European Pollock is a species of marine fish in the Pollachius genus. FAO uses English name Pollack for this species. Together with Pollachius virens, it may also be referred to as Pollack.
The European Pollack is a large fish up to 130 cm in length and weighing up to 14 kg. It has a relatively large mouth with a protruding lower jaw, no barbell and conspicuously large yellow eyes. Like other members of the cod family, this species has three dorsal fins; The first being triangular and the latter two longer. It has two anal fins. The tail is broad and slightly forked. The lateral line is dark green, strongly arched over the pectoral fin and straightens out just under the second dorsal fin. The pectoral fins are short, being as long as they are wide at the base. The colour of this species varies with habitat and age but it is usually dark brown or brownish-green on the back, abruptly paling to its yellow sides and paler undersides. All the fins are dark with the exception of the pelvic fins which may be slightly pink. The anus is just below the front half of the first dorsal fin.
Because they can be found anywhere in the water column, there are a range of different fishing techniques that will catch these fish. Bait fishing with squid, crab, mackerel and worm baits can be effective. Hooks sized 1/0 – 3/0 will do the trick, with clipped down rigs used if you are fishing at range or two or three hook flapping rigs used if fishing closer in from a rock mark or pier and smaller fish are expected. However, many anglers fishing from deep-water rock marks use spinning gear and plugs, lures and spinners to catch pollock. Float fishing can also be an effective tactic with mackerel, ragworm and sandeel baits floated through mid-water accounting for some decent sized Pollock. Freelining mackerel strip, head-hooked ragworm or sandeels into deep water is also worth a try. Some anglers even use fly fishing gear and sandeel type flies, as Pollock will feed right at the surface of the water, especially at dusk.
It is common in the north-eastern parts of the Northern Atlantic, including the Bay of Biscay and North Sea.