Ling (Molva molva)

Ling are an offshore species caught over wrecks with lure gear. They look like a cross between a cod and a conger eel, and their barbule hints at their relation to the first of those species. Ling are very powerful fish, with huge tails that propel them through the water as they hunt around wrecks in deep water. They reach over 60lb, though an excellent fish is 30lb.

Often ling will hit lures as they fall down the water column, which is why they are often targeted by drifting and jigging over wrecks. This method involve dropping your lure into the current, allowing it to fall naturally down the water column and let the current or tide take the lure across the structure you’re fishing over. This puts the lure right in front of the Ling, which will swipe them and offer no mercy to your tackle…

Ling grow to up to 2 m in length and are caught in decent numbers off the coast of Cornwall. These fish will venture down as deep as 400 m and don’t enter water shallower than 40m. As you might expect from a fish with this profile, it is not much of a scavenger, unlike some other fish in the cod family. It’s for this reason that ling are targeted with lures exclusively.