Home Fishing Tips & Advice How to Catch a Pollock

How to Catch a Pollock

From the Baltic Sea to the Atlantic ocean and most areas in between, the Pollock tends to roam wild. As one of the most fished species in the world, the Pollock has become known as a commercial endeavor. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t bring them in yourself and make your own fish sticks at home! Bringing in a Pollock is all about having the prior knowledge of where to go, what to bring, and what to do. Once you’ve studied up, catching a Pollock can be simple.

We’ve created this guide in an attempt to make the process that much easier. We cover the basics of catching a Pollock and provide useful tips on how to make location spotting easier and what methods anglers tend to recommend. With this guide, you’ll be ready to get out there and start fishing for the Pollock today. Fishing for a Pollock doesn’t have to be too difficult and can be done by almost anyone, eastern or western hemispheres.

Whether just for sport, or the intent of bringing it home for a quality table fair, there are plenty of reasons why fishing for Pollock is so popular. Catching the Pollock is a simple process that can be done by anyone with the proper knowledge. Follow our guide and get out on the water today!

Where to Find Pollock

Finding a Pollock isn’t too difficult of a task as they inhabit much of the world. You’ll find them in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and can fish them from most of the major coasts throughout the world. Fishers in Virginia have plenty of Pollock opportunities as well as anglers from Japan. They go up to Greenland and over to Spain. Alaska and Russia have plenty of Pollock locations to choose from in the Baltic Sea. The only difficulty one might encounter would be finding their specific habitat.

Pollock tend to prefer structure – a common feature of many saltwater fish – so finding a rocky bottom, reef, or wreck might be your best chance of locating a Pollock. The best location to go for them is a reef as this is where the currents drag the smaller grub from the bottom of the ocean up to an accessible depth. Pollock love to feed on this upswing of food and tend to make their homes around or in reefs. You will have to deal with the other reef inhabitants, however.

Reefs are not the only location to spot a Pollock and, in some areas, might not be the best option. Around the Cape Cod region in Massachusetts, some anglers have reported catching Pollock in the surf, not too far away from the shore line. Different groups of Pollock prefer different spots. More often than not you’ll find they love reefs and wrecks, but sometimes you’ll be able to catch them in the surf. The biggest Pollock fishing spots in the world are in the Baltic Sea.

How to Catch a Pollock

First, you need to aim for high tide so it’s useful to start off your fishing session around mid tide. That way you’re out on the water as the tide is rising and the Pollock are beginning to become more active. If there are plenty of fish around the location you’ve chosen, then the tide might not matter and the Pollock could be out and ready for a bite already. Spring is a good season to fish in as the tide tends to bring the Pollock out more.

Bait fishing should be your method of choice as the Pollock has a diet that it likes to stick to. We’ll talk more about what bait to use next, but keep in mind that you can’t simply sit there with the bait and expect the Pollock to come to you. We recommend drift fishing or trolling as it allows you to cover a wider area of water, grabbing the attention of more possible catches. Bottom bouncing is another useful method as the Pollock tends to nibble at the floor.

Other methods that anglers have found to be effective are jigging, spin casting, and fly-fishing. Each of these seem to be enough to bring in a Pollock, but the success could vary based on where and when you are fishing. The best way to find your location for an effective Pollock fishing day is with a GPS that can scan the bottom below you. This will enable you to see what’s below and where the structures are. The closer you are to the Pollocks, the easier the fishing will be.

Best Bait to Use for Pollock

As we mentioned above, the best method to catch a Pollock is bait fishing. As for the best bait, luckily, you have many options as the Pollock isn’t too picky on their meal of choice. The type of bait you use might depend on either the location you’re fishing in or the method of casting you’re employing. For example, when jigging, it could be useful to use shrimp as they tend to draw the attention of the Pollock better. They’re also a great option for fishing just off of Cape Cod.

Shrimp, clams, squid, and flies are all great organic options to use as your bait of choice. Many anglers find excessive success when using jigs, spoons, or plugs. Again, the Pollock isn’t the most picky of eaters. Cut bait is another great option that many anglers use on the Pollock as it is typically fresh and small enough for them to easily bring in and get hooked on. We recommend using live bait whenever possible.

By using live bait, you’re sticking regional and enabling yourself to use a type of bait that might be a favorite snack of the local Pollock. Always try to use live bait to bring in a Pollock as this should find you the most success. Local small fish will only boost your chances of catching the Pollock. Remember, the Pollock isn’t a picky eater and will likely go after most things that catch its eye. As long as you have the location and technique down, fishing for the Pollock shouldn’t be too hard.

Best Line Setup to Use for Pollock

Fishing for Pollock can be an interesting experience as building your line isn’t a set process. They aren’t the largest fish in the sea so you won’t have to worry about a heavily weighted line, but they can be pretty feisty once hooked. Bringing the Pollock in will involve quite the fight and so you won’t want a line that’s easily snapped or else you lose your bait and your catch. Many anglers who fish for Pollocks prefer a braided line to help bring them in.

You’ll also need to keep in mind your surroundings when selecting your set up. If you’re fishing in shallow waters, you won’t need too much line to bring the Pollock in. Deeper waters call for more line and a heavier lead. The method you’re planning on using will also determine your setup. Most of them will call for a lead to bring your bait deeper, but the lead won’t need to be as heavy for drifting as it would for bottom bouncing.

A 20lb line should do the trick and around 5-6 feet of a mono leader should be an optimal setup. This provides the strength and depth necessary to bring in that Pollock.

Now That You’ve Hooked It, What Next?

You’ve found the perfect location, set up your line with the right tools and leads, brought in the best bait, and honed in on the perfect method. Finally, the fish are biting and you’ve got a Pollock on the line, ready to come in – what’s next? Be ready for a fight as the Pollock is known to make sharp, powerful runs in random directions. Every so often, the Pollock might make a quick jump or shake in an attempt to lose the line.

Luckily for you, the Pollock’s skin is relatively strong and can withstand a decent amount of pressure so there’s no need to hold back. Employ the usual tactics of providing slack and then pulling in tight to try to tire the Pollock out, but you don’t have to be as gentle as you do with other species of fish. After about two or three good runs from the Pollock, they’ll typically be worn out and you can bring them into your boat. If you’re in a kayak, tiring them out will be important to keeping them from hopping back out into the water.

Catching a Pollock doesn’t have to be a difficult task. With the right knowledge, lures, line setup, and bait, you’re fully prepared to get out there and start your fishing today. Pollock are one of the most commercially fished species in the world, so catching one won’t be too hard for you. Come prepared with the right tools and knowledge and you too can have a Pollock in your pocket today. 

Read: How to Catch a Sand Trout

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Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. His favorite fish to catch is a striped bass and his favorite bait to use is bunker. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.