by David Proudfoot

Melanogrammus aeglefinus

species ID haddock

Distinguishing features

The haddock is a member of the cod family with three dorsal fins, the first of which is triangular and two anal fins. The lower jaw is shorter than the upper and the barbel is short. The back is a greeny brown colour with greyish silver sides and at times has a purple hue. The lateral line is black and there is a black spot above the pectoral fin.


The haddock can grow to around 80 cm and attain a weight of 8 kg.

British Record Fish List

UK Shore Record: 6lb 12oz 0dms / 3.061kgs
UK Boat Record: 13lb 11oz 4dms / 6.215kgs

European Line Class Record for this species


A migratory fish, at the northern end of its range it travels into shallow water in the summer and the reverse is true further south. It will be found over most types of sea bed but favours softer bottom. It can be found in depths from 10 metres out to 300 metres.


The haddock feeds mainly on bottom living organisms such as worms, brittlestars and molluscs. They will also eat sandeels and capelin.


Mussels are a favourite bait and they will also regularly take lugworm, fish strips and other shellfish.


Haddock will take pirks, feathers and plastic worms or eels.

species ID haddock

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