American Pollock

American Pollock (Pollachius virens) Family Gadidae, Cods

Common names: pollock, boston bluefish

Description: Pollock are olive green or black to brown above with paler sides and a silver belly. Their fairly straight lateral line is light colored. Pollock are deep, plump bodied fish that have three dorsal fins, two anal fins and a forked tail fin. They have a slightly projected lower jaw. Their chin barbel is considered minute and may be completely missing in older fish. Pollock average between 4 and 15 pounds in weight, although large ones can weigh to 35 pounds.

Where found: inshore and offshore

Similar Gulf of Maine species: cod, haddock

Remarks: Pollock are considered the most active members of the Cod family. When hooked, they make strong, powerful runs, thus making them fun to catch on light tackle. Their diet consists of small pelagic fish, comb jellies and various crustaceans. Good baits include shrimp, herring, squid, clams and marine worms. Fishing methods such as jigging, trolling and casting all work well when trying for pollock. Their meat is of good quality, but is not rated as high as that of cod or haddock.

Records: MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records)
IGFA All­Tackle World Record

Fish Illustrations by: Roz Davis Designs, Damariscotta, ME (207) 563­2286

Drawings provided courtesy of the Maine Department of Marine Resources Recreational Fisheries program and the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund.

BACK TO: Maine Saltwater Fish Species List

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