One of the obvious joys of fishing is the new experiences and constant learning for every angler. However, there are times when it feels a little routine. To combat this, catch a new species of fish you haven’t tried yet.
Are you looking for something else to catch on your next saltwater fishing venture? Take on the challenge of catching lingcod fish! They’re known to be aggressive fish and are down to eat anything their mouth can manage. If you’re up for the challenge, there are a few things you have to know about lingcod and how to catch them. Here’s what you need to know for your next fishing trip.
What Is a Lingcod?
Also known as buffalo cod or blue cod, lingcod is a relatively abundant species most common in multiple places in the world. Despite their name, lingcods are not true cods but greenlings. Lingcod fish are brown, dark gray, or greenish, with some copper-colored spots on the upper back. They can grow up to five feet and 80 pounds throughout their 20-year lifespan.
During spawning seasons from December to March, female lingcods only visit the spawning areas to deposit eggs. Afterward, the male lingcods guard the eggs against predators for eight to 10 weeks. Due to the nature of their spawning habit and restrictions on recreational and commercial fishing, this fish can sustain a sizable population. They’re one of the few species that currently do not suffer from being overfished.
When Is Lingcod Season?
Being generally non-migratory, these fish will start moving into nearshore reefs or rocky areas in October to start nesting. The eggs hatch and are protected by males from March to April. The fishing season for lingcod is from April to December.
Officials recommend releasing larger individual catches during this season since they’re more than likely females depositing eggs into rock crevices. This is to keep a sustainable population of lingcod going.
Best Spots for Fishing Lingcod
Since lingcod are rockfish they will be most active in reefed areas where there are many crevices. Lingcod’s ideal hideout would be secluded and rocky with enough current in the front area to force out a large amount of prey. Generally, they’re found in several places in Alaska and California. They’ve been a staple resource for indigenous groups in these areas for centuries.
A couple more tips won’t hurt. Here are some for fishing that’ll be helpful and useful for your fishing trip.
Use Live Bait
Many anglers prefer to use bait than heavily relying on lures alone. Lingcods prefer the same too. Lingcod fish are ambush predators and ravenous carnivores. They’ll try to eat anything they can fit their mouth. They often prey on mackerel, squid, herring, and mollusks. That’s why it’s better to use live bait when looking to catch one of these, as they’re more effective in triggering a spike.
Know When Your Line Is Stuck
Because of the environment, an angler can mistake their line being snagged by a rock with getting a catch. Fish will pull on the line in a very volatile or erratic manner, while rocks tend to be just dead weight. When you get snagged, try feeding or releasing the line a bit to give it some slack. Most of the time, this is enough to get free. You can also try maneuvering the boat around to where you started to snag and hope it gets loose. If nothing works, consider cutting the line and retying it.
Fish with a Strategy
To increase the chances of getting a bite, fish where they’re usually hiding out. Start at the shallowest spot when fishing near a steep reef or shelf, follow the current’s drift and let the rig flow down the coral’s side. Check to see if the tide is flowing away from the reef rather than towards it. Then, on occasion, let out some slack and use your jig in short bursts to imitate squid movement.
The Bottom Line
Every type of fish has its own personality. As for lingcod, they’re aggressive and feisty. Interestingly, there is more than one way to categorize fish. You can read all there is about lingcod fishing, but it’s always great to be able to learn in the process too. The theory is as important as practical, after all. Although there are numerous resources online, learning firsthand is an experience worth having. Don’t miss out on anything and try your hand at lingcod fishing!
Meta title: Important Points to Know When Fishing for Lingcod
meta desc: Every angler’s got a trick up their sleeve. Do you? Lingcod fish are aggressive in nature but a satisfying catch nonetheless.