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Species Information

Scientific Name:Stenotomus chrysops
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:55-77°F (13-25°C)
Technique:Bottom Fishing
Lure Type:Bottom Rig
World Record:2.06 kg (4 lb 9 oz) Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, USA03-Jun-1992
Other Names:scup, Northern porgy

The scup (Stenotomus chrysops) is a fish which occurs primarily in the Atlantic between Massachusetts and South Carolina.  Scup are deep-bodied (deeper from back to belly than they are wide). They are dusky brown with bright silvery reflections below and spiny fins. Adult fins are mottled with dark brown, and young scup fins may be faintly barred. Scup’s front teeth are very narrow, almost conical, and they have two rows of molars in the upper jaw. Longspine porgy look similar to scup, but can be easily identified by the elongated spines on their backs.

Scup grow slowly, up to about 20 inches long and 4 pounds. They can live a relatively long time, up to about 20 years. Scup are able to reproduce when they reach age 2, when they’re about 8 inches long.

They migrate north and inshore to spawn over weedy or sandy areas in southern New England from Massachusetts Bay south to the New York Bight from May through August, with peak activity in June. Most fish spawn at night, but scientists believe scup spawn in the morning. Females release an average of 7,000 eggs, which are fertilized externally. Then they migrate south and offshore in autumn as the water cools, arriving by December in offshore areas where they spend the winter.

During the summer and early fall, juveniles and adults are common in large estuaries, open sandy bottoms, and structured habitats such as mussel beds, reefs, or rock rubble. Scup are browsers – they nibble on invertebrates that live on the ocean bottom.

Scup are fished for by both commercial and recreational fishermen. The scup fishery is one of the oldest in the United States, with records dating back to 1800. Scup was the most abundant fish in colonial times Fishermen began using trawls in 1929, which increased catches dramatically. The species was termed overfished in 1996, and today there is evidence of a rebound.

The flesh is "firm and flaky", with a "sweet almost shrimplike flavor". Many consumers like their light flavor and they are characterized as panfish. Popular methods of cooking include frying, broiling, and baking. Scup contain many bones, which makes them difficult to fillet. As a result, scup are generally sold and cooked whole, after they’ve been gutted and scaled.

Latest Scup Fishing Reports and Spots

Thurs May 11 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/11/2023 3:12:04 PM

Capt Dave reports another very good day on the Viking Starlite. It was a steady pick all morning. We had to move from our first spot because the (View)

Fri May 12 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/12/2023 2:21:31 PM

Capt Dave reports a good day on the Viking Starlite. We had tough fishing to start the day with Striped Bass and Blues getting in the way of the (View)

Sat May 13 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/13/2023 1:13:58 PM

Capt Dave reports an excellent day of fishing on the Viking Starlite. It was very good from the beginning and we had one drop for the day. Porgi (View)

Sat May 6 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/6/2023 1:59:52 PM

Capt. Dave reports excellent fishing today on the Viking Starlite. We had great weather and the fish bit well until about 10 o’clock before the (View)

Sun May 7 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/7/2023 2:05:47 PM

Capt. Dave reports excellent fishing on the Viking Starlite. It was a slow start with the tide running hard but they bit very good through it al (View)

Mon May 8 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/8/2023 1:02:21 PM

Capt Dave reports the BEST day of fishing so far on the Viking Starlite! Benny had the biggest Porgy at 3 lbs and the biggest Weakfish at 5 lbs. (View)

Wed May 10 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/10/2023 2:43:59 PM

Capt Dave reports good fishing on the Viking Starlite. We had to move around a bit because the Porgies didn’t stay in one place for that long bu (View)

Schedule Update - 5/4/2023 3:55:37 PM

We are definitely sailing tomorrow Friday May 5 at 6am on our Sag Harbor Scup Express Trip. This trip which departs from Sag Harbor Village Mari (View)

Fri May 5 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/5/2023 2:20:12 PM

Capt. Dave reports a good day on the Viking Starlite. It started out good but as the Full Moon tide began to run hard it slowed down. We made a (View)

Sat April 29 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 4/29/2023 12:03:27 PM

Capt Dave reports pretty good fishing for the first day of scup season out of Sag Harbor. We had a nice group on the Viking Starlite with steady (View)