Click a fish...
'The tasty Cod'
Despite being a commercially important fish and popular with anglers, little is known about the movements of the secretive cod.
Scientific Name: Gadus morhua
Maximum Weight: 100lb
Average Weight: 9-1lb
Maximum Length: 5ft
Life Span: 15 years
Like a marine vacuum cleaner, the cod scours the sea bottom for edible morsels - shellfish, marine worms and fish all form part of its diet.
This lifestyle is reflected in its appearance; from above the cod appears a mottled, neutral colour, making it very hard to sport against the sea bottom.
Its back can vary from reddish brown to grey-green, depending on the type of sea bed and diet, while its belly is a whiteish colour.
Where to find cod:
Cod move close to shore after a storm, and the sand
dwelling animals have been disturbed because of the heavy swell. Winter is a good time. Cod further out usually live
at depths of 30 - 90m.
Cod are out and out predators and there is very little they wont eat. When gutted, some have even been found to
have munched their way through a plastic cup just before being caught!. However, their usual diet consists of fish. Young
cod up to two years old feed mainly on crabs and other crustaceans but as they grow they eat more fish. The large mouth
those voracious feeders to quite large prey. Cod of 7lb can swallow a whiting of over 1lb whole!. In Britain there is a
tendency for cod
to follow the sprat shoals inshore during winter. Good shore fishing can be had at these times as they often feed right up to the
waters edger in pursuit of their prey.
Heavy feeding tends to occur just before spawning, as the cod feed up in preparation, and again afterwards as they recover.
Various sea baits can be used for cod. These include Squid, Herring strip, Lug worm, Sprat, Small whole pout, Peeler crab.
Artificial lures such as pirks and feathers can be very effective.
How to catch Cod - Techniques at a glance:
Single hook flowing trace with a boom, feathers, paternoster, pirks.