Our Pilgrim ancestors called my home Cape Cod for a reason. Catching cod from the Atlantic was easy and the cod fishing season was year-round. We love fishing for cod because the white, flaky meat makes a delicious table. Here are 5 ways to get more cod into the boat.
1. Hot spots for cod fishing
I’ve come to hotspots like New England, Alaska, and the Pacific Northwest. Atlantic cod is caught in New England while Pacific cod is caught on the west coast.
2. Go deep
As a species of fish, cod likes deep water that is between 100 and 250 feet deep. It is ground fish. To catch them you will need a powerful jigging rod with a conventional reel. A 5-8 foot rod for 50 pounds of line is perfect. The stiffer the better. With so much line, it’s best to use braided dacron or synthetic monofilament line that won’t stretch. You move your jig or bait more responsively and that means less work for the angler.
3. Cod jigging and bait
Vertical jigging with diamond jigs or Hopkins lures is one way to catch cod. Keeping your finger on your spool, release the leash until the spool stops. Lock the lever, use a couple of cranks to loosen the template from the floor, and slowly pump the rod up and down.
4. How to bait cod for cod
The most common cod fishing rigs used are baits. Heavy sinkers in the 3-ounce oversize lay your bait on the bottom. The best baits for cod fishing are clams, squids, and clams. Use a 100 pound swivel, a 50-60 pound mono leader, and a 4/0 7/0 hook.
The cod fishing season is open all year round. Cod like the boom on shelves where the water flows from deeper to shallower. The currents are also strong and that extra weight saves time. Choose your weather because fishing in 12 foot waves isn’t much fun. If you want to fish this season, make sure you have your fishing license on hand.
There are so many great recipes for your cod but you know this; The only way to turn such a tasty fish into a bad meal is to cook it over. Enjoy!
Tom Keer is an award-winning writer living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He is a columnist for the Upland Almanac, a contributing writer for Covey Rise magazine, a contributing editor for Fly Rod and Reel and Fly Fish America, and a blogger for the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing program. Keer is a regular contributor to over a dozen outdoor magazines on topics including fishing, hunting, boating, and other outdoor activities. When not fishing, Keer and his family hunt highland birds over their three English setters. His first book, A New England Coast Fly Fishing Guide, was published in January 2011. Visit him at www.tomkeer.com or www.thekeergroup.com.