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Old 07-14-2019, 06:08 AM
Gerry Zagorski's Avatar
Gerry Zagorski Gerry Zagorski is offline
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Default How to Ling

Ling…. The other White Meat

Not sure why but after being absent from our waters for a few years, the Ling have come back around, are here in force and they are hungry.

While most prefer fishing for Fluke, those looking for something for the table and lots of action are going for Ling and rightfully so… Their white meat is delicious and the action if in the right area its drop and reel fishing.. You’re not however going to find them in the bay, you’ll be anchoring over deep water structure in the ocean like wrecks and rock piles etc with mud around them.

Unless you know how to anchor over structure and where the structure is, you might be better off fishing with one of our Sponsor Charter or Party boats. These fish are fairly location specific and they have been fishing for them very successfully for months now and know where they live.

So let’s go fishing.

Just like in real estate, the 3 most important things are location, location and location. Although these fish are being caught in the shallower reefs, wrecks and rocks, if you want to specifically target them you’ll be fishing 60 plus feet of water… A good chart plotter to get you in the target area and a good fish finder to see the wreck and anchor over it are practically musts… Once you find the spot, stop the boat, let the wind and current push your boat off the spot. Take a direct line back to the spot, run passed it staying on the same course, drop your anchor and once it sticks, the wind and current should put you on your spot… If you’re short of it let some line out, if past it, bring some line in. If you missed it try again…

Now that you’re in your spot let’s talk about gear and methods..

Nothing special required as far as rods and reels, pretty much anything you’d use inshore for Fluke or Stripers is fine but most bottom fishermen prefer conventional over spinning reels and use medium action poles… As far as rigs, you’ll want just enough sinker weight to hold bottom and 3/0 bait holder or octopus hooks. One hook goes a foot above the sinker and the other a foot below. These fish are not line shy so 30 pound plus leader is fine and some use 50 since it’s stiffer and keeps the hooks from tangling back on your leader.

For baits, I start with a small gulp and tip it with clam or squid. It’s not that you have to use gulp but it stays on the hook better then soft baits and if your bait gets stolen, you still have something for the fish to eat… Small baits are best and leave the tip of the hook exposed. These fish are practically suicidal and will often hook themselves. Check your bait often, move around the boat and pay attention to what others are doing.

Drop your line down and let it hit the bottom. Most people jig their baits every so often while others will jig it constantly… We are not talking yo-yo jigging here, more like twitching it off the bottom with your rod tip. The jigging action and movement is often times what triggers the bite…

Now that you have a few fish under your belt, make sure and care for your catch… The meat on these fish is very soft so it’s best to keep them on ice to keep it firmer, not in a bucket of water.

Hope this helps those of you who are new to this fishery. Ling make great table fare and the action can be fast and furious so it’s great for kids or people new to fishing.

If you'd like to learn more, here's a great post from one of our long time posters Leif https://www.njfishing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6420 and the picture below of his son with a nice one.

Catch’em up and enjoy!!
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2019, 10:00 AM
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Reelron Reelron is offline
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Smile Re: How to Ling

You forgot the most important part, Red Gulp!

Seriously, Ling will bite Gulp as well as clam baits. If you don't have faith in the Gulp alone, just tip it with a little piece of Squid. Also be aware the Winter Flounder will also jump on a hook once in a while!
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Old 07-15-2019, 07:04 AM
porgylber porgylber is offline
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Default Re: How to Ling

Thanks for the ling tips. One thing to add. There are days when it can be difficult to feel the bite. Ling aren’t exactly great fighters. On those days, once you hit bottom, raise your rod to a point where it is perpendicular with your chest. Slowly lower your rod...and when it feels heavier, you have a ling on your line.

It’s funny, ling used to be a winter fishery. I’m pleased to see them here during the summer.
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Old 07-15-2019, 09:06 PM
Ice Cream Bill Ice Cream Bill is offline
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Default Re: How to Ling

Thanks for the post Gerry! Went offshore yesterday with two other friends and hit the jackpot. We boated close to 200 ling and a winter flounder, then came in and finished the day with five sea bass on SR reef.

I pan fried some ling tonight with a Louisiana fish fry breading mix. Delicious! I absolutely love fishing for ling. Several fish yesterday were between 2-2 1/2 lbs.
Will try and post some pics.

Bill
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