Try again later.
Red hake, also called “ling” along parts of the Mid-Atlantic coast, are a wide-ranging species that can be found from Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence south to North Carolina, and from shallow coastal waters to depths of more than 1,500 feet. They are most often found between Maine and northern New Jersey.
They are not a large fish; although the largest red hake may weigh close to 15 pounds, most individuals caught be recreational fishermen are in the two- to four-pound class. The largest red hake ever recorded as caught on rod and reel was a 12-pound, 13-ounce fish caught off New Jersey in 2010. Although the meat is white and good-tasting, it tends to be somewhat soft, more suitable for fish cakes and similar uses than for steaks or fillets. As a result, red hake command a low ex-vessel price, often selling for about fifty cents per pound.
Red hake are managed by the National Marine Fishery Service’s Northeast Multispecies Fishery Management Plan, administered by the New England Fishery Management Council. It supports a substantial commercial fishery, and is frequently caught by recreational fishermen. In New York and New Jersey, red hake are often sought by party boat anglers, who either target them or catch them while fishing around wrecks for other species such as cod and black sea bass. The Gulf of Maine/Northern Georges Bank stock of red hake is neither overfished nor subject to overfishing. However, it was recently determined that overfishing was occurring with respect to the Southern Georges Bank/Mid-Atlantic stock, which has also recently been found to be overfished.