Everyone says that haddock tastes better than cod. When you are fishing and a haddock hits your line, you know that you have a haddock and not a cod. They fight harder and differently. They will "pound" the line, sometimes swimming up while they fight. It's a blast! We catch haddock on bait, mostly. They’re beautiful fish. They are simple to fillet. They fillet is perfect. It’s like someone ordered up a fish for us. And they school well and eat freely! They average about 5 pounds, but we do get larger fish. In 2006, our customer caught the largest haddock of the year (recorded in Massachusetts, anyways). It weighed 9 pounds. The largest one we have landed was almost 11 pounds. The Mass. record is 20 pounds!
These fish we catch in the spring in shallow (100-140’) of water, after which they move into deeper water. 2009 should be a great year for them. We caught them all year and followed them around from the shallows into the deeper water, where we were finding them in 300’ of water by the end of the summer. It was amazing. There is currently no limit on numbers you can keep and they have to be 19” long. They have continued to be our “bread and butter”, for which no one is complaining. Double headers are rare—they just nibble, you see the hook quickly, then they’ll throw the hook if you give them any slack. But we do get doubles every once in a while!
In Massachusetts, we've always said we're going "cod fishing" or "groundfishing". The haddock doesn't get the respect that the cod gets. This is quietly changing and I foresee the future bringing people to Massachusetts to fish for haddock primarily, while cod get second billing. That's how great these fish are. Deep-Sea Fishing in Massachusetts, means cod, haddock, pollack, wolffish, redfish, cusk, and halibut! See you out there.