Cod Fishing on the Wrecks

Cod fishing on the wrecks follows a well defined annual pattern and as a rule of thumb the wreck fishing season for Cod runs from January through to October, when the Cod are found offshore in deep water.

The Cod then migrate to their winter spawning grounds which are closer to shore in shallower water.

Latin Name: Gadus Morhua

If you are looking for a Cod fishing trip come and join us aboard Grey Viking in Brighton. We’ve earned a reputation for finding the Cod with countless personal bests for our anglers. The fish are typically in the 6lb to 12llb range with fish of 20lb or even 30lb plus becoming more common again. The British boat record for Cod is 58lb 6oz caught by Noel Cook in 1992 and the biggest to date on Grey Viking is 34lbs caught in December 2010, with winter being the best time to target the big ones!

It doesn’t matter if you are a novice, Cod fishing is not complicated and we’ll show you how it’s done using our tackle or your own. For beginners and experienced anglers alike, if you are interested in the methods we use out of Brighton at different times of the year, please carry on reading!

30lb 4oz cod wreck fishing
30lb 4oz Cod for Warren Slatter caught Wreck Fishing with a Sidewinder Lure


Wreck Fishing for Cod

January until October sees the best of the wreck fishing for Cod, when they shoal in large numbers on the numerous deep sea wrecks in the English Channel. Depending on the tide and how the particular wreck lies (across or with the tide) the Cod will be found close in to the wreck or just downtide of it, using the wreck as shelter when the tide is running. Cod are lazy you see, using the minimal effort to feed! When the tide slackens the Cod will venture further out to feed amongst the debris or scour on the seabed.

summer cod fishing wrecks
Another good day summer Cod fishing on the wrecks with lures

From January to late summer drifting the wrecks for Cod works best, in much the same way as the methods used for Pollack fishing. Essentially the fishing will be with artificial lures but the trick is to get the lure down below the Pollack shoals to the Cod who will be feeding on the bottom. In this respect, if Cod are the target, heavier weighted Sidewinders, Shads and Leadheads fished on a short Hopper Rig is the way to go, with most fish caught within 10 turns of the bottom.

Cod fishing at anchor on wreck
Cod Fishing at anchor on a wreck using bait

From late summer, in our experience, Cod are best fished for anchored uptide of a wreck using cuttle fish for bait using tackle in the 20-30lb class to handle enough lead. The tactics for bait fishing are the same as for winter Codding on the ground, described below.

Winter Fishing for Cod

We have written a Definitive Guide to Winter Cod Fishing as it is a separate subject really, but here is a brief summary:

In winter, from about October through to January, the Cod move closer inshore and in Brighton we fish for them at anchor with bait. This is a good time of year for the bigger fish with specimens of 20lb plus on the cards. There have even been a few Cod in the 30lb class in the last few years! In terms of bait the options are – cuttle fish or squid! A bit of black lug to make a cocktail of bait is worth a try, but by no means essential.

34lb Cod for Tyler Hallett caught on Grey Viking Brighton
34lb winter Cod for Tyler Hallett caught on Grey Viking in Brighton

A simple running ledger or fixed paternoster rig is all that is needed with a pennel two hook rig using size 6/0 to 8/0 hooks to suit the bait. When it comes to bait big is good – remember that a 15lb Cod is quite capable of swallowing a 3lb Pouting whole! Our local winter Cod grounds have an average depth of 20m which means uptide and downtide fishing are both effective. A 12-20lb downtide or 4-8oz uptiding rod are more than enough for some sporting action.