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hakeScientific Name: Urophycis sp.

Common Names: mud hake, Boston hake (white hake), squirrel hake, ling (red hake)


The red hake and white hake are an occasional catch of anglers fishing for cod or haddock. The two species are very similar in appearance and often indistinguishable by anglers. Both have two dorsal fins, with the anterior one being much longer than the posterior. The pelvic fins are unusual in that they are two elongated filaments of unequal length. Like most members of the cod family, the hakes have a small barbel under the lower jaw. The red hake has a reddish-brown coloration on its sides and back and rarely exceeds 5 pounds, while the white hake exhibits a bronze-golden color on its sides and can attain sizes up to 30 to 40 pounds. Female red hake are mature at 14 inches in length, while most white hakes are not mature until they reach 27 inches in length. Both species are found in offshore waters. The red hake, however, has a tendency to move closer to shore during the spring, summer and fall months.