Where to find them?
The best place to find this peculiar looking fish is near the bottom of any Alaskan body of water ranging in depth from 25 to 450 feet. The Ling Cod most commonly inhabit rocky reefs near the shoreline.
If you have never encountered a Ling Cod you may be in for a shock! This odd-looking fish averages 30 pounds but has been recorded up to 76 pounds. This fish is easily distinguishable because of its large oval-shaped mouth, and swirls of brown, aqua and tan markings that cover its body. The underbelly is typically a white or tan color and the dorsal fin is very sizeable when compared to the rest of the body as it stretches from the top of the head to the tail.
Ling Cod are a chasing fish which means they will go after nearly anything that moves and go as far as to chase it to the water’s surface. For this reason, they are likely to prefer to live fish.
Considering that Ling Cod feed primarily off the floor, be sure to use a large enough weight on your line to cause the bait to fall into the necessary range and once it is near the bottom, pull the pole up some to encourage the bait to swim. Jigging is the best technique based solely on the fact that they will sink to the bottom much quicker than any type of lightweight bait and will likely catch the attention of the Ling Cod with the bright color and shine against the rocks of the water’s floor. Since these aggressive fish spend most of their time foraging near large reefs, the difficult part about catching them is keeping the fish from racing into a protective pile of rocks once hooked. If you are above a sandy bottom, it is smart to let the Ling take all of the lines before you begin reeling.