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Thread: How to catch p-cod?

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    Default How to catch p-cod?

    We catch one or two p-cod in the week we spend fishing in Icy Strait/Cross Sound/Deer Harbor each year, usually when we are jigging for rockfish and ling cod. I deep fried some last year and the guys were so impressed they want to try to target them a bit this June. Any suggestions for rigging, bait, bottom type, tide, etc will be appreciated.

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    we always catch them on halibut gear out of homer. Sometimes we catch so many they are a major pest. We have kept them on several occasions and every time they were crawling with worms. Are people finding ones with out worms or are they just eating them worms and all?

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    I was gonna say the same thing.... Just put on a chunk of herring for halibut and you'll probably catch a cod. But that's up here, things are probably a bit different down there....

    Oh and I don't remember worms in the cod we caught. But I usually just stand the fish up and cut right behind the head to the spine and then down to the tail for that chunk of meat. Maybe the worms don't live there?
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    all the ones we cleaned had worms right in the meat. We even gutted them as soon as we boated them one time thinking the worms were migrating from the gut. It was not the case. If anyone has any lead on where to find clean cod Im all ears. I would love to find some wormless cod.
    By the way, many of the halibut have worms too. Just not as bad as the cod. If you aren't noticing them you aren't paying enough attention. Usually they are only a few, small 2 inch coiled up worms. they usually show up as brown or red spots on the meat. The best way to see them is hold them up to a light, then cut them out.
    Many of the sockeye I cleaned this year had them too. Especially the fish we took out of the kasilof.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4merguide View Post
    I was gonna say the same thing.... Just put on a chunk of herring for halibut and you'll probably catch a cod. But that's up here, things are probably a bit different down there....

    Oh and I don't remember worms in the cod we caught. But I usually just stand the fish up and cut right behind the head to the spine and then down to the tail for that chunk of meat. Maybe the worms don't live there?
    Maybe there just aren't many p-cod around where I fish? We might get one every 2 - 3 days of bait fishing for halibut. We use 16/0 Mustad circle hooks for halibut so we probably wouldn't hook any smaller cod event if they were around. Also, there may be enough 200# plus halibut where we fish to keep the cod away as well.

    The couple we have eaten did not have worms.

    Big_E

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    HI Vaaler
    You have helped me over the years with many great advices on how to fish the Cross Sound area.


    I too tried to catch P Cod last year and had some success. I was halibut fishing on anchor in Fern Harbor in about 120 feet of water on a ledge with hard bottom gradually dropping to much deeper depth. I fish with my kids who often get bored with bait fishing for halibut which often turns into a long waiting game. I also noticed frequent nibbling of my halibut setup without any hookset. So to liven up the scene and get my kids attention back to fishing, I decided to pin a large herring on 2-0 hook with sinker and dropped it down away from my halibut rig. Soon after I started catching P Cod. I think some of it is the bottom structure but the bait size matters. Large chunks of salmon I was using for halibut was too big. From what I read, at least in the Cross Sound area, P Cod are sitting in slightly deeper water than some of the shallow halibut spots.

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    Quote Originally Posted by live4chrome View Post
    If you aren't noticing them you aren't paying enough attention.
    Inversely, if you're noticing them, you might be paying too much attention.

    Don't like to see worms in your fish? Don't look for worms.
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    I like to pull them out. If one of the girls finds a worm in her fish, its safe to say "game over" with her ever eating said fish again. Which means I have less of an excuse to go fishing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by live4chrome View Post
    all the ones we cleaned had worms right in the meat. We even gutted them as soon as we boated them one time thinking the worms were migrating from the gut. It was not the case. If anyone has any lead on where to find clean cod Im all ears. I would love to find some wormless cod.
    By the way, many of the halibut have worms too. Just not as bad as the cod. If you aren't noticing them you aren't paying enough attention. Usually they are only a few, small 2 inch coiled up worms. they usually show up as brown or red spots on the meat. The best way to see them is hold them up to a light, then cut them out.
    Many of the sockeye I cleaned this year had them too. Especially the fish we took out of the kasilof.
    Yes, we used to find worms in the larger halibut we caught too.......but not all of them, and not many worms at that. Doesn't hurt to eat them if you missed any.....yeah, tell that to your girls right?...........lol

    Seeing that we're talking halibut fishing too, how has the shark problem been? I haven't caught one in awhile, but I haven't fished halibut near as much as I used to. Now that I have a little kicker motor I hope that will change. Are you guys still catching a lot of those pesky little sharks? For awhile it was terrible with them......
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    Iv'e caught plenty of cod out of Homer and only had a few wormy ones.
    I don't pay a lot of attention to it but they aren't sticking out to me on most of them anyway.
    Granted I catch most of mine out in the fingers fishing for Halibut. Maybe fishing out there makes a difference?
    Using jigs tipped with a small piece of bait can work well for catching cod.
    I like a Kachemak Candy jig in 2oz-6oz or a Cripple candy jig in the same sizes.If the tide and currents let use use those size jigs.
    If not bigger jigs do work but they don't seem to catch as many cod as only the bigger cod seem to go after the bigger jigs.
    Just use a small 1" square or Small strip of herring or Hooligan type bait.
    I had good luck last I fished for them on the Chrome color but I'm sure other colors work as well.
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    Try fishing in slower moving water for cod. Lots of the water in the areas you are talking about is fast, making it more suitable for halibut than cod. Generally speaking, the further east you are in Icy Straight the slower the current will be. There are lots of cod in there, and they can be found relatively shallow too.

    As for the worms, get over it. Sprinkle some wasabi powder on your halibut filets and you'll find there are often lots of worms in there too. They won't hurt you at all though.

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    The Cod that I've caught closer in to harbor in both Seward and Homer have been full of enough worms to not keep any more, the ones I've caught further out have been great with only one or two per fish. Don't know why that is. I actually prefer the cod to halibut, should have seen the last charter captain's face that I said that too...

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    It seems the K-bay cod are wormier than Resurrection Bay or PWS. I don't know how to target them specifically, they've always been incident to fishing for halibut.

    If you find a few worms coiled up in the fillets around the stomach area, it's not a big deal to pick them out. If the fillets are riddled with them, I'd relegate them to bait. We once caught a pollock in K-bay that had worms head to tail in the fillets.
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    a few years ago they were thick out by Pogi where we were fishing halibut. I kept one and it was loaded with worms. The fillets were full of them. I caught one the same year in Seward out a good ways and it was fine

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    Concentrate on muddy/sandy bottom in deeper waters...not necessarily near structure.


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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    Inversely, if you're noticing them, you might be paying too much attention.

    Don't like to see worms in your fish? Don't look for worms.
    LOL! I have ate fresh Alaska fish for 40+ years. In that time I've probably ingested 40 pounds of worms. Loved them all!
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    I got a couple ling cod last year that had about 40 lbs of worms in then. Just didn't keep the belly meat and closed my eyes when eating.
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    Quote Originally Posted by live4chrome View Post
    we always catch them on halibut gear out of homer. Sometimes we catch so many they are a major pest. We have kept them on several occasions and every time they were crawling with worms. Are people finding ones with out worms or are they just eating them worms and all?
    I'm very picky when it comes to P-cod. With that said, the cleanest (non-wormy) p-cod I've caught came from PWS.
    Your bait stinks and your boat is ugly

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    In the Juneau area, I've been really pleased with the cod I've caught, very few worms (and I was looking hard) the best cod fishing I've had has been in April through mid June, they are often mixed in with the halibut and rockfish spots I prefer and usually from 350 feet on up. You do catch them throughout the rest of the summer but the numbers go down and so does the size from my experience. Dont' know if the big ones go deeper or just change areas.

    I catch them on 8-12 ounce jigs iwth skirts or tails, and some big ol flutter jigs. They aren't picky, the big ones will hammer it, the dinkers will often just lift your rod tip at the end of the jig. Blind sets can hook you up if that's happening, but htose are often the 18-22 inchers that don't offer alot of meat, but make great bait.

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    I drift fish with a 8-ft sea anchor to slow the boat out of Homer for halibut and sometimes we come across areas where we catch cod.
    I like to use the 2-1/4 oz. or larger Point Wilson Dart Candlefish. If the current is slow the 2-1/4oz dart is a killer for all fish out there.

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