Are porgies the new flounder for Massachusetts fishing?

As I have been booking late spring trips for porgies this year, I have been thinking more and more about that fishery and what it represents.  Folk drive up the coast with expectations of filling coolers with fish to bring home for family, neighborhood, and church fish fries or freezers.  Limits of these fish are 50/person and I have seen groups of six come up towing small U-Hauls for two days of fishing.   For years, however, my customers had their eyes set on catching cod and haddock in the late spring.  While they still love that fishery, more and more people are doing the half-day, inshore freezer-filling porgy (scup) trips in Buzzards Bay.  Once the sea bass season opens, people can add 5 black sea bass to their catch.

Now, in the 70’s and early 80’s, I grew up catching crazy numbers of flounder with family in Quincy and Boston Harbor.  This is where I hope that the parallel ends–guys coming up for great fishing…. (yes, we all know that the fishery collapsed because of severe pollution and other reasons.  So let’s keep our fingers crossed that we have many more years of great fishing ahead of us.)   I’d like to talk about the positive similarities…  So let’s!

Anchoring up in 20-30′ of water and using a two-way rig with clams….while chumming…this is what turns these fish on.  We all know how fast the fishing can be.  We still see the busses coming up the coast; the families passing down tradition; the laughing, giggling, chuckling, and happy faces all day long.  Strangely we don’t see the fillet houses along the piers like we had in the 70’s and 80’s.  I know that most people take the fish home whole.

We leave from Mattapoisett, which gives us an easy trip to the fishing grounds and is one of the closest ports for people coming up the coast.  It is nearly an hour closer to NYC than most ports on Cape Cod!

It’s a strong fishery; it continues throughout the summer, though the limits drop from 50 to 30 per person during the summer.   Give me a call at 508-269-1882 to get a date that works for you.  Capt. Rich Antonino