north coasts of Europe and around the Baltic.
A cold water species, they are bottom feeders that roam in large shoals in the
colder seas on both sides of the North Atlantic. During the winter they migrate
southwards either to spawn or in search of food, and from October to April are
often found in large shoals in the North Sea, the English Channel, along the
They are usually found in water depths between 10 to 300
fathoms, but under favourable conditions mostly during the winter months they
will move close inshore to feed in shallow water right along the beaches of our
Unfortunately the Cod fishery has been devastated by over fishing during the
breeding season. This wrong has been recently put right by the EEC who have
banned fishing for Cod during the breeding season. Hopefully the species will no
make a return in numbers in the coming years.
On this side of the Atlantic a good average weight is between 10 to 25lbs,
but fish of around 30lb are not uncommon especially when wreck fishing. Fish
under 5lb are usually referred to as Codling. The current British Rod caught
record is 58lbs 6ozs captured off Whitby in North Yorkshire by N. Cook in 1992.
On the other side of the Atlantic Cod seem to grow much larger. During the early
part of this century before sport fishing became popular several fish between
100 and 200lb were recorded. The largest commercially caught fish was taken off
Massachusetts Coast in May 1895 and weighed in at an incredible weight of
These are classified as poor, particularly when caught in
depths exceeding 20 fathoms, because their swim bladders rupture when they are
brought up quickly, killing the fish before it has much chance of putting up any
Squid, mackerel strip, lugworm. Lures: pirks, jigs and
caught Cod are usually captured around slack water. However this is not always
caught can be captured in several ways, either on baited hooks with mackerel or
squid. Long flowing tracing are favoured by some with two to three hooks below
the weight. size 2/0 or 4/0 long shanked hooks being a favourite size.
However most wrecks anglers favourite weapon is to use a jig or shiny pirk
jangled on the sea bed by the wreck, or jigged just about the wreck, which can
be exhausting. The latter is a favoured method used on the east coast of England
by boat anglers. They also use red coloured Muppets which Cod seem to love.
It is difficult to target Cod when reef fishing. Most are caught by accident
when either fishing for Ling or Conger.
is greatly favoured as a table delicacy. All over the world people believe we
British have a staple diet of Fish & Chips and nothing else! Cod being the fish.
When fishing in the summer, it is desirable
to pack the fish into ice as quickly as possible, or even to fillet the fish on the boat
before packing in ice.
Cod tends to deteriorate rapidly in warm weather.