Pollock are species of the cod family from the northern oceans that sustain commercial fisheries but also provide some excellent recreational fishing.
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Where and When?

The Pollachius pollock are found in the Atlantic ocean, from the frozen northern waters, southwards down the European western and American eastern seaboards, to France and Massachusetts respectively. Both species have similar habits and are generally associated with hard bottoms, particularly rocks and, while they are found close to shore, they are also found down to about 180 m (600 ft.). The Alaskan pollock is located mostly around the Alaskan coast as well as the Aleutian Islands and southwards to California. This fish congregates in large shoals, often in deep water, and is a prime target of a large commercial fishery. All species may be caught throughout the year - from shallow coastal waters out to considerable depths. They may also be caught day or night but all species, like many fish, seem to take the bait more readily in the early mornings or late evenings. In really-deep water the time of day seems irrelevant.

About Pollock

The main species of pollock (sometimes called pollack) are members of the Gadidae family of “cod like” fish. The two main species are Pollachius pollachius and Pollachius virens, the latter is often called “saithe” in the United Kingdom. These two species are similar in form, being generally torpedo-shaped, with distinct dorsal fins and a mouth right at the front of the head. P. pollachius is dark brown above, gradually changing to grey or gold down the side while P. virens is dark green above blending to whitish on the belly. Both species have obvious lateral lines, but, while the former is crooked and broken, that of the latter is silvery and complete. Both attain maximum lengths of about 105 cm (41 in.) and 21 kg (46 lbs) but most fish caught are much smaller than this. Another cod family member, Gadus chalcogrammus, is found in Alaska, and known there as “Alaskan pollack". It can grow to about 91 cm (36 in.) and 3.9 kg (8.6 lbs.). This species undergoes daily vertical migrations in search of food items and krill is a major proportion of its diet. All pollocks predate on invertebrates and small fish.

How to Catch?

As all pollacks have similar habits, habitats and feeding behaviours, all may be caught in a similar manner, depending on the resources available to the anglers or their ambition in terms of size and numbers. Shore fishing is popular in many areas as it can be fairly easy to access and excellent sport may be had with relatively simple equipment in a short period. Natural bait fishing is often the first choice, but the use of live bait or artificial lures is increasingly widespread and successful. The fish could be anywhere in terms of depth, but are mostly found in very deep water. With artificial plastic or metal lures you can more easily work your rig through the whole water column and find out where the fish are. Live bait may also produce results and, in some areas, a live bait dangling from a float cast out from a boat is an excellent way of catching larger specimens. Light to medium spinning equipment is most often used as it is usually not easy to reach these species with any consistency using fly fishing techniques. Fishing from rocky outcrops or off deep-water piers and jetties can produce good fish, as they regularly frequent rocky bottoms and deep water close inshore. Small boat fishing is also very popular and can produce consistent and substantial results. While “true cod” have declined in numbers in many areas, pollack are still often locally abundant and can provide excellent sport and a fairly consistent and tasty food supply for the family.