(Pollachius Pollachius)

The Pollack is one of the most commonly fished species in the UK and is found widely distributed around the western side of the British Isles from Devon and Cornwall up to the Scottish coast and is occasionally found on the eastern coast as well. Pollack are often confused with their close relative the coalfish. However, they can be easily recognized by the distinct protruding lower jaw. Pollack are generally a golden brown but habitat dictates the colours of subtle shading also found on the fish which can be shades of green, yellow and even crimson. Pollack are built with power and speed in mind, as being a predator it has to move fast to ambush smaller species. Pollack are well-documented as great sport-fish when hooked on light tackle. These fish have the ability to fight hard and often tear off on a screaming run when first hooked. Adult fish range from 4lb in weight up to double figures and eat a range of small fish including smaller Pollack, whiting and codling. Most shore-caught species rarely exceed 3Ib and to catch a bigger specimen you will have to hunt them out over deep-water wrecks. Pollack between 12-16Ib are plentiful from this type of area and can be caught on baited hooks or lures such as artificial eels. Smaller pollack can offer great sport when fishing the night tide from a pier or harbour wall using float tackle.

Where To Find Them

The pollack can be located over rocky ground, but in the colder months bigger specimens stay well out in deeper water. Once the warmer weather arrives, smaller pollack venture into the shallower water to feed, especially after the hours of darkness. They spawn early in the year, from March to the end of April. The Eddystone reef in Plymouth, Devon is a prolific mark, as are most of the offshore wrecks along the south coast.

When To Find Them

Mainly in appearance February through to end of September but can be caught all year round, particularly in the south west.

Natural Food and Best Baits

Small crabs, wrasse, sandeels, rocklings and prawns.

Tips and Tactics

Using an artificial eel on light tackle over a wreck is the most exiting method for catching pollack. Drop the eel on a 15 ft trace to the sea bed and wind up at a steady rate. If you feel the fish plucking at the eel don't stop, just keep on winding until it hooks itself.

UK Records

Shore: 8lb 8oz

Boat: 10lb 3oz