Lingcod or ling cod are one of our favorite fish to target. They are neither a ling nor a true cod. Instead, they are a member of the greenling family. Lingcod can grow to 60 inches long and weigh up to 130lbs! Their coloring can vary widely from molted grey or brown. About 20% of lingcod can be a bright blue to turquoise color. The flesh and internal organs of the “blue” lings is also blue, however, the flesh will turn snow white when cooked. It is unknown why some lings are blue, but it is thought to be diet related. Ling cod makes wonderful table fare and is one of the reasons the are so popular with anglers.
Lingcod are only found on the west coast of North America. They are typically found in less than 350 feet of water, however, they have been found at depths up to 1500 feet. However, lings are known to chase or follow other fish such as rockfish all the way to the surface. Lings are typically found in or around shallow reefs and rocky bottoms.
In October, ling cod will migrate closer to shore for spawning. They typically spawn between December and April, which is why the season is typically closed over the winter. Females will lay the eggs in the nest and then leave the nest while the males will remain to protect the eggs.
Lingcod are voracious predators and will eat just about anything they can catch. They tend to favor octopus and rockfish. It is not uncommon to catch “hitchhikers” that have eaten other fish such as rockfish. They will often attack rockfish that are far larger than what they can consume. They tend to favor less spiny rockfish such as black or blue rockfish and especially greenling, as the greenling do not have any spines. In In some cases, they have been found dead on commercial longlines with large rockfish stuck in their jaw. They are also known to eat smaller lings.
Fishing for Lingcod
Ling cod can be targeted with live or dead bait such as squid, octopus, or sanddabs. They can also be targeted with artificial lures such as metal jigs or large plastic jigs. Bragg About It Sportfishing specializes in lingcod and typically puts their customers on limits of this great tasting fish. These toothy critters put up a great fight and often make a run back to the bottom once they see the surface.
Price: $200 per person. Up to 4 anglers.