The ling is another member of the cod family, although at first sight one might think it more closely resembles the conger. It has a long, slimy, eellike body but the head and back are broad and its coloration, spineless fins, bar bules and very small scales are telling indications that it is a member of the great family of the Gadidae.

Seeking ling

When fishing from an anchored position for ling, a simple ledger rig is very effective. As conger are found on the same ground it is advisable to use a short 69in wire link to the hook, for conger are likely to sever an allmonofilament trace. When fishing on the drift there is a risk of conger taking the bait. Wire is also recommended when wreck fishing as ling will be found on the bottom together with conger. If you are seeking ling, another hazard when fishing wrecks are the shoals of very large pollack. The difficulty here is trying to get a large bait down without it being taken.

Because of their predatory lifestyle, ling are best caught by using whole, small fish about 46in long. The tackle must be strong enough to cope with conger for they are found in the same habitat.