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Haddock

Haddock

Scientific Name: Melanogrammus aeglefinus

 

Best known as fine table fare, haddock range from the southern end of the Grand Banks in summer to Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, in the winter months. This member of the cod family prefers deep, cool water and gravel or smooth rock substrates. Haddock migrate seasonally and are most abundant in coastal New England during summer months in the shallower waters of the Gulf of Maine. Spawning occurs in March and April. Eastern Georges Bank is the most productive haddock spawning area in the Northwest Atlantic. Areas east of Nantucket Shoals and off the coast of Maine are also haddock spawning locations. Like other members of the cod family, haddock are distinguished from other New England coastal species by three dorsal fins and two anal fins. A black lateral line and a large dark spot over each pectoral fin set the haddock apart from cod, pollock and tom cod. Most females are sexually mature at 17 inches. Few haddock exceed 24 inches or weigh more than 3 to 5 pounds.

 

Catching Haddock: Haddock can be caught in New Hampshire from spring to fall in deep water areas from private, charter, and party boats fishing for other groundfish. A medium action 8-foot boat rod is effective for haddock fishing. Unlike cod, haddock have soft mouths that gently tap at a baited hook. These are felt as light bumps to the angler, thus requiring a sensitive rod. Lures are ineffective in catching haddock. Fresh clams, shrimp and squid are the best baits.