kids. These fish put up a pretty good fight for their size too. On average they tend to be around 8-10 inches, so they’re considered a “Panfish”, but they can grow to upwards of 18 inches. They put up a surprisingly good fight when you hook one.

To catch scup, you need only a couple of things.

1). The Right Bait

Alitta virens (Photo courtesy:  Striperonline.com )

Alitta virens (Photo courtesy: Striperonline.com)

These ugly-as-sin, alien-like creatures are Sand Worms. Though you can’t see it in the photo, they have mouthparts that look a lot like the stuff of nightmares. For the most part though, their little, mouth pincers are harmless. They can’t bite/pinch hard enough to hurt, but it will get your attention the first time you attempt to thread one onto a hook and it rears back its little alien head and tries to pinch you with its hideous little mouth parts. The other downside is that they’ll set you back about $8 for a dozen of them. If you only use 2-3” long worm pieces when you fish, that should last you a 2-3 hours depending on how the bite is that day. Be prepared for bites. Many different types of fish like Sand Worms.

Flounder also love Sand worms too. This one was too small to keep.

Flounder also love Sand worms too. This one was too small to keep.

The Smooth Dogfish is a type of Sand Shark that grows to around 5ft in length. This one was a newborn pup at only 13 inches long. They’ll eat just about anything.

The Smooth Dogfish is a type of Sand Shark that grows to around 5ft in length. This one was a newborn pup at only 13 inches long. They’ll eat just about anything.

2). The right rig

Scup usually feed near the bottom, so you’ll want to use a bottom fishing rig. You can use what’s known as a Carolina Rig, but I prefer something known as a “High/Low Rig” or sometimes called a “Fish-finder Rig”.

The basic idea is the same, you have a sinker to hold your line to the bottom, and the bait suspended above it. I like the High/Low rig because you can use two hooks, one high, and one low. It’s tied using a long piece of leader. You’ll need to tie two dropper loops on the leader and a surgeon’s loop on each end. The one end can then get snapped to main line using a snap swivel. The other end of the line you can just loop on a sinker. I prefer the pyramid ones. On the dropper loops, you can just thread on some #2 barbed, bait-holder hooks. Or you can just buy the whole rig already made, though it’s just more economical to tie your own.

A High/Low Bottom Fishing Rig.

A High/Low Bottom Fishing Rig.

Then, just throw your line in and let it “soak” for a little. Before long you’ll see your rod tip “whomp”. On a good day and in a good spot, it’s pretty likely you can catch your limit and fill your freezer with fresh meat. It’s a fun way to score several meals for just the cost of worms and some light tackle.