South Atlantic Fishery Management Council

Porgy, Scup

Porgy, Scup

Porgy, Scup

Stenotomus chrysops
Recreational
All areas are open for recreational fishing.
Commercial
All areas are open for commercial fishing.

Scup are deep-bodied and have very spiny fins. The front teeth are incisor-form and are very narrow, almost conical. There are two rows of molars in the upper jaw. Longspine porgy are similar, but may be readily identified by their elongated dorsal spines. Scup are dusky brown with somewhat bright silverly reflections below. The fins are mottled with dark brown in the adults and the young may be faintly barred.

Scup inhabit the nearshore region of the continental shelf from Nove Scotia to South Carolina, and prefer hard bottom habitats, such as rock outcroppings and wrecks in waters of 45° F or wamer. Spawning takes place from May to August in northern portions of the range. Sexual maturity is attained when fish are 2 years old and about 8 inches long. The eggs and larvae are pelagic and are carried by currents and winds before settling to the bottom. Scup may live to be 15 years old, reaching a length of 18 inches and a weight of 3 pounds. Scup are browsers; they nibble on invertebrates that live on the ocean bottom. They are able to grasp foods with their incisors, and then crush hard-shelled animals with their strong molars.

Regulations

NC, SC, GA, FL

  • Season is currently open.
  • 20 Aggregate Limit
  • 10 Bag Limit
  • Notes: A descending device is required on board all vessels fishing for or possessing snapper and grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The descending device must be readily available for use and attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line. Get more information at Best Fishing Practices Webpage

    No minimum size limit. North of Cape Hatteras (35 deg 15.0321′ N) the minimum size limit is 9 inches Total Length and the bag limit is 50 per person per day. Must be landed with head and fins intact. If you are bringing fish back to the U.S. from the Bahamas by water, please see Bringing fish back from the Bahamas.

    ———- Federally Permitted Charter/Headboats:

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that fish.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in state waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in federal waters but open in state waters, the vessel is not allowed to retain that species.

    -If a federally permitted vessel fishing in federal waters catches a species that is closed to harvest in state waters but open to harvest in federal waters, they may retain that fish if they do not stop to fish in state waters when returning to port. All gear must be stowed.

    For more information, see: SAFMC Scup Regulations

    To see commercial regulations, download Fish Rules Commercial App for iOS devices or Android devices.

  • Gear Description: Allowable gear includes vertical hook-and-line, including hand line and bandit gear, and spearfishing gear without rebreathers. When fishing for or possessing snapper grouper species in federal waters of the South Atlantic, the following regulations apply: (1) Use of a dehooking tool is required. (2) The use of non-stainless steel hooks is required when using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. In waters North of 28-degrees N. latitude, the use of non-offset, non-stainless steel circle hooks is required when fishing for snapper grouper species using hook-and-line gear with natural baits. (3) A descending device is required on board all vessels and must be readily available for use (attached to at least 16 ounces of weight and at least 60 feet of line). See below for more details.

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