May 18 2020

My First Keeper Tautog & Scup Of The Year


ryan collins my fishing cape cod breakfast

This past weekend Cape Cod received a taste of summer with bright sunny skies, calm winds, and warm weather.

Right now a lot of life is flocking and swimming to the bays, beaches and offshore waters surrounding the Cape & Islands.

There is an abundance of fishing opportunities right now on Cape Cod. Anglers are chasing haddock, tautog, scup, stripers, bluefish and flounder. Black sea bass season also opened up today.


Even if you didn't make it out fishing this past weekend (or if you went fishing and got skunked) it was still an awesome and beautiful weekend to just be outside and enjoy the sunshine. ☀️

In today's post, I would like to bring you with me on another Cape Cod fishing adventure. This time we'll target some of the first tautog (also called blackfish) and scup (also called porgy) of my 2020 season.

In addition, I'd also like to share with you some of the scenes and sounds of springtime at Cape Cod's beaches, bays, estuaries and dunes, as well as a new and delicious recipe. ?

Kayak Fishing For Tautog

Extra details and tackle used in this video:

The video clip above was filmed on May 6th, and the tautog was my first of the 2020 season. Today I'm happy to report that tog are still biting well. The outgoing tide during the morning produced another half dozen keeper blackfish for me this past weekend.

Catching tautog is a blast, whether it be from shore or from a boat. However, I find the challenge of catching tautog from my kayak to be the most fun.

The only problem with springtime kayak fishing is the frigidly cold temperature of the water.

That's why wearing a high quality life jacket is very important.

My lifejacket is called a Stohlquist Keeper PFD, and it has water proof pockets for my iPhone, marine VHF radio and Garmin Personal EPIRB.

You can purchase one of these PFD's from my friends at the Goose Hummock Shops, or here at their online store "".

Mediterranean Roasted Tautog

Tautog are not only a great fish to target for sport, but they are also very nice eating. Their white meat makes for great fillets but they can also be cooked whole on the grill. 

For dinner the other night my wife Lauren spun-up a new recipe which she named Mediterranean Roasted Tautog. The dish is complete with tomatoes, red onion, minced garlic, capers, golden raisins and more.

I thought Lauren did a great job with the tautog. It was really delicious! So I asked Lauren to share the recipe, which you can view below.

The recipe worked great for us, but cooking (like fishing) can be a challenge. Good luck with your cooking and please let us know how things go if you give this recipe a try! ?

Big Schools Of Scup

This past Friday May 15th, I had an early morning opportunity to launch my "new-to-me" 12 foot tin boat with an 8hp Johnson.

Both the boat and motor are about 20 years old, but it was lightly used by my friend and is still in immaculate shape. 

In fact the engine only has about 25 hours of use on it.

The trailer lights needed to be fixed, but aside from that the entire rig was ready to go.

All I did this past week was install some new cleats and the boat was ready for her maiden voyage!

This past Friday morning I hit the water at 8am. Just like last week in the kayak, my plan was to bottom fish in Buzzard's Bay. I anchored up in about 25 feet of water.

Once again I used green crabs for bait. The action was not hot and heavy, but I did manage a tautog, some black sea bass, and a couple "jumbo" scup.

However, the most exciting moments were revealed in the underwater footage I was able to capture during this trip.

Please click below to check it out! ?

It was really cool to see these schools of scup as they investigated my bait. Now I understand better how they feed.

For example, scup are very interested in baits fished a foot or more off the bottom, while tautog are more keen to baits fished on the sea floor. At least this is my initial observation.

What do you think about this video? Please let me know by commenting below! ???

A Taste Of Summer
On The Cape

As I mentioned at the beginning of this blog post, the weather on Cape this past weekend was really phenomenal. Light winds and bright sunny skies had me dreaming about the summer days of July and August.

Thursday afternoon Lauren and our dog Rosie and I, decided to go for a walk along the flats of Cape Cod Bay in Brewster.

The tide was still out when we arrived, but it was flooding in fast. Rosie rolled around in tidal pools, Lauren enjoyed some beach combing, and I walked around snapping pictures.

The chirping of the shore birds brought back the feeling I would get as a kid when school just got out for the summer. I felt very excited about the months of warm weather which lay ahead.

Once we got our fill of sun, we decided to leave the beach and walk the pathways of Crowe's Pasture and Quivett Creek. 

This area has been set aside as conservation land and it's an awesome sanctuary for wildlife. There are many unique habitats and rare animals all living together in this one special area.

In Conclusion

I am very excited and eager about all the fishing opportunities that exist right now on Cape Cod. For example, black sea bass season opens today and I am itching to get out there and give sea bass a try.

The great news is that more and more saltwater fishing opportunities will come over the next few weeks. Larger striped bass are showing up with each passing day, and once June rolls around people will once again be thinking about bluefin tuna.

Best of luck if you hit the beach or head out onto the water this week. Please let me know if I can help with any tips! Our forum is also a great place to go for info and advice.

Tight lines! ?

What do you think?

Let me know by commenting below.

About the author 

Ryan Collins

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!

  • Hi Ryan, i really appreciate the post. DId you use an anchor when you were in your kayak over the tog?

    • Hey Jane ?? No I didn’t use an anchor, and honestly, I would not recommend trying to anchor up in a kayak. I’ve never done it before and it just seems risky to me. Instead I used the pedal drive to keep myself in the same general spot, although it was more a very slow drift then anything. It worked out pretty well! LMK if you have any other questions.

  • Was an old close friend of some Salts, Connie Gesner, Roberson from Duxbury, Dr.
    Bill Laughlin and his friend Bob, the real estate guy, plus numerous others involved with the TUNA craze when you could be rewarded. Was abused however and now the price
    is being paid.

    • I can only imagine how good the tuna fishing must of been back then Robert. It also must of been nice getting high prices for the fish. It’s probably a lot more challenging nowadays to make a living selling tuna, as you allude to. Gluck out there this week and thanks for commenting! ?

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