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Amazing Menhaden (Pogie) Schools Off Cape Cod

ryan collins my fishing cape cod breakfast

This past Wednesday July 29th I had a unique opportunity to film and photograph two amazing schools of menhaden. 

Over the past several days I've seen menhaden schools inside Cape Cod Bay, as well as along the Atlantic-facing beaches of Outer Cape Cod. 

Each school probably contained several thousand menhaden. I know many people reading this have seen these schools before, but have you ever wondered what it actually looked like down there?

Well here you go! 👇


Interestingly, menhaden were not the only species present in the school. There were several "surprise fish" which made an appearance.

One surprise was this guy 👇

I am not 100% sure the species of the fish above, but I have a feeling it might be a blue runner. Please let me know what species you think it is by leaving a comment below.

Another surprise was the small school of Atlantic mackerel which was hanging out above the pogies.

Unfortunately on Wednesday I only saw one striped bass and no bluefin tuna or great white sharks. I have been hearing stories and reading reports in our forum about some really big bass and tuna feeding on these pogies.

You can watch some video footage of my menhaden experience from this past Wednesday by clicking play below. 👇

I first began seeing big schools of menhaden in April, and it seems like they are sticking around Cape Cod for the summer. If you head out fishing this week, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for pogies. 

As mentioned earlier in this post, I've seen big schools the past several days off the Outer Cape between Provincetown and Eastham, as well as in Cape Cod Bay.

Tight lines! 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Hi Ryan. I’m going to guess that’s a butterfish swimming with the menhaden. Rick

    1. I’ve heard butterfish from other people as well. Thank you Rick!

  2. Fantastic video footage.
    They’ve been thick.
    Be careful when your floating around.
    I encountered a beautiful whale yesterday. After it breached numerous time, I decided to back off, to stay safe and dry.

    1. Thanks Eddie! That was a cool video you took of that whale. Awesome experience!

  3. I hope to see these bait balls get more common in the future. Other species certainly do rely on them. Thank you for the video.

    1. My pleasure Glenn, and I’m glad you enjoyed the video. It is definitely always great seeing the pogies.

  4. That video is awesome. We have had fun this summer live-lining pogies in CCB from the kayak, although the bass have been scarce during the day. This weekend Carter lost his snag hook so was trying to improvise. He was using a Hogy peanut bunker jig to snag them (low yield as you can imagine). He let it sink for several seconds then pulled it through the school. On one pass, it was clear he had something that wasn’t a pogie. He pulled up a keeper sized fluke. Unfortunately we lost it right at the edge of the kayak but it was a pleasant surprise. Maybe the fluke was hunting for smaller pogies from below the school. A friend also saw mackerel among the pogies so we tried a sabiki at the edge of them but only accidentally snagged pogies with it.

    1. Thanks for the story David. Sounds like you and Carter are having a great summer of fishing together. The fluke discovery could be worth looking into. Last September/October I caught some nice fluke fishing beneath peanut bunker schools in Cape Cod Bay. Gluck the rest of the week, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday for our tuna trip!

  5. forgot about the fact some bait fish at time mix in together great footage! As a teen use to see tremendous schools of pogies in the Northshore of Mass down thru the Cape with macs mixed in in the mid seventies

    1. Good to hear that you’ve also seen pogie schools with mackerel mixed in. You just never know what you might see when you head out on the water! Tight lines David 🎣

  6. Thanks Ryan!
    Just started to follow you and already enjoying your work! Keep it up!

    1. I’m really glad you are enjoying MFCC. Keep in touch Terry!


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