Common Ling (Molva molva)

Common Ling

  • Size 90 - 100 cm
  • Food Value Excellent
  • Game Qualities Average
  • Habitats Offshore, Reef, Wreck

Despite its lackluster name, the Common Ling is above average in more ways than one! Also known as White Ling or just Ling, this species is among the longest and largest Cod-like fish (not to be confused with Cobia, which is also called Ling in Texas).

How Big?

Common Lings can grow to 200 cm in length, though they typically measure 90-100 cm long. Those caught close to shore typically weigh 0.9-2.2 kg (2-5 lbs). The IGFA all tackle record for this fish is 40.1 kg (88 lb 6 oz).

When and Where

Lings inhabit the northern Atlantic, primarily around Europe and into the Mediterranean Basin (though they are rare in the Mediterranean). Anglers also catch this fish off the coasts of eastern Canada, southern Greenland, and Iceland.

The Common Ling likes to live in relatively deep water, anywhere from 15-600+ meters below the surface. Young fish live near the coast in water 15-20 m deep, then move to water 100-400 m deep around the time they reach 3 years of age.

Common Ling

Common Ling caught in Stavanger, Norway

How to Fish

Recreational anglers target this fish by bottom fishing with heavy tackle. Since Common Ling is a deepwater species, it’s very hard to return this fish to the sea once it’s been reeled to the surface. Anglers are encouraged to keep their catch and to stop fishing for Lings once they have caught enough for the table.

Good to Eat?

Ling tastes excellent. This fish is consumed fresh, frozen, salted, dried, and as fishmeal. In Spain, the roe of Ling is served as a delicacy known as huevas de maruca.

Seeing as this is one of the largest fish of its kind, anglers can look forward to good eating–and lots of it!

Fish Species Similar to Common Ling

Cod


Top Common Ling Fishing Charters