How to Catch a Beautiful Cod

Jess KContributor IIIApril 9, 2012

One of the best white meat fish to go fishing for is the Atlantic cod. This beautiful fish swim in small groups and is fun to hook and fight. However, these wonderful fish have been highly overfished by commercial fisherman and now are subject to limited possessions. Harsh fishing regulations, while limiting the fishing, have played a major part in bringing back the cod populations. If you’re interested in reading more about the role fishing regulations play click here.

There are schools of cod that live off the northeast US coast in relatively shallow water. These cod tend to be smaller, usually in the 6-12 lb. range. Other cod live in deeper water. During the spring and summer, these deep water dwellers may be found in depths between 250 feet to 400 feet. They like temperatures around 36° F to  39° F.  One of the best ways to locate these fish is to locate them with a fish finder that will give you temperature as well as sonar readings.  To read more about deep sea fishing and the best equipment and techniques click here.

The best bait to use for cod fishing is natural baits. Cod love to eat clams, shrimp, crabs and squid. These baits can be cut up in small chunks to accommodate the relatively small mouths of the Atlantic cod. Baitfish, such as shad and herring, also work well as cut baits. Those cod that live close to shore will also bite on marine worms. 

When fishing in deep water using a 3/0 to 5/0 hook will work well. When fishing close to shore use a smaller 2/0 to 3/0 hook. If you’re interested in reading more about the differences in fish hooks, click here.