Post Content

Bob Greco

Bob Greco

Chief of Staff, Department of Fish & Game (DFG)

View Bob's Bio

Scup Fishing

Fishing in the dog days of summer can be slow, particularly during daylight hours. But the waters of Cape Cod, the Islands, and southeastern Massachusetts offer an abundance of scup, which are easy and fun to catch all summer long.

Recently, I was on vacation on Martha’s Vineyard with my family and friends. One tradition of the week is a fishing trip with the kids, who this year ranged in age from four to 13. The target species for this group is the not-so-elusive scup.

All you need is tackle that even fresh water anglers will likely own. We use spinning gear with light or medium action rods and 8 pound or 10 pound test line. Tie on bait rigs with hooks size six to 10 and sinkers of a ½ to 1 ounce. After a trip to the local tackle shop to get squid, clams, or sea worms (and bait rigs if you need them), you are ready to go. I prefer squid for bait since it stays on the hook very well. Just cut off a small piece, attach it to the hook a couple of times, cast out, and wait until you feel the fish.

This light and simple gear makes it easy and fun for kids to cast and catch the fish by themselves. Try to find a spot with moving water at an inlet to a salt pond, harbor, or river, or a jetty or pier, and you should have good luck. We have also done well from the beach early in the morning or in the evening.

The photo is of my friend and his daughter proudly displaying their catch of that day.

If you have no experience fishing and would like to try it with kids, or want more of an adventure, try fishing from a party or charter boat. They provide all the gear and bait and you will catch scup, and likely many other types of fish.

Division of Marine Fisheries scup fishing info.

Division of Marine Fisheries’ Saltwater Recreational Fishing Guide.

Massachusetts Marine Recreational Fishing Regulations.

Remember that people age 16 and over now need to register before fishing in marine waters.

Written By:

Recent Posts

Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers! posted on Jul 30

Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!

I always thought wasps were the bad guys growing up. But smokey-winged beetle bandit wasps (Cerceris fumipennis) are actually the good guys – used to kill off an invasive species. This specific type of wasp (that does not sting) catches Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a   …Continue Reading Calling All Insect-Loving Volunteers!

A Whale of a License Plate posted on Jul 28

A Whale of a License Plate

Wish your license plate was more identifiable? Want to save whales? Well, there is a way to achieve both of these at once. Perhaps the old saying about hitting two birds with one stone should be “do two cool things with one easy payment to the   …Continue Reading A Whale of a License Plate

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster posted on Jul 23

Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster

Everything that you have been told about lobsters is a lie. Okay, maybe not everything. But despite the popularity of the lobster industry (and it’s a very popular industry—bringing in over $53 million dollars in Massachusetts alone), many popular beliefs about the lobster’s existence are   …Continue Reading Before the Boston Seafood Festival, Reconsider the Lobster