Porgy Fishing

Why porgy fishing is so popular up and down the East Coast. Well, people still love to take home fish. For some people, “lots of fish” is even better. A common term “we’re on the meat!” comes to mind. Why? During the special charter season (May and June), each person is allowed 40 fish per person, and that includes the captain/mate. When it’s all said and done, we can usually do this is a 4.5 hour trip! That’s how fast the action is around Cape Cod(Buzzards Bay and Nantucket Sound).

Best bait for porgy
Most bait works great for porgy

For the most part, porgy live south of Cape Cod and all throughout Buzzards Bay. In early May, they come in to spawn and the action is silly. In 2022, I found a school of porgy off of Hyannis that moved out the entire population of squid overnight! I watched the school on my Humminbird sonar for 8 miles! It was massive. “Pork chops”. “Dinner plates”. “Hubcaps.” Get the drift? When the school is that big, you don’t have to chum or even anchor. You just have to get to the bottom. Other times, setting up in an area, anchoring and even chumming is the key to non-stop action.

Because of the simplicity, it is the type of trip that is great to introduce non-fishermen to. Because we use light tackle and the water is shallow, it is easy to fish for them and feel every bite. There is very little guess work. I tell people to set the hook as soon as you feel anything. Why? Because mixed in around the porgy are black sea bass. While porgy will “nibble”, black sea bass have big mouths and will swallow the bait whole. I don’t want those fish to swallow the hook. By setting the hook quickly, most of the black sea bass are hooked in the lips, not the stomach. (We are only allowed to keep 4 black sea bass per person, so we are selective on the ones that we keep, as they commonly exceed 5#. No reason to kill smaller ones.)

Scup fishing
porgy fishing buzzards bay

How popular is porgy fishing? Every year, we get people who drive up from as far away as North Carolina! These guys do it right; they often bring enough coolers to chill out hundreds of pounds of porgy! Yes, 6 people on a charter, plus a captain means each trip they can keep 280 porgy!!!! If we get into a school of big ones, that can be 500# of fish, easily!!!! Many people will travel and do two days in a row (most captains run two trips a day.). “In for a dime, in for a dollar.” That’s my motto. I ask “what are you going to do with all of these fish?” Quite commonly the answer is “we are going to have a church fish fry.” That is so awesome to hear.

What to expect on a porgy trip? Our run to the fish may only be a couple of miles…At most, we will travel 6 miles. That is so refreshing. it’s an easy run. By anchoring, it is easy to hold bottom with your bait. It’s the oldest for of groundfishing there is. You drop your bait down in 20-35′ of water and wait for a nibble. With action this fast, if you don’t feel a nibble for 30 seconds, I bet your bait fell off. We use double hook fish rigs in case one bait gets stolen, then you have another ready to go. I’m not hoping for doubles, but rather insurance against bait stealers. We do catch our fair share of doubles, though. As you catch fish, you’ll drop them into a bucket that is nearby. As the buckets fill up, I drop them into an iced cooler and count them. As we approach the limit, we have a countdown with each fish caught. It’s fun; it’s a game. Lots of crap-talking. Lots of laughing. It’s a blast. Going home with a ton of fish is just the beginning. Getting home and eating….and more laughing with the people who didn’t come…and making plans for next year. It’s what it’s all about.

huge porgy
This is porgy fishing

You can go to my “trips” page for current pricing. I run 4.5 hour, 6 hour, and 8 hour trips for porgy/black sea bass.