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Porgy Tackle

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PorgyOur recommended porgy outfit includes a spinning rod and reel combo suitable for 14-20lb fused line. The optimal rod is 6’6″ to 7′ feet long with a fast to extra-fast action and capable of handling lure weights up to 1 ounce. Most anglers prefer to use 14lb fused line as opposed to 20lb fused line because the slightly decreased line diameter can provide additional casting distance when flipping small baits to porgies.

Recommended Line for Porgy Fishing

We recommend loading the reel with 14-20lb fused line as opposed to braided line or mono. Fused and braided lines allow for much greater casting distance than mono. This is because is the much smaller line diameter of fused and braided lines. In addition, the fused and braided lines have virtually no stretch which allows the angler to carefully work even the most difficult lures, feel the softest hits, and easily set the hook. Fused line is preferred to braided line because it has better abrasion resistance and is less likely to form a wind knot.

Porgy Rigs

The line should be attached to a 4ft length of 30lb fluorocarbon leader using a 50lb barrel swivel.  A perfection loop is used on the end of the leader for a 10z-4oz bank sinker. Dropper loops are tied at 12 and 36 inches above the bank sinker.  The dropper loops get threaded through 4/0 beak bait hooks.

The small profile of the swivel virtually eliminates any chance of picking up debris and provides an easy connection point between the line and the leader. The angler needs to be careful not to reel the swivel into the rod as it can damage the guides. Some anglers use an albright or uni-knot instead of a swivel. This knot can be tricky to tie properly with braided and fused lines.

When the fish are big and aggressive, many anglers switch to artificial scented grubs and mullet baits.  These are available in a wide variety of colors and will often out-fish natural bait.

Porgy Chum

We strongly recommend Berkley Gulp Chum.  It is incredibly effective. It does not have to be changed all day and after fishing it can be put back in the bucket for recharging. When the water is very cold and the fish are sluggish this can make all the difference.   However, many anglers simply opt for ground clam chum.  A good tip when using clam chum is to leave it partially in the package so that it flows more slowly.  Cut 5-6 long slices in a frozen chum log in a plastic bag and it will be more effective and last longer.

Porgy Fishing Tips

When fishing in shallow water, the fish can be a bit boat shy and the best bite may be several feet behind the boat.  Keep your chum close, but drop your baits further back to target the biggest fish.  Always being enough chum and do your best to fish where there is at least some current (to spread the chum).  If you are catching smaller fish, pick up your anchor and find another spot.  Drifting can also be effective when trying to find bigger fish.  Once they are located, you can consider anchoring and chumming.

Porgy Tackle Checklist

  • 6’6″ to 7′ spinning rod rated for 14-20lb braid and lure weights up to 1 ounce
  • Spinning reel rated for 14-20lb braid
  • 14-20lb fused line
  • 30lb fluorocarbon leader
  • 50lb barrel swivel
  • 4/0 beak bait hooks
  • Artificial scented softbaits
  • 10z-4oz bank sinkers
  • Chum

Please contact us if you have questions about our recommendations!

Click here to see all of our Porgy Content (news, video, techniques, tips, and locations)

CLICK HERE FOR FREE PORGY FISHING VIDEO CLIPS!

Porgy Fishing Techniques and Tips

Porgies may not be the biggest fish around, but they put up a tough fight. As with most fishes that have a large flat body type, they can exert an amazing amount of downward pressure for their size. Any porgy over a pound is a good fish and it is not unusual to catch a few that are two pounds. Occasionally a body of fish is located that has some real giants mixed in and these fish can even approach the four pound mark! Porgies are a blast on light tackle. Light spinning and conventional tackle in the 8-12lb class is best in the shallows. Heavier outfits are needed when fishing with larger sinkers in deeper water and stronger currents.

Find the right bottom

Porgies can be found in good numbers from Cape Hatteras, NC north to Cape Cod, MA.  Only occasionally can they be found North of Cape Ann, MA. They survive best in waters ranging in temp from 55 to 75 degrees. They usually make their appearance in late Spring when water temps get above the 60 degree mark. These fish tend to prefer sandy or broken bottom in depths from 6-120 feet.  They will move with the tide along sandy beaches in search of food and are accessible from the beach in most sandy harbors and bays. For the boaters, some middle and nearly all high-end fishfinders will be able to locate schools of fish. Be sure to glance at the fishfinder when the bite is on to become familiar with how porgies appear on a specific machine. Your local tackle shop is always a good starting point when pursuing these fish.

Keep that chum flowing

Porgies are quick to respond to the scent of chum in the water. Use a chum pot big enough to fit at least a one gallon slab of frozen chum. The pot should be dropped to the bottom and tied off at the bow. Fishing is done from amidships or the stern. This way it is impossible to accidentally snag the chum pot and the baits are always presented down-tide of the chum slick. A few hard tugs on the chum pot line every few minutes will ensure that the chum keeps flowing. It is important to periodically check the pot and add a new block of chum before it runs out or the scent gets completely washed out. Any ground chum is effective but in most places clam chum is the best. However, many anglers now exclusively use Berkley Gulp Chum which can easily be recharged after each use.

Multiple hooks

Porgies are very aggressive and will often rip baits off the hook before the angler has a chance to hook them. Soft baits such as clams and worms are often torn off before the porgies ever inhale the hook. Multiple hook rigs greatly increase the chance of a hookup. Multiple baits will attract several fish and they become even more aggressive when competing for food. Most porgy fisherman use at least two hooks and some use even more. However, adding more hooks increases the chance of the rig tangling and adds a new level of difficulty when unhooking multiple fish. Porgies have very sharp dorsal spines that can puncture nearly any fabric and create a nasty infection. Most anglers unhook porgies by grabbing them from the stomach. A simple dropper loop rig made from 30-50lb Fluorocarbon with a bank sinker on the bottom and 3-inch dropper loops tied 6 inches and 30 inches above the sinker can be very effective. Each dropper loop is threaded through the eye of a 1/0 or 2/0 bait holder style hook. The sinker should be heavy enough to easily hold the bottom. The rig is typically held steady but an occasional short lift can get the porgies attention. When a bite occurs, lift slowly. If weight is felt, strike sharply and hang on.

Clams, worms, squid

Porgies will take a wide variety of baits. They tend to prefer clams, worms and squid. However, they will respond to nearly every other kind of bait provided it is cut into small enough pieces. Soft baits such as clams and worms should be cut into narrow strips no more than 2 inches in length. Clams should be threaded onto the hook multiple times. Worms should be threaded on so that a small piece of worm extends beyond the hook. Squid strips are a little tougher and only need to be threaded on once or twice. Leaving a bit of bait dangling beyond the hook will certainly entice more fish. When the bite is on, switch to progressively smaller pieces of bait and take advantage of the porgies increased aggressiveness.


Tackle Recommendations
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Rods
Penn Legion Spinning Penn Legion Spinning
Inshore spinning rod - 6'6" to 8' - multiple models suitable for 6-40lb mono and 6-65lb braid - fast to extra-fast actions
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Penn Legion Spinning Penn Legion Spinning
Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning
Inshore spinning rod - 6'6" to 8' - multiple models suitable for 10-30lb mono and 8-30lb braid - medium fast to extra-fast actions
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Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning Shimano Teramar Northeast Inshore Spinning
Reels
Penn Spinfisher V Penn Spinfisher V
Spinning reel - models rated for 4-50lb mono and 10-80lb braid - 4.2:1, 4.7:1, 5.6:1, and 6.2:1 gear ratios - 5 ball bearings
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Penn Spinfisher V Penn Spinfisher V
Penn Clash Penn Clash
Spinning reel - models rated for 4-30lb mono and 8-80lb braid - 4.7:1, 5.6:1, 6.2:1 gear ratios - Full Metal Body, CNC Gear Technology, Leveline Oscillation System, HT-100™ carbon fiber drag washers, 8 Sealed stainless steel ball bearing, Instant Anti-Reverse bearing, Heavy-duty aluminum bail wire, Braid ready spool and line capacity rings
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Penn Clash Penn Clash
Shimano Spheros SW Shimano Spheros SW
Spinning reel - models rated for 6-30lb mono and 20-100lb braid - 4,4:1, 4.6:1, 4.8:1, or 4.9:1 gear ratios - 4 ball bearings, Hagane body, Hagane gear, X-shield, cross carbon drag, and CF aluminum cold forge spool.
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Shimano Spheros SW Shimano Spheros SW
Shimano Stradic FK Shimano Stradic FK
Spinning reel - models rated for 2-20lb mono and 10-65lb braid - 4.8:1 and 6.2:1 gear ratios - 6 ball bearings - Hagane gear provides power with cold forged drive gear, precision cut gears for power and smoothness, Hagane body, Dyna balance, Fluid Drive II gearing system, and cold forged aluminum spool
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Shimano Stradic FK Shimano Stradic FK
Line
Berkley Fireline Fused Berkley Fireline Fused
Fused line - more resistant to nicks and abuse than braided line - blaze orange, flame green, or smoke colors - available in 6 to 30lb test and 125, 300, 1500, and 3000yd spools
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Berkley Fireline Fused Berkley Fireline Fused
Lures
Berkley Gulp Mullet Berkley Gulp Mullet
Gulp Alive! Soft bait - 3" - GSSM3 - available in 12 colors - natural, action, scent and taste - irresistible swimming tail action.
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Berkley Gulp Mullet Berkley Gulp Mullet
Berkley Gulp Alive Grub Berkley Gulp Alive Grub
Gulp Alive! Soft bait - 1.5" - GAJJG1- available in black, chartruese, pearl, and white - proven shape and action works well for all fish - use on jigs, dropshots, and dropper loops
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Berkley Gulp Alive Grub Berkley Gulp Alive Grub
Hooks
Mustad Beak Bait Hook Mustad Beak Bait Hook
92553NP-BN - Opti-Angle Needle Point, chemically sharpened, Nor-Tempered, forged, reversed, extra strong, turned up tapered eye - Octopus style
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Mustad Beak Bait Hook Mustad Beak Bait Hook
Terminal Tackle
Mustad Rolling Swivel Mustad Rolling Swivel
77900 - Black Rolling Swivel w/round eye - available sizes/rating: 4/144lb, 6/118lb, 8/104lb, 9/77lb, 10/70lb, 12/49lb, and 14/42lb


Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader  - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear  and disappearing pink colors - 4-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri Fluorocarbon Leader
Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - additional abrassion resistance, lower diameter, invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear and disappearing pink colors - 8-200lb test and 30/100yd spools
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Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader Yo-Zuri TopKnot Fluorocarbon Leader
Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Fluorocarbon leader - invisible, durable, max knot/crimp strength - clear, blue, pink, brown colors - 20-200lb test and 25/33/75/100yd coils
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Berkley Prospec Leader Berkley Prospec Leader
Other
Berkley Gulp Chum Berkley Gulp Chum
Saltwater Chum - GCBK5-V - Rapid scent dispersal for all saltwater gamefish. Ideal for fishing shallow water structure. No refrigeration needed.
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Berkley Gulp Chum Berkley Gulp Chum