Get Fishing Resources - Fishbook

Fishbook: Pollack

‘Fishbook’: Our species-guide series based on “Get Fishing
the brilliant how to fish book by Allan Sefton

We profile the UK’s most common as well as some lesser-known fish species to help newcomer anglers find out more about fish that can be caught in our lakes, canals, rivers, ponds and sea.

Understanding the kinds of fish you might catch will add interest and could even make your fishing easier! Here you’ll find out more about…



Scientific name:

Life span:
Between 20-25 years

Typical size:

British record:
29lb 4oz

Non-migratory fish, they stay around the same area for the whole of their lives. Most active in summer months

Interesting fact:
Pollack are ambush predators, hiding among the kelp, then racing out to snatch sand eels or immature fish that venture too close

About Pollack

Pollack are not the best known of fish, but they’re a star of sea fishing. The species is most at home off the wild coasts of Ireland and Scotland. They are a handsome, streamlined member of the cod family.

Although big pollack are caught well offshore around wrecks and reefs, smaller fish favour the forests of kelp that grow, mostly below the low-water mark, on rocky shorelines. Their copper colouration camouflages them amongst the seaweed.

They inhabit areas where they cannot be targeted by commercial fishermen so are rarely seen on a fishmonger’s slab.

Pollack are ambush predators, hiding among the kelp, then racing out to snatch sand eels or immature fish that venture too close. The best ‘marks’ for them are along shorelines where you can cast out to fish above or between kelp-covered reefs and ridges of rock that stretch offshore.

The successful pollack fisher finds these marks at the lowest of spring tides when kelp forests are exposed and seeks out a spot from which they can be reached when the tide is in.

Visit the rest of the How To Fish video gallery here to learn new tricks and discover more about the basics of angling.

Find out more about:

Read more about how you can get into sea fishing. Alternatively, find a venue near you where you can #getfishing!

Some of the above content is taken from the new book, Get Fishing – the ‘how to’ guide to Coarse, Sea and Fly Fishing by Allan Sefton published by Merlin Unwin Books. This colourful, lively book is aimed at complete beginners of all ages, those who have been out fishing a couple of times and want to take it further and families of all abilities. It’s also packed with top-tips and info that make it useful for more experienced anglers too. Find out more about, and purchase a copy of the book here.

Header image thanks to David Overland and text reproduced with permission and © Merlin Unwin Books.

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