Distribution: Haddock are a common fish to be found all around the coast of Ireland. Cork and Kerry seem to have stable populations as do the Irish sea although these tend to be found offshore. Wicklow produces good catches each year as does the Antrim coast and th rest of the North of Ireland where it is nearer to their breeding grounds and the influence of the North sea where their numbers are most prolific.. Very similar to the Cod, the Haddock is smaller reaching about 6 lb and having a smaller mouth and generally of a more silvery colour.
Like its bigger cousin the Cod, Haddock are often found in the same areas. They seem to have a particular liking for sandbanks and deep holes where they work the bottom for food. Unlike the Cod however they seem to have less of a tollerance for shallow water and are usually to be found at a depth of 120ft - 1000ft. For this reason it is usually at the lower reaches of a steep bank that they are found where food item will work their way down and the shoals of waiting Haddock can pick them up.
Again unlike the Cod, adult Haddock seem to favour smaller food items such as crab and worm baits to larger fish prey such as Pout. In the wild they feed on small starfish and sea urchins as well as worms, Squat lobsters, shrimps, shellfish and whelks. Larger specimens can also take sandeels and small fish.
As a general rule Haddock are an off shore species and for this reason calm seas are best for targeting them from a safety point of view. It is possible since they are a bottom feeder they like messy seas as they work the stirred up bottom...
Tides and Weather:
Bottom fishing for Haddock can be fruitful with a running ledger rig. Try combining this with a flier a few feet above the bottom hook. As Haddock have small mouths in comparrison to their Codling cousins, try dropping down to a size 2/0 - 3/0 hook.
Without doubt the best method for targeting Haddock is with baited Hockais or White feathers with 2/0 hooks. Try bounceing your lead off the bottom as you drift to attract the attention of the shoaling fish as they work the bottom.
Haddock Profile
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