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Do you want to learn how to catch haddock? Haddock is a member of the cod family. It can be found in the North Atlantic Ocean, the Gulf of Maine, and northern Europe. Haddock is a bottom feeder and finding areas and structures that may serve as a cover for haddock is important to successfully catch this fish. In this article, we share information on fishing techniques, tips, and equipment to help you catch more haddock.

How To Catch Haddock
How To Catch Haddock

How To Catch Haddock

Drift Fishing

One fishing technique used to catch haddock is drift fishing. When drifting, you find structures that haddock may be holed up in and then move your boat over them with your bait. The bait has to be very close to the sea floor as haddock is a bottom feeder.

Structures like wrecks and rocks are prime structures that may be covered for haddock. When a haddock is hooked, slowly reel in the fish to avoid tearing the hook from its tender mouth.

How To Catch Haddock In Maine

Haddock are bottom feeders. When fishing for haddock in Maine, use a fish finder to identify areas near the bottom where haddock are located. Look for significant changes in the depth as well as around plateaus. If you do find some haddock, follow the contour line to find larger concentrations of haddock and their bait.

Additionally, keep looking for schools of bait on your sonar device. If you can find schools, haddock will not be far off. Drifting is often used by anglers when fishing for haddock. Anglers also like to anchor up and get their jigs down to the bottom and get the attention of haddock. Lures such as jigs and baits are used when fishing for haddock. Clams are a favorite for many anglers.

How To Catch Haddock In Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, haddock spends most of the year at the bottom. Anglers rely on fish finders to find where they are located deep in the water column and use lures and baits to target them. However, in the spring, haddock comes to shallow water and anglers target them with clams.

Double-hook rigs are used when fishing for haddock in shallow waters as it is very effective. Squid is also used as bait when fishing for haddock in Massachusetts.

How To Catch Haddock From A Boat

Haddocks are usually found very close to the bottom or at the bottom. When fishing for them, use your fish finder to locate them deep in the water column or at the bottom. Clams, squid, shrimp, lugworms, and ragworms are some of the baits used when fishing for haddock. They often feed off rocky outcrops and steep-sloping beaches. When you spot these areas, scan them to find haddock.

In spring, haddock will move from deep waters to shallow areas. This presents a great opportunity to catch them. Bottom fishing, vertical jigging, and drift fishing can be used to catch haddock.

Haddock Tackle Setup

A 6 to 7-foot medium action rod rated for 20 to 30 lb that holds roughly 300 yards of 30 lb braid will work for haddock fishing.

Tips For Haddock Fishing
Tips For Haddock Fishing

Best Haddock Bait

1. Shrimp

Shrimp is one of the best baits for haddock and other fish as well.

2. Clams

Clams work well as bait for haddock.

3. Crabs

Crabs are also good bait that anglers use, not only for haddock but other fish.

4. Squid

Squid is an effective bait for haddock.

5. Sea worms

Anglers use sea worms as bait for haddock as they like sea worms.

6. Sea stars

Sea stars are also very effective as bait for haddock.

7. Brittle stars

Brillte stars work very well as bait for haddock.

8. Herring

Herring is one of the best baits for haddock.

9. Mackerel

Mackerel is also used by anglers as bait for haddock.

10. Sand eels

Sand eels work very well as bait for haddock.

11. Shellfish

Shellfish is a good bait that attracts haddock.

Ideas For Haddock Fishing
Ideas For Haddock Fishing

Best Haddock Lures

1. Jigs

Jigs are one of the best lures to catch haddock.

2. Teasers

Teasers are used by anglers to attract haddock.

Haddock Fishing
Haddock Fishing

Best Haddock Rigs

1. Two Boom Paternoster Rig

2. Two-Hook Paternoster Rig

3. Boat Leger Rig

4. Two Boom Paternoster Rig

Haddock Fishing Tips

1. Haddock is a bottom feeder.

2. Haddock spawn From January to June.

3. Haddock spawn in the water column, away from the bottom, at 100 to 600 feet.

4. Haddocks are caught in waters 150 to 350 feet deep.

5. The best technique to catch haddock is a simple baited hook rig.

Haddock Fishing Tricks
Haddock Fishing Tricks

6. Circle hooks do a better job than “j” hooks when catching haddock. Circle hooks have a higher haddock catch rate than “j” hooks.

7. Haddock can be caught all year round.

8. Haddock lives in deep waters of depths between 130 to 450 feet and like habitats of gravel, pebbles, clay, and smooth hard sand.

9. Move to a different spot if you are fishing for haddock but start catching cod.

10. Use baited hooks instead of jigs when fishing for haddock. Jigs have a lower catch rate and are more likely to cause injury.

Haddock Fishing Tips
Haddock Fishing Tips

11. Squid is the best choice for bait as it remains on your hook longer than other baits and this leads to less time spent reeling to check or re-bait your hook.

12. Use a braided line as the mainline with a monofilament leader since a braided line has less stretch than a monofilament line. This makes it easier to feel subtle bites.

13. Drift fishing over structures like wrecks, and rocks with live bait is one of the fishing techniques used to catch haddock.

14. The best time to fish for haddock is summer and early spring.

15. Haddock will remain offshore in deep waters for most of the year, but during spring they will move to shallow areas.

Haddock Fishing Ideas
Haddock Fishing Ideas

16. Haddock doesn’t put up a spirited fight when hooked as other fish do.

17. When hooked, slowly reel it to the surface to prevent tearing the hook from its tender mouth.

18. Haddock is a very tasty fish.

19. A medium-action 8-foot boat rod is effective for haddock fishing.

20. When fishing for haddock from the shore or in a boat, you can use rigs like the two boom paternoster rig.

Haddock Fishing Hacks
Haddock Fishing Hacks

21. Haddock shoals are always on the move along the seabed in search of food.

22. Add small luminous green muppets to the hooks or two or three small green beads above the hook when you are fishing in deep water. It can bring attention to the bait to fish that is far away.

23. Bounce the lead weight on the seabed if the drift is slow towards slack water. This noise will attract the attention of the haddock that is close by.

24. Sometimes when a haddock is hooked, wait for about 30 seconds as other haddocks in that shoal can be drawn in to take the second bait.

25. Use jigs instead of single hooks.

26. Haddocks are usually caught offshore with bait.

How do they catch haddock?
Haddock is commonly caught in deep waters in a boat using bait.
What's the best bait for haddock?
Shrimp, squid, clams, herring, mackerel, worms, sand eels, and shellfish are some of the best baits for haddock.
Where is most haddock caught?
Most haddock is caught in the deep sea using bait.
Is haddock hard to catch?
Haddock is not the most difficult fish to catch. Finding the right spots to fish and using the right bait will come with success when fishing for haddock.
Can you jig for haddock?
Yes, you can jig for haddock. Drop the jig in the water and jig slowly.
How deep do you fish for haddock?
You can fish for haddock in waters 150 to 350 feet deep.
Is there a season for haddock?
You can catch haddock all year round although the best time to fish for haddock is summer and early spring

The Bottom Line

Haddock is a favorite fish for anglers as it is abundant and tasty fish. It is a bottom feeder and is found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Finding the structures that are used as cover for haddock is key to catching this tasty fish. Equally important are the bait and equipment used when fishing for haddock.

In this article, we shared information to help you improve your chances of catching more haddock. If you also fish for lingcod, chain pickerel, and flathead catfish, then read how to catch lingcod, how to catch chain pickerel, and how to catch flathead catfish to learn more techniques and tips to catch these fish.