The Lingcod is a fish of the greenling family Hexagrammidae. It is the only extant member of the genus Ophiodon. A slightly larger, extinct species, Ophiodon ozymandias, is known from fossils from the Late Miocene of Southern California. The Lingcod is a popular eating fish, and is thus prized by anglers. The Lingcod's flesh is sometimes blue-green prior to cooking.
Nicknamed “buckethead,” the Lingcod has a large head and mouth, and 18 large, sharp teeth. Its long body tends to narrow toward the tail. Lingcod are dark gray, brown, or a greenish color on the back with some copper-colored mottling or spotting along the upper back.
You should use a conventional level-wind fishing reels for most saltwater fishing applications, including Lingcod fishing. Spinning reels will work fine, but usually lack the line capacity that a conventional reel offers.
When fishing in extremely deep water of the Pacific Ocean’s offshore reefs, a 5’6” Halibut rod will handle the heaviest of weights and the largest Lingcod. It is recommended that you should use Braided Spectra fishing line for any bottom fishing, such as Lingcod. Braided lines have many advantages to monofilament lines. A Spectra line with 80# strength has the same diameter as 20# monofilament. The thinner Spectra lines will cut the current better, allowing you to use lighter weights to reach great depths. Spectra lines also have zero stretch and extremely high sensitivity.
Favorite live baits vary by region. In Alaska, Lingcod will incidentally latch on to a hooked 5# Black Rockfish or even 25# Lingcod. Californian anglers use live Anchovies and Mackerel. Washington State anglers use Sand Dab or Greenling. Metal lures are very effective for Lingcod. While more expensive than fishing soft plastics, they can be the top producer. A Pline Lazer Minnow metal jig weighing 1 ounce might be enough to fish around the edges of a Kelp bed, but a 24 ounce Norwegian Cod Jig might be what is needed offshore. Also, you can use single-tail and double-tail plastic grubs in 4” and 6” and swimbaits.
Lingcod are unique to the west coast of North America, with the center of abundance off the coast of British Columbia. They can be found from the Alaska Peninsula/Aleutian Islands south to Baja California and are common throughout Southeast Alaska, the outer Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak, and Prince William Sound.