Explore & Discover
Oh My Cod Cape Cod Mass. - 1602

Cod's Country
The Gift Of Cod
Poetry In Ocean
Thee Cod
Cod Willing
Cod Is Good
A Fisherman's Pledge
Oh My Cod
Finding Cod

Cod Willing
How to Catch Cod

hookFishing 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 waters.

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.

Feeding Habits:
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 snag-ridden wreckage.

Tips:
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.

Baits:
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 bait.

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 a mussel.

Tackle:
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.

Boat Tactics:
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 of escape.

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 England.