Cod fishing is a very popular fishing technique. That’s why in this article we simply want to show you how you can best practice cod fishing. But first of all you should know what makes the cod special.
This is the only way to get the best out of the sea fish when fishing for predatory fish. Therefore we will proceed systematically in the cod article. Because first of all you will learn everything you need to know about cod in general.
After that we asked ourselves the question where you can best fish for cod. We will also go into this in Germany (North Sea / Baltic Sea and Holland)
Next we will explain what equipment you need for cod fishing. We will also answer questions regarding bait and the necessary fishing technique for cod fishing. Also the best seasons (spring, summer, autumn and winter) will determine your fishing success. Finally there is a conclusion.
And now we wish you lots of fun with this article.
Cod (Gadus morhua) or the Atlantic cod
The cod is a sea fish which can reach a weight of up to 47 kg and can be up to 1.5 m long. It prefers temperate and cold waters. It therefore prefers to stay from the coast to the continental shelf.
The term “cod” is used to describe mainly young and particularly small cod.
It is distinguished by its shimmering lateral line. It also has strong chin barbs and a total of 3 dorsal and 2 anal fins. His protruding upper jaw is also striking.
The following drawing illustrates the appearance of a relatively young cod:
The habitat of the cod and its distribution area is mainly aimed at the North Atlantic. This includes the Baltic and North Sea, as well as the Atlantic Ocean off Greenland and Newfoundland.
But it is also found in the Arctic Ocean. It is considered an endangered species and is therefore largely protected.
Which equipment to use for cod fishing?
The right equipment for cod fishing is the be-all and end-all in fishing. If you save too much, you will pay double or triple for better equipment after it has broken. This is because lines often break, fishing rods break or hooks bend. To avoid this, you should rather take a few extra Euros from the beginning.
Believe us: It pays off later.
In the following we want to give you a rough overview of what you need most. This includes the right cod rod, the right reel, the fishing line to be used and the right cod hook (in the right size).
All this you can find in the extra section of the ad about equipment for cod fishing at the fishing spot. But we will link the complete equipment in this article anyway.
What do you need to know about the cod rod?
Which rod is actually ideal for cod fishing? Because there is a very wide choice and the rods have different advantages and disadvantages.
For cod fishing you should use rods from 220 to 310 cm (2.20 m to 3.10 m). The casting weight should also be between 40 and 200 g.
The higher the casting weight, the more you lose the feeling for a (potential) lure, such as a rubber fish.
Make sure that your rod is a little harder so as not to increase the resistance unnecessarily. It should also be very stable.
This will give you a harder fight, but the risk of breaking your rod is not so high. You can also pull both cods out of the water with a double (two cods at once) without fear of breaking them.
For smaller cods it should also be stable enough not to use a landing net (our big landing net test can be found here).
It is also important to have the necessary flexibility. This improves the contact to the lure and reduces the risk of “slitting”.
Good cod rods in comparison
The following table shows you good rods in direct comparison.
If you view the page with a smartphone, you should hold it crosswise to better display the table. Otherwise, you can scroll back and forth within the table.
If your cod rod is slightly shorter, this has the advantage that you can cast better (especially if there is not much space on a cutter / boat). Alternatively, you can also use a rod holder. However, you should attach the rod well.
However, a longer cod rod has the advantage that you will get more casts. If you want you can also use a really stable pike rod. This has the advantage that it is usually much more flexible and you don’t have to buy an extra cod rod if you only want to go sea fishing occasionally.
One of our favourite top rods for cod fishing in the surf is still the display surf rod CONQUEST – SURF 4,20m 100-250g WG Jenzi / Dega. It is however with 4,20 m very long.
If you are looking for a higher quality model smaller, you will love the AnzeigeDaiwa Sealine-X’treme Interline 2,35m 30-50lbs sea rod. With this one you can cover the whole range of heavy sea fishing (so not only cod).
The right reel
In addition you need a strong and big reel for cod fishing because it has to hold a lot of line volume. Many anglers swear by a multi reel for sea fishing. It is especially suitable for trolling and vertical fishing.
We can still recommend a stationary reel. Especially if you haven’t been in the water very often, a stationary reel is the better choice. Because they are easy to use and usually cheaper.
But the decisive factor is that they are saltwater resistant. This makes it less susceptible to salt water and makes it last longer – especially if you want to fish for cod frequently at sea.
Also make sure that your reel for cod fishing can hold at least 200 metres of fishing line. You can use the following formula as a guide.
Formula: (expected sea depth) x 10
So if the Baltic Sea is about 20 metres deep, you should expect a line volume of about 200 metres.
The gear ratio is also important. But on average a gear ratio of 5:1 is sufficient.
A real highlight in the cod reel area is the Shimano Stradic Ci4 indicator. It is really high quality manufactured and perfectly suitable for cod fishing.
What distinguishes it is the gear ratio of 4.8:1 and the relatively light weight of 230 g. A very light reel and you can see that the quality here is mainly in the workmanship.
The right fishing line for cod fishing
Now you only have to think about the line you want to use. In any case you should use a line that is too light, because it can break very quickly in the strong currents.
The question is of course: monofil or braided?
Monofilament fishing lines
We have had very good experience with monofilament fishing lines when fishing for cod.
As a rule you should be able to fish with a 0.35 mm to 0.45 mm monofilament line.
We can recommend Specitec’s indicator fishing line for predatory cod fishing. It has a length of 250 m, with a diameter of 0.45 mm and a load capacity of 14.45 kg.
It is also saltwater resistant and does not wear out as quickly. But also braided fishing lines have their advantage. So it is possible to cast with them more targeted and further. Also the guidance of the lure is much more authentic and small plucks can often be felt very clearly.
If you decide on a braided line, you should choose one in a striking colour. This includes for example
- Light green
For the main line a diameter of 0.14 to 0.22 mm is advisable. A load capacity of 6 to 10 kg is optimal. Here we have compared different braided fishing lines.
Braided fishing lines
If you decide to use braided fishing line, you should also choose a monofilament leader to prevent the cod from splitting.
The monofilament part acts as a predetermined breaking point if the line or bait gets “caught”.
For sufficient line capacity, use 100 to 200 m of braided line.
We recommend you use one of the following sizes as codhook:
- 2 (small)
- 1/0 (large)
- 3/0 (very large)
Of course you should always choose the final size according to the expected fish. These are often available already bound with a 70 cm long leader.
So you always have 4 to 8 tied leaders at once which you can change if necessary. We have had good experience with the brand AnzeigeOwner.
The cod hooks do not bend up so quickly and otherwise make a good impression regarding quality and workmanship.
Which baits are best for cod fishing?
There are different types of cod baits that can be caught differently. You should always make the lure dependent on the region in which you want to fish.
Because currents, waves and general weather conditions vary from region to region.
For example, if you’re fishing for cod in harsher regions like Iceland, you’ll need much heavier lures. In shallower waters like the Baltic Sea, very heavy cod lures are not always useful.
The cod are best fished with natural and/or artificial bait. It prefers to eat small fish and crabs as well as seaweed and invertebrates (worms). Therefore, the cod is generally considered a predatory fish.
It is a shoaling fish and likes to stay on the bottom. Therefore pilking is the preferred method of fishing for cod. It also likes to eat natural bait or large flies.
The following baits can be distinguished:
- Pilker (60 to 500 g) / Speedpilker
- Rubber fish (approx. 12 to 15 cm)
- Invertebrates like the lugworm or the sea annelid
- Small fish like the sand eel or the Tobias fish
In addition, the baits can be distinguished from each other by the following characteristics:
- Lure shape
Cod are also very choosy on some days. So it can happen that on one day they “jump on” almost everything and on other days it takes hours until you have a cod on the hook.
Because especially the more capital, larger cod are often very cautious due to their experience.
In the following we would like to introduce you to some cod baits, show their advantages and disadvantages and explain the respective areas of application. So that you always have the right bait at hand and can prepare optimally for your next fishing trip to the sea.
Pilchers are certainly the most commonly used bait for cod fishing. They are therefore regarded as “all-rounders” when fishing for cod and can be placed almost anywhere.
A pilker is also suitable for beginners as they are very easy to handle. Due to their high degree of robustness they are also very hard and rarely break. So you often only buy them once and then you have peace and quiet for years.
In addition, the selection is very large.
Pilkers are basically distinguished by the following characteristics:
The assembly with a pilker is also relatively simple. In principle you “only” hang the pilker on a monofilament leader. But make sure that you use a saltwater resistant swivel to protect it from corrosion.
In the following we will go into the correct weight, the right shape, the correct colour and how you handle it.
What is the optimum weight?
Pilkers are offered in different weights. You should make the weight dependent on the water you are sailing in.
Pilkers with a weight of 60 to 150 g are especially suitable for the Baltic Sea and all waters where it is relatively calm. Pilgrims with a weight of 150 to 300 g are ideal for the North Atlantic. Sometimes even pilgrims weighing up to 500 g should be used here.
But your pilk should not be too light. 100g are minimum here and have proven to be ideal for us.
Our own experience:
As a rule, we use pilkers weighing between 100 and 150 g for the Baltic Sea. The AnzeigeAngel-Berger Meerespilker Power Pilker, for example, has proved to be a good choice. In Iceland you already need much heavier pilkers. Here we often use pilkers weighing 300 to 500 g.
If you want to fish for cod in the North Sea, for example, you should pack a pilker weighing 200 to 300 g.
In southern Norway, on the other hand, it is better to fish for rubber fish. But pilkers weighing more than 300g can also be used for particularly deep areas in southern Norway. This way the pilker sinks to the bottom much faster.
To store your pilk, we also recommend the Behr Pilker Caddy bag for pilk.
Which colour should you use for the Pilker?
Admit that there are many different colours for Pilkers. Basically there is almost everything:
Depending on the season you should choose the colour.
In spring or spring (March, April & May) silver pilkers are very popular and “catchy”. This is because the silver-coloured herring is now in season.
In summer, autumn and winter you can “experiment” with all other colours. Here you should simply look to see which colour works best for you in the respective water.
Which shape is best?
There are many different shapes of cod pilchers. Starting with squid-like pilkers, through banana pilkers to particularly aerodynamic speed pilkers.
Whichever shape you choose, you should always make it dependent on the water. The important thing is that you simply try it out and gain your own experience. Often the most unusual pilkers are often the ones who catch the best.
Here you will find a large selection of different pilkers suitable for cod fishing.
How do you use the Pilker?
Usually the pilker or speed pilker is used from the boat. As the boat usually “drifts” away from the pilker, you should simply let it sink to the bottom and then pull it up again.
If you are drifting, it is advisable to cast the lure more often, let it sink and re-crank it. This way you always keep the line taut.
As the pilker is always being pulled up, it looks to the cod as if it is dealing with a small weak fish. So an easy prey for the cod. You should try to imitate this behaviour if possible.
When drifting you should always “drift” off a lot of water surface if possible.
As the cods usually strike when the pilker “sinks” it is important that you immediately set the stop/start so that it does not “cut out” later.
If he then “slips away” this is often more than annoying. However, try to use different colours and shapes.
Frequently, after changing the colour, a sudden bite can occur. Here you can also get inspiration from other anglers, for example when you’re out on a cutter.
If the pilker often gets stuck on the bottom, you can also change the triplet with a single hook. Often the problem is then solved.
Cod fishing with a rubber fish
Besides pilkers, you can also succeed in cod fishing with rubber fish. Like the pilker, it is also considered to be artificial bait.
The advantage of rubber fish over pilkers is that they are much more flexible than metal lures. The movable tail imitates a weak fish even better and more realistic.
The resulting pressure waves in the water can be perceived by the cod via the sensory organ (the lateral line). Rubber fish are particularly popular in the Baltic Sea. Here they are offered in sizes between 10 cm and 16 cm.
You should try the following colours for rubber fish:
Colours can also appear in combination, for example with the following rubber fish:
In the following you will find a display size selection of the different rubber fish.
One rubber fish that we can especially recommend is the display rubber fish carrot. This is a 15 cm long rubber fish that you can use not only for cod, but also for pike, perch, pike-perch, pike-perch and catfish.
3 pieces are delivered directly, so you can easily change them if one should break.
The very flexible tail attracts even very cautious cod. The hook also points upwards. This reduces the risk of it getting “caught” on the bottom.
It should therefore not be missing from any fishing suitcase. Similar to the pilgrim, cod bite especially during the sinking phase. It is therefore important that you set the stop immediately so that it does not “cut out”.
Twisters have a relatively stiff hull and a very flexible tail fin. They are used as by-catchers. This means that it is hooked in before the actual pilker. Alternatively you can also use two Twisters.
With such a combination it is in principle possible to catch several cod at once. Unfortunately the main bait (e.g. the pilker or rubber fish) is somewhat limited in its mobility. Furthermore the twister often leads to smaller cods.
We have had the best experience with the colour red.
You should only use a Twister if the pilker alone is not catchable. If many cod bite the pilker, it is advisable to do without the Twister completely.
You should also do without the twister if the minimum size is often not reached (if you regularly land undersized cod).
We can recommend the AnzeigeDORSCHKNALLER among the cheaper cod twisters. This is a twister in the colour orange or black. It weighs 70 g and can be used in salt water without any problems.
Another artificial bait is the so-called codfly. Normally flies are ideal for salmonids (e.g. for trout fishing). But nevertheless cods are also fish that like variety.
Because often they only see pilkers and twisters and may even have fallen for it. Therefore it is possible that you will not touch this bait anymore or ignore it completely.
Accordingly, it certainly can’t hurt to give the cods a change of pace every now and then. And this is where the cod fly comes into play.
Because it is usually unknown to the cod and makes you curious. It is therefore quite possible that other fish will also pounce on it (for example flatfish).
And this is what it looks like:
Codflies resemble the prey of codfish. These include shrimps or larvae, for example. It is usually used as a by-catcher and can also be attached to the leader (like the twister).
However, you should only use this if the other artificial baits mentioned above are not catchable. In addition, only very small cod are often caught with the cod fly.
It is therefore worthwhile to have this additional (emergency) bait in your fishing baggage. This way you are on the safe side if nothing works at all on one day.
We can recommend the AnzeigeDieter Eisele cod fly.
Lugworm / Annelid
If you want to fish in the Baltic Sea and try natural bait, you should start with lugworms and annelid worms.
It is even best to offer them in combination as “worm cocktail”. And this is what the two types of worms look like:
The nice thing is that lugworms and sea annelids emit smells that magically attract the cod (unlike artificial baits, for example).
Additionally you can be lucky and it will bite flatfish on the lure. Unfortunately the worms often fall off the hook, so regular checks are important. Also when “pulling out” the lure you have to take care that the lure doesn’t “slip off”. Especially if you reel in the line too fast.
The fresher the worms the better. Here too it is worth checking regularly to see if they are still wriggling.
You should use them when the cods look rather tired and sluggish. In our experience, lugworms and sea annelids work best in this case.
You should choose a relatively short rod (3.60 m) and a casting weight of 200 to 300 g for mudflat and sea annelid worms.
A monofilament line and 2 natural bait hooks are perfectly adequate here.
Small fish / sand eels / Tobias fish
Sand eels are one of the most common prey fish of cods. In the North Sea and Baltic Sea two of the 30 species occur. These include the Tobias fish and the large spotted sandeels. They can grow up to 15 cm long.
The greenish, silver colouring is often conspicuous. They are very similar to eels and garfish. Nevertheless they are smaller and have a long dorsal fin.
This is a schooling fish that hides in the sand to protect itself from danger. Here you can see him:
You can buy them in fishing shops by the sea. Especially in Ireland and the British Isles they are usually available vacuumed and frozen. You can usually buy them between 6 and 15 cm.
One way to get yourself some of them is by using the herring paternoster. In addition you need a small hook (size 14 is sufficient).
If you want to use Tobias fish for cod fishing you should use a two-hook system. Additionally wrap the fish with AnzeigeBait Elastic. This is a really ingenious bait tape to fix the bait very fast and without knots.
An alternative is to use display bait sand eels as rubber bait, which are also catchable. But there are Sandallen Wobbler:
Whether you decide for the “real” or the art form is up to you.
The right cod assembly
In the following we show you different cod assemblies that have proven to be very catchy. These are:
- Pilchmount with lead catcher
- Pilchmount with 2 lead catcher
- Pilchmount without triplet with 2 lead catcher
- Pilk tail mount with lead catcher
- Rubber fish jig mount for cod
- Drop shot mount for cod
- Dead rod mount
By the way: In order to always have the right mount with you, we also recommend our book “the best fishing mounts”.
Pilk mounting with lead catcher
Normally you fish for cod without bycatch from a depth of about 20 m. Above this depth an additional by-catcher is usually enormously worthwhile. Because rubber baits with a pilk mounting can quickly tempt the cod to bite.
It is often the case that the pilker is only used as a lure and the cod helps itself directly to the bycatch. It is therefore regarded as the “standard assembly” among cod assemblies.
But what do you need for this cod assembly? Following the most important fishing accessories:
- Leader line up to 80 cm (monofilament 40s or 60s)
- Mouth line (monofilament 30s to 40s – approx. 15 to 30 cm)
- 1 x bead on the arm (in display size M)
- 2 x swivels (available as an inexpensive set here)
- Pilker up to display 250 g with triple hook
- By-catches with or without lead head (3 g) are available at AnzeigeAmazon
The following illustration shows the structure of this cod assembly:
This assembly is mainly offered on the boat or on the cutter.
Pilk assembly with 2 lead catchers
You can add another by-catching device to the “standard mpntage”. This increases your chances of success even more.
Use a Twister in the following colors:
- Japanese red
- red black
You can also do without a 3 to 4 g heavy lead head. This is especially useful in weak seas.
What do you need for cod mounting? Below is a short and concise list of fishing accessories:
- Leader line up to 80 cm (display monofilaments 40s or 60s)
- 2 x side arm bead (in display size M)
- 3 x swivels (available as a cheap set here)
- Mouth line (30s to display 40s – 15 to 30 cm)
- By-catches with or without lead head (3 g) are available for display Amazon
- Pilker (up to display 250 g)
The following illustration shows the structure of the cod assembly:
Remember: The centimetre specifications for the fishing line should be strictly adhered to.
The number of by-catches should also be limited to 2 in order not to confuse the cod.
Pilkmontage without triplet with 2 lead catchers
In addition you can add a heavy piker without triplet (optionally also a ground lead) in order to increase the depth of the lures.
You should only use very heavy pilkers or ground weights if the sea is extremely rough. You will increase your catch anyway when the lure reaches the bottom.
What do you need for cod mounting? Below is a short and concise list of fishing equipment:
- Leader line up to 80 cm (display monofilament 40s or 60s, 2 x 50 cm)
- 3 x swivels (available as a cheap set here)
- 2 x side arm beads (in display size M)
- Pilk without triplet (60 to 200 g – just take a triplet of the display)
- Mouth line (monofilament 30 to indicator 40s, 15 to 30 cm)
- By-catches with or without lead head (3 g) are available at indicator Amazon
The following illustration shows the structure of the cod assembly:
The pilker without triplet is mainly used for herb banks. This way it cannot get “caught” so easily. Otherwise, you should simply use a ground lead.
Alternatively, you can also use natural bait such as lugworms or fish shreds instead of twisters.
Pilk trailer with lead catcher
The pilk trailer with lead catcher is also very catchy. You should make the colour of the pilk dependent on the time of day.
For us, dark colours have proven to be particularly catchy on grey days and in the early evening.
On the other hand, when the sun is shining, bright colors are preferable. Red pilkers usually always go.
What do you need for cod mounting? Below is a short and concise list of fishing equipment:
- Leader line up to 60 cm (display monofilament 40s or 60s)
- 1 x side arm bead (in display size M)
- 2 x swivel (available as a cheap set display here)
- Mouth cord (monofilament 30 up to indicator 40s, 15 to 30 cm)
- Bycatchers with or without lead head (3 g) are available at indicatorAmazon
- Pilker without triplet (up to 200 g – just take a single triplet to display)
- additional leader line (with 30 to 40 cm with monofilament display 40s)
- Twister (display here)
The following illustration shows you the structure of the cod assembly:
The additional twister at the end will have a positive effect on your catch quota. Alternatively, you can also use natural bait such as sea annelids.
We use this assembly regularly.
Rubber fish jigging for cod
The rubber fish jigging for cod is especially suitable for rubber fish in the size 8 to 16 cm. Here you should simply experiment a little with the colour. It can’t hurt to have several rubber fish with you which you can change if necessary.
What do you need for the cod assembly? The following is a short and concise list:
- braided main line (display 12 to 17)
- Leadheaded rubber fish (30 to 100 g available here as a complete set)
- 1 swivel (available as a cheap set here)
The following illustration shows you how to set up the cod assembly:
For the lead head, an average of 80 g has proven to be good. Near the coast, lighter lead heads also work well. We recommend that you choose a braided line, a finely adjusted brake and a softer action of the cod rod
If you absolutely want to fish with a monofilament line, you need to increase the lead weight a little.
Drop shot assembly for cod fishing
Cod are best fished from a cutter or boat, such as the MS Monika. The nice thing is that you can go fishing here without a fishing license because this is a commercial fishing boat. The cutter starts in Heiligenhafen (Schleswig-Holstein) and then makes its rounds around Fehmarn.
The trips go daily from 7:30 to about 15:30. A single trip costs 40 euros for adults. Children under 12 years pay 20 Euro. Non-anglers pay 25 Euro. If necessary, a rental fishing rod (as a complete set) can be rented for 10 Euros.
The following 14-minute instructional film shows you how to fish on a deep-sea cutter in the Baltic Sea:
But when is the best time to fish in the Baltic Sea?
In principle you can make good catches of cod all year round.
Note: However, there is currently a catch limit for 2019, which limits the catch of cod to 7. Even after the 7 catches, no cod may be caught and then put back.
The basis for this is Council Regulation (EU) 2018/1628 of 30 October 2018 fixing the fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks and groups of fish stocks applicable in the Baltic Sea for 2019.
“In recreational fisheries, no more than 7 cod per fisherman per day may be retained on board in Subdivisions 22-24”. However,
2020 the limit may change again.
Cod fishing in the North Sea
Even though the chances of success are somewhat lower in the North Sea than in the Baltic Sea (stocks are dwindling more and more), it is still possible to catch large cod in the North Sea.
Cod of 60 cm and more are not uncommon.
Where is cod fishing possible in the North Sea?
But where is cod fishing possible in the North Sea? To fish for cod in the North Sea, you go out to the North Sea with a large ocean-going cutter if possible.
Unfortunately many cutters are no longer in operation and are therefore “dry” in German ports. But some of them still go out regularly to fish for cod.
The following ocean-going cutters offer this service for little money on German North Sea coasts:
FK Freya am Dornumersiel Sander www.fk-freya.de Season: May to August
MS Freia am Dornumersiel Seetouristik Henke www.ms-freia.de Tel. 04975-8041 Season: April to October
FK Möwe am Bensersiel Heinz Steffens www.schkutter-moewe.de Tel. 04974-1209 Season: May to September
FK Albatros am Bensersiel Meisterbetrieb Gerdes www. albatros-bensersiel.de Tel. 04971- 9259260/ 0151-23355676 Season: April to September
FK Seestern am Neuharlingersiel Hermann Ricklefs www.fk-seestern-245.de Season: April to September
MS Blauort Büsum Egbert Jasper www.msblauort.de Tel. 0171-7739619 Season: July to August
When can you go cod fishing in the North Sea? When are the best seasons?
The cod season is usually between April and September. So the seasons late spring, summer and the beginning of autumn tend to be the best times to fish in the North Sea.
Some boats even go out to sea in October. Here it really depends on the supplier. Some cutters can also be rented privately. Here you should speak directly with the operator and negotiate individual conditions.
What is the best way to fish for cod?
In principle, there are three different types of fishing. One is cod fishing from the cutter, cod fishing from the shore and cod fishing in the harbour.
All three types have different requirements which we will discuss in detail below.
Cutter cod fishing
Cutter cod fishing requires special rules that every angler should follow. Some preparation is also necessary before the actual trip with the cutter.
Because rod, reel and lure should be coordinated on the often small boats.
Of course the right equipment on the cutter is more than decisive. If you save at the wrong end, it can happen that the rod gives up the ghost just before you wanted to pull the cod onto the bait.
To save you such inconveniences, you will find out below what is really important with the right equipment on the cutter.
Which fishing rod is the right one on the cutter?
For cod fishing on the cutter, you should choose a modern rod made of carbon fibre. These are not only slim, but also light. Especially when you have it in your hand for a longer period of time, it is less likely to show signs of fatigue.
The rod length should be about 2.80 to 3.20 m. This way you can get the lure far enough out on the water and still be flexible enough on the boat to fish side by side.
It also depends on the right casting weight on the cutter. 180 to 220 g are ideal for this. If you choose a casting weight that is too light, you will have problems with the bait guidance. So it is possible that the pilker will become “independent”.
The tighter the rod is the more likely you are to get a feeling when a fish has bitten.
The right reel on the cutter
You should make sure that the reel is saltwater resistant. A 3000 to 4000 model is often sufficient.
Especially when laying the fishing line you should always make sure that it is laid cleanly. Otherwise knots and line twist will occur afterwards.
It is also important that the reel is stable or makes a stable impression.
Which fishing line is the right one on the boat?
We strongly advise against using a monofilament fishing line. You can succeed with it, but a (round) braided fishing line is usually better.
You avoid line twist, the load capacity is higher with the same diameter and the elongation is much lower. This way you feel the bite much faster and can set the first strike much faster.
0.14 to 0.18 mm are completely sufficient on the cutter. This also means that the attack surface is not so high and the cod bait can sink faster.
For us the line colors are mainly eye-catching colors. These include yellow, green and red.
On the cutter you should have at least 150 m, better still 200 m available.
Often you can rent a fully assembled rod directly on the cutter for about 10 Euros. It is best to ask the skipper on site.
Bait on the cutter
A pilker or rubber bait (12 cm with a lead head weighing 50 to 75 g) is perfectly adequate as bait. The colour of the bait should be adjusted to the current hunting behaviour and the weather:
- When herring is hunted: Blue / Silver & Green / Silver
- When lugworms are on the menu: Brown
- When crabs are on the menu: Orange / Silver
- Dull weather: Silver
- Deep areas: Yellow
- Sun: Red / Green & Black / Red
It is therefore advisable to always have several baits with you. Especially in the Baltic or North Sea the weather can change quickly.
Correct fishing on the cutter
When sea fishing on the cutter you have to distinguish between drifting (wind comes from the front) and drifting (wind comes from behind).
When drifting, the lure usually drifts away from the boat. Now you can drop the lure directly into the water. Usually it is enough to let it down on the wall of the boat. The lure will then automatically gain distance and move away from the boat.
As soon as the cod bait has reached the bottom you have to pull the bait up again by “plucking” it.
If you lose contact with the bottom completely, you should release some line again.
When drifting, the complete cod assembly must be ejected far away from the boat. Otherwise there is a risk that the pilker will land under the cutter and in the worst case the propeller will destroy the assembly.
The sharp-edged side of the boat can also become a danger for the fishing line.
As soon as it is near the boat, you have to catch the lure quickly and then cast it out again.
The right behaviour when biting
But what to do if a cod does bite? As soon as you feel it is hooked, you should set the hook.
Now it is important that you keep the fishing line under tension. Because the cod will try to get rid of the hook and shake it off. If the fishing line is under tension this is much more difficult for him.
In addition you can release some of the line so he can pull away and get tired. As soon as he has lost his pulling power (and he gets tired) you should slowly pull him on board.
If it is a small cod you can “bring it on deck” with the help of a landing net.
If it is really a bigger cod you should use a gaff. Often a gaff is handy on the boat.
Now you only have to check if the cod is really above the minimum. If it is below the minimum, it has to go back into the water.
In Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania this is 38 cm. Otherwise it may be killed. For this you must first stun him with a fish killer.
Once he is unconscious you can remove the hook with a pair of release pliers. Cod sometimes swallow the hook too deeply. Therefore a display long release pliers can make a lot of sense.
Then you can kill the fish with a fish knife and a gill cut. Especially on hot days you should store the cod in a cool box on the cutter.
Otherwise the fish decays very quickly.
Cutter trips are offered on both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. Each trip is individual and tailored to your needs (best to talk to the crew beforehand).
Most of the time the captain knows special places where it is really worth fishing and where especially large cod can be pulled ashore or on deck.
In addition, they are often technically very well equipped. For example, they often have an echo sounder to find the fish.
According to §5, paragraph 5 point 1 of the state regulation for the implementation of the state fishing law (LFischG-DVO) you can go fishing on the cutter even without a fishing licence.
As a rule, the skipper pays attention to the proper handling of the fish as well as to the closed seasons and the correct minimum dimensions.
Baltic Sea (Heiligenhafen, Kappeln, Fehrmann, Rügen, Warnemünde)
Following are the most important cutters in Heiligenhafen, Kappeln, Fehrmann and on Rügen. Some of them set sail daily on the Baltic Sea.
MS “Seho” Reederei Mirko Stengel Lütjenburger Weg 19 23774 Heiligenhafen Tel.: 04362 – 508240 Mobile: 0151 – 12005000 Homepage
MS “Hai IV” Angel-Touren GmbH Eichholzweg 18 23774 Heiligenhafen Tel. : 04362 – 508240 Mobile: 0151 – 12005000 Homepage
Mc FISH – fishing in Baltic Sea and Schlei Tel. 04641-9887145 Mobile: 01522-9296592 Homepage
MS “Karoline” Schiffstouristik- Fehmarn GmbH Wollinweg 12 23769 Burg Fehmarn Phone: 0 43 71 – 12 63 Telefax: 0 43 71 – 86 98 66 Homepage
Cutter “Möwe” deep-sea fishing – fishing trips off Ostrügen Ulrich Hatrath 18546 Sassnitz Waldstrasse 2 Tel: 038392 33369 Mobil: 0175 5209889
Cutter “Albatros” deep-sea fishing off Rügen Captain Diederich Tel. : 0174 – 9824299
MS “Jan Cux” and MS “Rügenland” Angel- und Ausflugsschifffahrt Rügen GmbH Straße der Jugend 7a 18546 Sassnitz Homepage
Here you find also a provider that starts directly from Kiel and offers fishing trips on the North Sea:
Ostsee-Angeltouren Salzwiesenweg 7 24159 Kiel Phone: 0431 8880140 Mobile: 015788568140 Homepage
We have found a 4 minute video, which you should watch for cod fishing in the Baltic Sea:
Cod fishing from the shore
Besides the cutter you have the option to fish directly from the shore. Many people use the spinning method of fishing for this.
Often the cod caught are not as big as the capital cod that you can catch from the boat. Nevertheless, especially in the Baltic Sea you have a good chance of catching cod with a total length of over 50 cm.
Equipment on shore
For cod fishing on shore a spinning rod with a casting weight of 10 to 50 g is usually sufficient. Similarly to the boat, a total length of approx. 3 m to 3.20 m is often used on shore.
The displayDaiwa Exceler Seatrout is ideal for this. It has the following characteristics:
- Size: 3, 15 m
- Parts: 2
- Weight: 211 g
- Transport length: 1, 65 m
Again you should choose a 3000 or 4000 roll.
We recommend to choose a braided fishing line (0,15 mm). An additional 0.30 mm monofilament leader is suitable for this. This will give you some extra play in terms of stretch.
We recommend that you use typical coastal plugs. But also spoons, flies, twisters or rubber fish work very well on the cod.
On the coast we recommend the following colours:
- Red / Black
- Olive / Brown
A good fishing kit is the AnzeigeSea Fishing Kit for cod fishing. It consists of 2 special indicators and 2 cod paternosters. So you can try out several lures on the coast, if the first one is not catchable immediately.
Otherwise the brands, Viking, Snaps, Gno, Hansen Flash and Moresilda have proven to be good.
We can recommend a drop shot assembly with a rubber fish on the leader. Pilots with less weight have proven to be ideal for this.
You can also use pear lead. You should choose a distance of about 40 cm between pear lead and rubber fish.
If you have problems with tangles, you can also use a single hook instead of a triplet.
The behaviour of cod on the coast (day & season)
Cod like to stay close to the bottom. This is also true for the coast. It will grab just about anything that comes in its mouth. These include worms, snails, crabs and smaller fish.
You can “catch” him especially where it is much deeper. Especially during the day he prefers deeper waters on the coast. Therefore you should choose heavy weights of bi to 30 g.
Correctly on the shore or on the coast it can be found especially in the early morning hours and in the evening. Therefore it makes sense to try your “luck” only then.
Otherwise you may have to wait all day. Here you can place your bait between 10 and 25 m directly on the shore.
You should also take into account the preferred seasons. We have had good experience with the following months of the year on the coast:
Always take a look at the thermometer. Because if the water temperature is warmer than 16°C it rarely comes to the coast.
In colder temperatures it can be caught on the coast in July and August. However, if it is too cold (below 5°C) the chances of success are extremely low.
The right method of fishing on the shore
Since cod prefer to be caught on the bottom, the best method of fishing on the shore is spin fishing. The cod bait is pulled in slowly.
From time to time you can take a break. This simulates a weakened or sluggish fish, which is always easy prey for the cod. Therefore this method is relatively promising.
Jigging is a suitable alternative. Here the bait is lowered and briefly lifted again. Unfortunately the lure and the fishing line at the bottom get tangled up again and again. Therefore it is important that you are careful when jigging.
The best lure for jigging is a rubber fish.
The third method of fishing on the shore is the lazy method. Here the bait is pulled in again after it touches the bottom. The lazy bait method is preferably done with a spoon and is very suitable for cod fishing.
Once you have hooked a cod, you should immediately try your luck again at the same spot. Because where there is a cod there are usually other cods as well.
Cod fishing in the harbour
The reason why cod fishing in the harbour is so popular is that the chances of success are relatively high here. Because you can assume that you will encounter deeper waters here, which are located directly on the harbour wall.
And this is also where the cods like to stay.
Especially at night they like to come ashore and are on the prowl. Above all they look for small fish and small crabs.
Which is the best bait for cod in the harbour?
In ports the current is quite strong along the quay wall. Therefore you should use heavy spoons or rubber fish (over 25 g). Twisters, shads and jigs are also suitable for the harbour.
This is also a reason why your fishing rod should be a little heavier than on the coast. If the current is not so strong you can also use small rubber fish if necessary. These will work, especially when the weather is moderate.
But you can also be successful with lugworms in the harbour.
Equipment at the harbour
At the harbour we recommend a 2-piece rod with a length of 2.40 m to 3 m. A casting weight of 40 to 80 g is ideal here. It is even best if you go directly to the water with two rods. So you increase your chances at the same time.
A 0.60 cm long fluorocarbon leader is suitable as a leader. You should use a 0.2 mm thick line as fishing line.
Below is everything at a glance:
- Rods: AnzeigeSportex Hydra Speed UL2402 2,40m 40g WG
- Leader: 0,60 Climax Max Fluorocarbon
- Line: AnzeigeCLIMAX- miG 8 Fluo-Orange 0,20mm
The above mentioned line is for fishing with a 0,2mm line. The Sportex rod above is so suitable for the harbour because of its fast action. It also has a strong backbone and is equipped with SIC rings. This allows the heat caused by friction to be dissipated quickly and safely.
Especially when a big cod bites, you have a better chance of landing it. Equipped with carbon it makes an extremely good and solid impression.
For the leader you should use a fluorocarbon line at the harbour.
the CLIMAX- miG 8 Fluo-Orange is suitable for salt water and long distance casts. It is an extremely smooth braided line which is also suitable for sea fishing.
When and where to fish for cod at the port?
For us, the late afternoon and night at the port have proved to be the best. So far we have been able to make good catches at the port in Kiel.
Cod fishing in Germany by seasons
In Germany the seasons naturally play an important role. The behaviour of cod tends to be different in spring and autumn.
We will therefore go into all seasons in detail below. These include spring (March, April, May), summer (June, July August), autumn (September, October, November) and winter (December, January, February).
This should show you what you have to pay attention to in order to maximize your chances of catching fish.
Spring cod fishing (March, April, May)
Cod like to come close to the coast in spring. However, you should always keep an eye on the water temperature. Depending on the water temperature, the places where you can find cod change.
We will go into this below.
Which is the best way to fish in spring?
In spring you have the best chances of trolling. Especially when the water is warmer than 14 degrees. The lure should be offered as low as possible behind the boat. For us 5 to 9 m depth has proved to be ideal. But the boat should not be too fast in spring. 2 to 5 kmh are completely sufficient.
Make sure that you “pull” the lure about 20 to 40 m behind the boat.
If the water is cold below 14 degrees you can also fish on the shore. Here they stop both during the day and at night. The size of the cod is also influenced by the swell. If the sea is rough, the chance of meeting larger cod is higher.
Because now, potentially more prey fish are washed up for the cod.
Which lure should you use when trolling on the boat?
We have had the best experience with plugs.
If you normally only use them in fresh water, it is advisable to clean them afterwards with clear fresh water. This way you avoid rust and corrosion.
Because the salt can quickly attack the surface of the hooks
Summer (June, July, August) cod fishing
Even in summer you can successfully fish for cod. Especially the months of June, July and August are usually promising.
Because for many people summer is the high season for cod fishing. However, there are some special features (such as the choice of bait) that you should consider.
Which bait is best in summer?
Many anglers swear by crabs in summer. Especially when it’s warm, crabs are at the top of the menu.
Crabs should have the following characteristics:
- Colour: Brown or orange
- Length: 4 cm are perfectly adequate
- Shape: as realistic as possible
- Material: rubber
We can recommend for example the display crabs from Darlington & Sohns. Also the DisplaySavage Gear LB 3D Manic Crab has proven to be very good.
How to fish with crabs correctly?
When drifting you should preferably hold the lure directly at the bottom. Because crabs do not jump and bounce.
This means that you should avoid big movements and “plucking” if possible. The similarity with a real crab is much greater and the cod bites faster.
Crabs are often swallowed “completely” despite their shell and claws.
Cod fishing in autumn (September, October, November)
Cod can also be caught in September, October and November. Autumn is generally a good time to catch cod. Because similar to spring, the cods now start predating.
Again the fishing method of trolling is suitable.
What is the best way to “troll” in autumn?
The best way is to start towing 20 to 30 m behind the boat.
The lure is best 6 to 8 m below the water surface
Again, it is advisable to go fast with your boat at about 2 to 5 kilometres per hour. For most cods this is still “within the natural range”.
Where can they be found in autumn?
In autumn you should definitely try it during the day near the coast. Especially when it is colder than 14 degrees Celsius, the coast is ideal in autumn.
If it is warmer than 14 degrees, then the boat is suitable. However, this only applies to the day and not to the night.
Generally speaking, the cooler it is, the better your chances of catching a fish.
Which bait in autumn?
In autumn you should fish for plugs. We have had good experience with this.
But crabs also work very well. Here we can still recommend the AnzeigeSavage Gear LB 3D Manic Crab.
But of course the classic Pilker also works in autumn. In addition to the pilker, you should also offer lugworms.
You will find the suitable assembly, with two lures, above.
Winter cod fishing (December, January, February)
Not the best time of year, but you can still land cod in winter.
Especially the months of December, January and February are subject to very special conditions.
Night is the best time in winter
At night, cod and cod like to stay close to the coast. It starts as soon as darkness falls.
Now is the best time to go fishing until the early morning hours. Waders and a headlamp can help you not to get too wet.
Where do you find cod in winter?
Especially in Holland you have good chances. Well known places for cod fishing are for example Dishoek and Zoutelande and the Westkapelle (at the dike).
But also in Germany you have good chances of success in winter. Especially at the northern tip of Sylt there are many gullies, right near the coast.
What else is important in winter?
Especially at night you can see little in winter. As you sometimes have to go further out to reach long throws of 100 m (from the coast), a high quality wader is recommended anyway.
Especially in winter with rough seas it is recommended to use claw lead with a weight of 100 to 200 g.
The fishing line should also be a bit more robust with 0.32 mm to withstand the hard current. It can not expand and the hook can be set more easily.
We recommend to use a paternoster mount in winter (see above for detailed explanation). This usually does not drift off so quickly.
Classic running lead assemblies are usually washed up on the beach too easily and do not serve their purpose in winter.
It is recommended to use a size 1 fishing hook. This way you may very well catch flounder, whiting and dab in addition.
We recommend you go fishing 3 hours before the tide comes in. Here you usually have the best chances.
Fishing for cod takes place at sea and can be really exciting. It is therefore part of heavy sea fishing.
That’s why the right equipment is really important. If you save money here, you can easily break a rod or two.
Use only high quality materials. Otherwise you will pay twice afterwards.
Furthermore, the choice of bait depends on where you want to go cod fishing. In Iceland, for example, the bait has to be heavier than in the North Sea. This is simply because of the general weather conditions and the “rougher” sea.
Depending on whether you fish from a boat or the surf, it can be a truly unique experience.
We wish you good luck with your next hide.