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Species Information

Scientific Name:Stenotomus chrysops
Common Names:scup, Northern porgy
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Surf
Ideal Temp:55-77°F (13-25°C)

About Scup

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.

Scup Fishing

World Record:2.06 kg (4 lb 9 oz) Nantucket Sound, Massachusetts, USA03-Jun-1992
# Fish Caught:5844036 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1830 12:00:00 AM and located at 40.00000, -67.00000.
Latest Record:5/14/2024 3:34:07 PM and located at 41.07352, -71.93953.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig
Fishing Spots:135 Scup fishing spots.

Latest Scup Fishing Reports and Spots

Fri May 10 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/10/2024 2:39:24 PM

Capt Dave reports really good fishing on the Viking Starlite. It was a good steady bite the whole trip. We had Porgies up to 2 lbs with very few (View)

Sat May 11 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/11/2024 2:58:45 PM

Capt Dave reports EXCELLENT fishing on the Viking Starlite. The best day we have seen so far! We had the biggest fish of the season with the poo (View)

Sun May 12 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/14/2024 3:26:38 PM

Pool winner – Eladio Cortes Staten Island NY 3 lb Scup (View)

Mon May 13 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/14/2024 3:30:07 PM

Mon May 13 – Sag Harbor Scup Express Capt Dave reports another good day of fishing. It started a bit slow with the strong tide we had. When it s (View)

Tue May 14 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/14/2024 3:34:07 PM

Thank you to everyone who showed up to Sag Harbor for our first two weeks of the season! We look forward to seeing you all out in Montauk!! Trip (View)

Wed May 1 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/2/2024 11:03:17 AM

Great start to the 2024 porgy season! Light crowds good weather and great fishing! Capt Dave reports great fishing on the Viking Starlite. We lo (View)

Thur May 2 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/2/2024 4:17:58 PM

Capt Dave reports a slow and steady pick on the Viking Starlite. We had a different kind of day than yesterday. It wasn’t as crazy hot but we al (View)

Fri May 3 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/3/2024 12:43:22 PM

Capt Dave reports another good trip on the Viking Starlite. Due to the tough weather conditions this morning it was a tough feel catching the fi (View)

Sat May 4 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/4/2024 3:34:11 PM

Capt Dave reports a decent trip on the Viking Starlite. We had a nice shot first thing with the first hour being really good. After that it was (View)

Sun May 5 – Sag Harbor Scup Express - 5/5/2024 2:09:39 PM

Capt Dave reports a tougher day on the Viking Starlite. The fish were off the bite with the colder temperature today that resulted in a slow pic (View)