The Cod is related to the pollack, pouting, whiting, rockling and the freshwater burbot. It is probably the most keenly fished for species in the UK, from both shore and boat. Its popularity is down to its appeal for eating, with over fishing a real problem for these fish. The greedy nature of this fish makes them relatively easy to catch if you can find an area where the fish are present. Cod feed best over strong tidal flows and with their huge mouths can hoover up large quantities of food.

Specimen weight: In most areas a fish over the 20lb (9kg) would be considered a specimen. This will vary on location

British Record: 58lb 6oz (26.479kg) in Whitby in 1992 and the shore record being 44lb 8oz Barry (South Wales)

Habitat: Widespread, prefers mixed sea beds when juvenile, large fish are drawn to deep water or to structure such as piers, wrecks, kelp beds and reefs.

Top Methods: Ledger fishing at distance from well known Cod marks such as the North East, Kent and the Bristol Channel

Best Bait: Cod love large cocktail baits. Lugworm, squid, peeler crabs and bluey’s seem to work best.