Ophiodon elongates Aggressive: the best way to describe the fish and fishing techniques when in search of landing one of these magnificent creatures. The name Lingcod is a misnomer, this fish is not a true cod, rather, it is the largest member of the greenling family which are found in ocean waters throughout the west coast of North America. Moderately long lived, this species may reach a maximum age of 25 years, and commonly grow to over fifty pounds in weight and over four feet in length.
Lingcod are often caught while targeting other bottom fish (such as Pacific Halibut) near our home port of Seward, Alaska. The most successful method of Lingcod fishing is to drift with artificial jigs in and amongst rock-piles and relatively shallow reef structures. Attention to the location of the jig in relation to the structure is critical, as is not snagging the bottom. Predatory by nature, they are often quick to strike at anything which may pose a threat. Therefore, repeated “drifting and jigging” will often result in multiple hook-ups, and exciting, rod-bending battles. The Captains and Crew of Crackerjack Sportfishing have perfected the methods necessary to assure you, the angler, with the best possible chance at landing a Trophy Lingcod. Over the years this has resulted in guiding lucky fisherman (and women) to many IGFA recognized line class and fly fishing world records for lingcod.
Varied types and sizes of lead-headed and Diamond jigs are used depending on the water conditions and the anglers skill level. The most common sizes range from 8 to 16 ounces in weight. When presented in a slow up-and-down motion Seward Alaskas Lingcod are quick to strike. The use of a single barbed or barbless hook allows an easy release because the fish is most often hooked in the outer portion of the mouth. Likewise, on Iron or Diamond jigs we exchang the treble hook most lures come with for a single Mustad, siwash hook, will ensure a clean release and better hookset and decrease the chance of the hook pulling out. Crackerjack Sportfishing carries an array of light tackle rods and reels from spooled with 65lbs test which brings the fight to the angler. Remember, these fish fight, it is not uncommon to real a fish to within sight of the boat, only to have the fish quickly turn and head back down for the bottom peeling drag as it goes.
For many anglers, Lingcod caught near Seward, Alaska are desired table fare. However, due to the absence of an airbladder, lingcod can easily be released from depths of over 300 feet, and are still ready to fight another day. Alaska Department of Fish and Game bag limits vary according to the area fished allowing the fisherman to retain up to two Lingcod per day, with a minimum length of 35 inches overall. Please note that the staff at Crackerjack Sportfishing encourages catch and release of this species due to the fact that they can easily be over-harvested. If retained, the angler can expect a fillet of white meat with a delicate texture. An excellent main dish when grilled or deep fried.
Regardless of your decision to catch or release, the Crew at Crackerjack Sportfishing will provide the gear and expertise to ensure that your effort will have the highest success. Whether youre a seasoned fisherman or new to fishing, the Lingcod fishing found in the waters around Seward Alaska will provide some of the best action anywhere.