Gulf of Maine Haddock Best Practice Recommendations

  1. If you are catching cod, move to a new location.
    • All cod caught in the Gulf of Maine must currently be thrown back. Don’t waste your bait on them!
  2. Fish with bait, not with jig.
    • You will help preserve fish populations. Cod and haddock caught with bait have a higher survival rate after being released than fish caught with a jig.
    • Your catch rates will be higher! You will double your catch rate of haddock if you use baited hooks instead of a jig.
    • It will help you avoid cod. You are more than 2.5 times more likely to catch haddock than cod when using baited hooks.
    • You will injure the fish less.
      • Cod and haddock are 4.5-5 time more likely to be hooked in a sensitive area (throat, head, gills, or belly) if caught on jig.
      • You are nearly 5 times more likely to foul hook (hook in an area outside of the mouth) a haddock if you use jig.
      • You are 9 times more likely to foul hook (hook in an area outside of the mouth) a cod if you use jig.
      • Jigs are at least 10 times more likely to severely injure cod or haddock.
  3. If you are new to fishing, ask for help.
    • Experienced anglers can get a fish back in nearly half the time as an inexperienced angler.
    • Inexperienced anglers take more than 1.5 times longer to unhook fish than experienced anglers.
    • Unhooking times for experienced anglers are about 40% lower than inexperienced anglers.