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Angler Education: Pogie Schools in Cape Cod Bay

ryan collins my fishing cape cod breakfast

In this segment, we chase down a school of adult pogies (also called bunker or menhaden). This footage was filmed in Cape Cod Bay during August of 2019, and originally aired during My Fishing Cape Cod TV.

Pogie schools can contain tens of thousands of individual fish. Here on Cape Cod, pogies are an important prey item for bluefin tuna, striped bass, bluefish, fluke, dolphins and many other species. 

Pogies are filter-feeders. They swim with their mouths open, filtering small organisms from the water. In one sense they are like a big vacuum cleaner for the ocean, and despite containing thousands of individuals, the pogie school moves through the water as if it's one single organism.

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Like most animals in the ocean, pogies have been hit hard by over-fishing and environmental factors. However, over the past several years here on Cape Cod, I have seen more big schools of pogies than I have ever seen before in my entire life.

This school of pogies was in very shallow clear water, which made for excellent viewing and filming conditions. I captured this footage using a DJI Spark drone and Go Pro Hero 7 camera.

These "Angler Education" segments originally aired during commercial breaks of the 2020 season of My Fishing Cape Cod TV on NBC Sports Boston. To view full episodes of the tv show, please visit https://myfishingcapecod.com/tv

Tight lines 🎣

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

  1. Since, as you mentioned Ryan, Pogies are filter feeders, they swim against the current. This facilitates more plankton laden water coming into their mouths. This is different from most bait fish that travel with the current. Most of the time a school of Pogies appears as a dark reddish blob slowly undulating through the water.

    Reply
    1. Copy that Dex, good info! 👍

      Reply

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