Some awfully big scup have arrived on Cape Cod! Back on Thursday May 9th my good friend Jason Mazzola and I had a blast catching keeper-size scup and tautog.
Yes it's true that most anglers right now have striped bass fever, but scup and tautog fishing is a great change of pace, and a ton of fun once you get into a hot bite!
In this post I'll recap my latest fishing experience targeting scup and tog. In addition I'll share with you helpful tips and advice, plus a 15 minute long video about catching big scup and blackfish right now on Cape.
Thursday May 9th Scup & Tautog Fishing Report
My lifelong friend Jay Mazzola and his beautiful wife Deana are new parents to an awesome 4 month year old little boy named Dom. Needless to say that my friends are very busy, with a lot of newfound responsibility!
That's why I was very excited to have an opportunity to go fishing with Jay on his boat this past Thursday, May 4th. Fishing time is a precious commodity when you have small children at home - I'm sure many of you readers can relate!
Jay and I launched his 23' SeaCraft the Sue-Sea-Q at 3:30pm with a plan to fish this general area of Cape Cod for tautog (blackfish) and scup (porgy). Conditions were partly sunny with a brisk breeze from the east.
With it being a weekday early in the season, there were very few boats on the water. Most of the vessels we encountered were commercial fishing boats, tugs and barges.
After a 20 minute ride Jay slowed down his SeaCraft and we began looking for a good spot to anchor up. We had an idea of where the tog and scup might be, and we hoped to get on the bite quickly.
"Chumming Up" Tog & Scup
We anchored up in about 24 feet of water, feeling confident about our chosen location. In the past Jay has had good luck with tautog in this spot which contains rocks and other productive structure.
The technique we employed is quite simple - fish the bottom using Togzilla jigs tipped with green crab meat.
If you are unfamiliar with this technique, then have no worries, because we have this Tautog fishing tutorial here on MFCC which explains the most important details.
Not long into fishing Jay got a big bite while blowing his nose. Somehow he managed to get a good hook set on the fish, while simultaneously clearing his nostrils. LOL - amazing!
With one keeper in the boat I think Jay and I both expected the bite to heat up. However, that was not meant to be.
For the next couple hours we moved from one spot to the next, searching in vain for tog and scup, and not even getting so much as a bite!
At around 7pm we decided to check one last spot. We anchored up in 20 feet of water, right on the edge of a drop off in this general region of Cape Cod. Next we started chumming heavy with crabs.
I'm not sure how important the chum was, but the tog and scup showed up on the sonar almost immediately after we began chumming.
All of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of a scup and tautog blitz. We could see the schools on the side scan sonar as they swam around the boat. It was a tautog and scup miracle!
For the next 45 minutes Jay and I enjoyed consistent bites on each drop. This was a much appreciated change of pace, considering we only had one bite the previous 2 hours.
My Dad always says that "catching fish is just a bonus" - and I am okay with getting skunked. However this trip proved to be another good example why it pays to never give up.
The fish are out there, we just have to find them!
At 7:45pm Jay and I decided to call it a trip. We probably could of stayed and caught more fish, but it was time to head back in.
Final tally was four keeper tautog and around a half dozen keeper scup. We released everything and kept two of the tog for dinner.
To be honest, I didn't expect fishing for scup and blackfish to be so challenging and fun. Stripers, tuna and roosterfish may always be my favorite species, but right now I'm having a blast with tog and scup here on the Cape!
Tautog & Scup Video
MFCC members can click play below to watch the full 15 minute video from this trip. If you are a member, then please login and refresh this page to get access.
If you are not a member, then you can watch a 55 second preview of the video below, or signup here to get access to the 15 minute full-length video.
Tackle & Equipment:
As mentioned above, stripers, tuna and roosterfish may always be my favorite species. However, right now I'm having a blast with tog and scup here on the Cape!
Over the coming weeks we will hopefully see a push of 40 inch striped bass, 30 inch bluefish and maybe even a weakfish or two. We definitely have a lot to look forward to.
Good luck if you make it out fishing this week. Please let us know how you do by making a post in our forum.
I’m fortunate to have grown up on the beach, and I’ve been fishing since kindergarten. I have great family, friends and fishing experiences to be thankful for. Just being out there is enough-catching fish is just a bonus!