Cod (Gadus morhua / macrocephalus)
- Size 5 to 15lbs
- Food Value Excellent
- Game Qualities Average
- Habitats Offshore
Cod are large, delicious, cold water bottom fish, with a long track record of commercial harvest and consumation.
Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) can grow to 6ft in length and 212lbs, but the average fish today (possibly due to fishing pressures) will be between 4 and 15lbs. Pacific Cod (Gadus macrocephalus) are substantially smaller, at a maximum of about 4ft and 40lbs and an average between 5 and 10lbs.
When & Where
These bottom dwellers prefer rocky or sandy subarctic sea floors up to 1200ft deep, with shells, their main food, in abundance.
- Atlantic Cod can be found in seas north of Cape Hatteras, NC in North America, off Greenland and Iceland and from the Bay of Biscay to the Arctic Ocean, including the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, Sea of the Hebrides and Barents Sea.
- Pacific Cod inhabit waters north of the Yellow Sea in Asia and Santa Monica, CA in the USA.
Both species form spawning aggregations during the winter and early spring, which is the best time to fish for them.
How to catch
Still or drift fishing the bottom or deep trolling with strip baits made of small fish, squid, crabs, sand eels or capelin will be the most effective. Cod are omnivorous though, and will take jigs, spinners, spoons, bucktails and metal squid immitations happily as well.
Good to eat?
These are phenomenal eating fish. Due to commercial overfishing, however, they are currently marked as a species vulnerable to extinction.
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