- Inshore Atlantic cod are usually smaller than offshore cod. Inshore cod range from 27-34 inches in length and weigh between 6 and 12 pounds, while offshore Atlantic cod are usually 40-42 inches long and weigh 25 pounds, but some can grow to be six feet long.
- Atlantic cod are usually grey-green or red-brown in color with the exception of their belly which is typically white. They also have dark spots which fade along the sides.
- Atlantic cod have 3 dorsal fins and 2 anal fins, which mirror the second and third dorsal fins.
Atlantic cod facts
- Species name: Gadus morhua
- Atlantic cod spawn in the winter. Adults swim offshore to reproduce. Smaller females have around 2.5 million eggs while large females can have up to 9 million eggs. Larvae hatch after 10-40 days and are 0.2 inches long.
- Small Atlantic cod eat shrimp and other small crustaceans while adults eat many types of shellfish as well as herring, mackerel, capelin, and young haddock.
- Pollock and larger cod are some of the species that prey on young Atlantic cod. Adult cod are hunted by spiny dogfish, sharks, and marine mammals.
- Atlantic cod are usually found between 200-440 feet deep, but have been seen as deep as 1200 feet.
- MA Division of Marine Fisheries manages the Atlantic cod fishery within 3 miles of shore. Past 3 miles the fishery is regulated by NOAA Fisheries and the New England Fishery Management Council.
- New England waters used to be filled with Atlantic cod, but because they were such popular fish, the advances made in fishing technology has led to a decrease in cod numbers.
- Cod meat is mildly flavored and doesn't taste fishy. It flakes into large pieces. While raw the meat is translucent but turns white when cooked.
- Atlantic cod are found throughout the northern Atlantic ocean, from Greenland to North Carolina on the western side, and in Scandinavia. Atlantic cod are also known to undergo seasonal migrations.
- Atlantic cod are very popular fish for recreational anglers. When fishing for cod it is recommended that you use a 7.5-9 foot rod and a 4/0 reel. 50 pound test Dacron line is also recommended. Jigs with teasers as well as bait are useful to catch cod. Typical baits include:
- Sand lance
- Strips of herring