How to Catch Cod
for cod hasn't changed much through the centuries, in that dropping
a line into deep waters with a hook, bait and a weight can land you a fish
tale to tell. Cod are a great tasting fish and are abundant in Cape Cod
I have used clams, mackerel, worms, jigs and lures to name a few methods.
I have even landed keeper size codfish in my lobster pots.
Late spring shallows are fun for the family and friends but wreck fishing
has always proved to be the place to land a memorable cod.
I used to fish off a wreck 11 miles north of the tip of Provincetown. It
was 155 feet of water and guaranteed several 25-38 lb. cod.
Depending on the time of year, cod can be fished by boat or by land. By
boat has always proved to be bigger catches for me.
Where Cod Are Found:
Inshore and offshore.
Cod feed on many kinds of animals that live near the sea floor. Their favorite
foods are crabs, worms, clams, and fishes.
What To Use (tackle):
Atlantic cod are bottom dwelling fish that prefer substrates, ranging from rock to fine gravel. The sheer potential size
of the fish and the fast running tides dictates that nothing less than 30lb. class be used. This is too light for many areas.
Generally a 50lb. class rod will be needed. A 5 to 8 foot medium to heavy action rod, equipped with a heavy reel, and
spooled with 50lb. test dacron line, is considered standard gear. Successful cod fishermen use a jig (10 ounces and up)
coupled with a teaser (plastic worm), which are fished off the bottom with a jerking motion. A soft tipped, or soft actioned
rod, cushions the movement of the lures at depth and lacks the backbone to hit cod hard and force them away from the
Plan ahead; make sure you can properly store your fish after they are caught. You will lose tackle, so end rigs should be kept simple.
Worm baits need to be a full 12" long, and even these will be taken
by small codling around a couple of pounds.
Whole squid, even three whole calamari on rigs, is good bait for shallowboat
fishing and deep water wrecking. I prefer a 10-ounce Swedish jig with clams
or mussels. Cod occasionally take mackerel, but it is not recognized cod
Mussel is good bait fished over rocks, but you need big baits of several
mussels all bound up together on the hook.
After big storms that have disturbed lots of shell fish, which are being
washed up along the tide line, try worm bait tipped off with squid or even
The sheer potential size of the fish and the fast running tides, even on
neaps, dictates that nothing less than 30lb class be used. This is too light
for many areas. Generally a 50lb class rod will be needed.
This should be stiff in action for all lure work. A soft tipped, or soft
actioned rod, cushions the movement of the lures at depth and lacks the
backbone to hit cod hard and force them away from the snag-ridden wreckage.
Cod are never far from rocky reefs with uplifting rock pinnacles and dense
beds of kelp. In fact, even lightly broken ground amongst an otherwise clean
seabed will be enough to hold codling tight to this feature. Fish away from
it, and you'll catch no cod.
It's wreck fishing that most fishermen will associate with big cod. Both
large and small cod use wrecks for protection. They work and feed on the
seabed tight in behind the wreck using it to deflect the oncoming tide away
from themselves. This has the added advantage that the smaller fish getting
caught up in the tide run are forced towards the feeding cod with no means
Cod are attracted to noise and this can increase the catch rate. There are
several jigs available with rattles.
Never drop a flowing rig straight into the water. Gently lower the rig down
to the bottom, allowing the trace to stream out in the tide. This allows
the trace and lure to arrive in the target area untangled. Remember a tangled
rig wonÅft catch fish!
Some of the above text is courtesy of:
"2004 World Sea Fishing Limited, Registered in England & Wales.
All Rights Reserved.
Sea Angler writer Steve Walker and refer to fishing in the North East of