Atlantic Cod

Atlantic Cod (Gadus morhua) Family Gadidae, Cods

Common names: codfish, cod

Description: The color of Atlantic codfish can vary from gray to gray green to reddish brown. They are usually covered with reddish brown spots. Their lateral line is pale, almost white. Cod are streamline in shape, have a broad square tail fin, three rounded dorsal fins, two anal fins and no fin spines. Their upper jaw is blunt and extends beyond the lower jaw. A prominent chin whisker (barbel) is attached to their lower jaw. These fish are four to five times as long as they are deep, being deepest just behind the head.

Where found: inshore and offshore

Similar Gulf of Maine species: hake, pollock, haddock

Remarks: Atlantic cod are bottom dwelling fish that prefer substrates ranging from rock to fine gravel. Cod are the target species of many of Maine’s headboat anglers. A 5 to 8 foot medium to heavy action rod, equipped with a heavy reel and spooled with 50­pound test dacron line is considered standard gear. Successful anglers use either a jig (10 ounces and up) coupled with a teaser (plastic worm), which are fished off the bottom with a jerking motion, or bait (clams and shrimp).

Records: MSSAR (Maine State Saltwater Angler Records)
IGFA: All­-Tackle 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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