Pollock (Pollachius pollachius), also known as European pollock or Atlantic pollock, is a white, round fish common in the North-East Atlantic.
It is worth noting that it is a different species from pollock (Theragra Chalcogramma), also known as walleye pollock or Alaska pollock. This fish species comes from the North East Pacific Ocean.
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What They Eat
Pollock feeds on deep-sea prawns and open water fish. Their diet includes Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), the lesser sand eel (Ammodytes tobianus), the European sprat (Sprattus sprattus), and the capelin (Mallotus villosus).
They are usually seen within kelp forests, even shipwrecks, as well as hanging above them, searching for food.
As carnivorous fish, pollock actively hunt for their prey either in small groups or as individuals. They lie close to the sea bed, watch their prey, and suddenly dart up to grab their prey before returning to their former position. It is a tactic to allow their prey to regroup.
With their reasonably large mouth and large size, they can measure up to 130 centimeters in length and weigh as much as 14 kilos. They are designed for their predator feeding habits, indeed.
Juvenile pollock learn their hunting skills from an early age, too – they have been observed preying on groups of mysid shrimps.
Their hunting grounds also change as they age, from rocks and algae where they feed on crustaceans in the shallows to deeper waters (about 40 to 100 meters) when they reach three years of age.
They can also be found hunting for crustaceans and other prey in estuaries.
As adults, pollock prefers depths of more than 100 meters. While pollock can live as an individual, they are more likely to form a group, known as a shoal, during the spawning season between January and April.
The most intense spawning event happens in March. The eggs and larvae are then drifted toward shallow coastal waters.
What You Can Do To Catch Them
Pollock is a favorite among anglers because they easily take the bait. But it still makes sense to know the types of bait. As well as where and when to fish for them.
Use Small Fish As Baits
While fresh fish like pilchards, sprats, and sand eels are best for pollock fishing since these are their natural prey, but strips of herring and mackerel as well as prawns, shrimp, peeler crabs, and ragworms work well, too.
In the absence of these baits, you can also use artificial baits like spoons, plastic sand eels, pirks, and devon minnows. We suggest OriGlam 5 Pack Minnow Fishing Lure, Proberos Fishing Spoons Lures, and Storm WildEye Live Sand Eel Bait.
Choose The Best Places To Fish For Them
Pollock can be caught throughout the year, but you have to change locations depending on the month. From May to September, it’s best to fish for them inshore; from mid-October until April, head for the deeper offshore waters.
Look for weed-covered rocks, wrecks, and reefs, and kelp forests since pollock prefers these places. If you’re in the United Kingdom, the best locations are in the deep waters off southern Ireland and West Country, as well as in rocky areas around the British Isles.
If you’re fishing from piers, harbor walls, and rocky outcrops, you should ideally use either a rotten bottom rig or a sliding float rig. If you’re boat fishing, your best bet is a rotten bottom rig, too.
It would help if you also considered the time of day when fishing for pollock. The best times are dawn and dusk when pollock rises to feed near the surface.
To summarize, pollock is a relatively easy fish to catch, but you should know its feeding habits – the what, when, and where. Use the knowledge you learned here to increase your fishing success!