(Molva Molva)

The ling is a member of the cod family but is very different in appearance, having a much longer body shape. It can reach a weight of 80 lb but is normally caught between 10-50 lb. Similar to an eel in appearance it can often reach up to 6 ft in length. Its long body is coated in slime secreted from the skin to form a protective covering against disease. The underside of the fish is white but a range of colours are found on the upper body from grey through to green. Ling are found around the shores of the British Isles and Ireland and tend to favour rocky, uneven ground and deep water. As with the cod, the ling has a barbule hanging from the underside of the chin. Ling are capable of reaching very large weights and it is not unusual to find deep water dwelling fish of up to 20lb.

Where To Find Them

Well distributed around the British coast but particularly off Cornwall. They are also common to the Orkneys, Shetland Isles and the west coast of Ireland. Ling can be found far north in the waters of the Arctic Circle, the coast of Iceland and Norway as well. Primarily a deep-water species living amongst the deep-water wrecks and reefs off the coast of Britain. Ling are mostly caught from the boat but there are a few rocky, deep-water shore marks where ling to 20lb have been caught at night. Wrecks off the north-east, south-west and Irish coasts and Ports such as Brixham in Devon and Bridlington in Yorkshire, are renowned for producing big ling.

When To Find Them

All year round.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Ling feed on small fish such as herring, flatfish, codling and pouting.

Tips and Tactics

They feed extensively on smaller species and among the best baits are pouting and codling. From a boat, a large baited pirk fished over a wreck is a good method.

UK Records

Shore: 29lb 10oz

Boat: 59lb 8oz