The Atlantic Codfish
Both inshore and offshore. Inshore you can find them in areas of dense rocks, like a jetty, or even in areas that offer the protection of logs or kelp. Offshore, Cod tend to like areas that are not out in the open. You can often find them near rocky areas, as well as near wrecks, or any area where the ocean floor has some good hiding places. Cod tend to be somewhat relaxed when looking for lunch; very rarely will they aggressively seek out their prey. They instead wait for the fish to come to them, and they choose these areas with hiding places because the current draws smaller fish in.
About the Fish
Brown-green in color, Cod can be easily identified by their spots, as well as their lateral line. Comfortable from the shoreline to continental shelf, they can grow to be a little over 200 pounds. Cod are currently considered a “vulnerable” fish by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and they have recently become the center of some controversy in the fishing industry when the amount of fishable cod was drastically reduced to allow their numbers to replenish.
The bigger the better. Cod seem to be most drawn to clams, mussels, shrimp, and octopus. You also can’t go wrong with old standbys of baitfish and sea worms. For the smaller bait — like clams — make sure to bunch more than one together, since you are (hopefully) not catching a small fish.
Every fisherman’s setup varies, but there are a few tried and true ways of fishing for Cod that help yield good results. A 50-pound class rod is usually a safe bet when fishing for Cod. A fast action rod ranging from 5 to 8 feet is a smart choice, and a 30 to 50# braid is great because its lack of stretch helps indicate to the fishermen when there’s something on the line. (With a braid of this weight, 16oz bouncing sinkers work well on the ocean floor, but you may have to change the weight of your sinker depending on the tide.)
A rig attached to the mainline with a 100lb swivel keeps things flexible, and a 4 foot leader (50 to 80lbs), drop hooks (with maybe a 5/0 bait holder hook on each), and some shiny teasers should round you out nicely.
Don’t hesitate to deviate from the normal rig and try something new.
Cod are attracted to noise. Try using a jig with a rattle or jingle on it.