Ling is the largest member
Cod family and is found all around the coasts of the UK. Being a member of the
cod family they are excellent eating fish.
species is confined to the colder waters of the northern hemisphere but is
widely distributed in the Atlantic, the North Sea, around Iceland, in the Bay of
Biscay and in the western portion of the English Channel. Ling are inhabitants
of deep water and are found in water upto 400 metres.
The largest specimens are found on wrecks lying on the western end of the
English Channel especially in the winter when the female is full of roe. All
record fish where caught in this area until 1989 when The British Rod Caught
Record fish weighed in at 59lbs 8ozs and was caught off Bridlington in Yorkshire
by J Webster.
Ling are not known for their fighting qualities. They make no dives and a
constant retrieve will bring them to the surface.
Ling are voracious feeders and will strike virtually any bait offered
including any artificial bait, such as un baited pirks.
Big Ling are found on or near deepwater wrecks, but apparently do live
inside the wreck.
They are predator fish with sharp teeth and grow to over 50 lbs. On wrecks they
usually average somewhere between 20 and 30 lbs. Exceptionally large Ling are
found during the late winter months as the females are full of roe. In fact the
record rod caught fish was captured during this time.
As a specie they are not difficult to catch and will accept most baits that are
presented. Favourite baits are mackerel and whole pouting.
are usually found on wrecks in large numbers and as such can cause a problem
when your trying to target other species such as Conger Eels. It is not uncommon
to catch them two or three at a time on wrecks using a suitable heavy
Tackle used needs to be of the 30 lb class type. Therefore the main line should
be 30 lb or greater for wrecks and traces only need to be short, about 2 to 3
feet but should be of a minimum 200 lb nylon. 300 lb traces are ideal. Always
check your traces after a fish capture as the fishes teeth can cause trace
failure with large nicks. Hook sizes should be 8/0 to 10/0
Reef or open ground ling are generally much smaller than those found on wrecks
and range from a few pounds to 20 lbs. Sometimes in the winter monster ling are
found on the reefs as well.