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Scup

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

Albies Striped Bass and Bluefish - 9/22/2022 1:52:46 PM

Another week gone by and somehow we managed to get another fishing report in there as well! (If I don’t pat myself on the back who will?) This (View)

Those beautifully powerful and incredibly frustrating Albies! - 9/16/2022 9:53:35 PM

Did someone say “Albie Fever”?! Shore kayak and boat anglers are all having luck hooking up with those funny fish off the south side of the Cap (View)

Tue Aug 16 – 1/2 Day Fishing AM - 8/16/2022 12:51:21 PM

Capt JR reports that we had some very windy conditions this morning on the Viking Star. Despite the difficult conditions we landed some nice Flu (View)

Surfcasting trips with Sports Port Pro Staff and the Fishing Report - 7/21/2022 2:25:54 PM

By Striper Mike Sports Port Pro Staff Imagine walking the beautiful beaches of Cape Cod viewing spectacular sunrises and sunsets while having t (View)

Summer Season Begins and 7/15 fishing report - 7/15/2022 8:19:50 AM

By Striper Mike Sports Port Pro Staff The spring striped bass migration is well past completion and many of the striped bass visiting the Cape (View)

Sun July 10 – Montauk Lighthouse Jumbo Porgies & Knothead SeaBass - 7/10/2022 2:04:57 PM

Capt Dave reports excellent fishing today on the Viking Starship. Dave reports that it was the best trip so far this season. They had tons of ac (View)

Mon July 4 – Montauk Lighthouse Jumbo Porgies & Knothead SeaBass - 7/4/2022 1:49:25 PM

Capt Dave reports great fishing today on the Viking Starship. The morning started off slow slow pick with decent sized Porgies. When the conditi (View)

Wed July 6 – 1/2 Day Fishing PM - 7/6/2022 5:14:31 PM

Capt JR reports a good day of fishing the Viking Star. The afternoon trip on the Viking Star was productive with all anglers landing a good catc (View)

Sat June 25 – 1/2 Day Fishing PM - 6/25/2022 4:45:05 PM

Capt Mike reports a beautiful afternoon aboard the Viking Star. Fishing was steady until slack tide. It slowed for a bit but picked up on the in (View)

Sun June 5 – Montauk Spring Porgies - 6/5/2022 2:29:11 PM

Capt Dave reports red hot fishing on the Viking Starlite. It was a good day of steady Porgy fishing with one drop for the whole day never having (View)