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Learn about haddock

A popular fish to eat, haddock is a groundfish common to the western North Atlantic Ocean. Read on to learn more about this fish.

Appearance

  • Haddock can grow to be 44 inches long and weigh 37 pounds. They are a silvery fish which are dark blue or purple-grey in color, and fade to a lighter silver on the sides. The belly of Haddock is white. They have dark purple-grey fins and a dark spot above the pectoral fin which is called "the Devil's thumbprint". 
  • Haddock have a similar shape to other groundfish, with three dorsal fins and two anal fins.
Haddock

Haddock facts

  • Species name: Melanogrammus aeglefinus
  • Young haddock eat tiny copepods, but then eat slow moving Invertebrates such as:
    • Crabs
    • Clams
    • Sea stars
    • Sea cucumbers
    • Urchins
    • Squid
  • The main predators of Haddock are other groundfish such as:
    • Cod
    • Monkfish
    • Pollock
    • Red hake
    • Spiny dogfish
  • Haddock spawn from January to June, most actively in March and April. The largest spawning area is Georges Bank. The average female lays 850,000 eggs but large females can lay over 3 million eggs.
  • Haddock hatch after around 15 days, and then drift for around 3 months before moving to the ocean floor.
  • They generally stay between 130 and 450 feet of water, but can go over 900 feet deep.
  • Commercially haddock are caught using otter trawls with other groundfish species.
  • Haddock meat is white with a somewhat sweet taste, and smaller flakes than cod meat. 
  • Haddock are found from the Strait of Belle Isle to Cape May, New Jersey. They also can be found in Northern Europe.
Haddock map

Additional Resources for Haddock facts

Angling tips

  • Haddock is a target species for those anglers who venture out into deeper waters. 
  • When fishing for Haddock you should make sure to pull in slack line to avoid missing any hits. The most common way to fish for haddock is to use a 3-way deep water jig baited with clam.
  • Haddock has a slightly sweet taste, firm yet tender, and flakes smaller than cod.

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