Poor Cod

by David Proudfoot

Trisopterus minutus

species ID poor cod

Distinguishing features

The poor cod is a mini-species from the cod family with three dorsal fins and two anal fins. The base of the first anal fin starts beneath the space between the first and second dorsal fins and the upper jaw overlaps the lower. The back is a yellowish-brown with the sides tending towards a copper colour and the belly is silvery grey. Its scales tend to come off on the hand when touched but the fin position should be used as the main guide when distinguishing between this species and the pouting.


Poor cod reach a maximum length of around 26 cm but between 15 and 20 cm is more common.

British Record Fish List

UK Mini Record: 358gms

Poor cod are very common in the waters of the eastern North Atlantic in depths of between 25 to 200 metres. It is less common close to the shore than the pouting.


Its food consists mainly of small fish and crustaceans.


Poor cod will take almost any small baits including crab, worms, fish and squid.


Like the pouting, poor cod will happily take small sabiki lures fished hard on the bottom.

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