Atlantic cod

The Atlantic Cod, aka cod or codling, scientific name Gadus morhua, is a benthopelagic fish belonging to the Gadidae family, extensively fished and consumed by humans. It can grow up to 61 to 120 cm and weigh around 40 kg and can live for more than 20 years.

It is found in the North Atlantic Ocean, covering Northern Europe and North America?s Eastern coastline, from England to North Carolina, USA.


The Atlantic cod has a large-size body with a definitive, streamlined structure. The back and sides are greenish-brown, and the base is of a lighter shade with speckles on the dorsal fins and a silver line that runs along the sides from the eye to the tail, known as the lateral line.

It has 3 unique dorsal fins and 2 anal fins, all conspicuous. Cod has a reasonably large head with a projecting jaw and distinctive barbell on its chin, giving it the catfish appearance.

Habitat and Lifestyle

Atlantic Cod prefers living on the ocean floor and typically inhabits shallow waters as deep as 500 feet or deeper.

They are top predators in the ocean and feed predominantly on invertebrates, decapods, and other fish like sand eels, capelin, mollusks, herring, sea worms, and crustaceans.

Adults feed mainly on fish while the young ones feed on crustaceans, including krill and shrimps, and when they reach maturity, they prey on larger marine animals like squids, fish, and bivalves, including younger cod.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

Atlantic Cod are found in cold coastal waters of the Atlantic Ocean in deep sandy and rocky sea bottoms, deep shore, reefs, shoals, and wrecks and inshore.

For catching Atlantic Cod, anglers take dories or boats towards the possible location using gill nets and draggers. They manage to catch cod while trolling, drifting, jigging, or while still anchored.

Some of the effective fishing techniques to catch Atlantic Cod are

  • Bottom bouncer
  • Drift fishing
  • Still fishing
  • Saltwater trolling
  • Saltwater jigging

Peak Season

The peak season of the Atlantic Cod is from January to May.

Best Bait

Atlantic Cods are primarily drawn to bigger bait such as

  • Clams
  • Shrimps
  • Jig
  • Crabs
  • Mussels
  • Eels
  • Squids
  • Octopus
  • Capelin
  • Live Saltwater Fishing bait
  • Sea worms