This is one of my favorite times of year as it symbolizes that we’re getting closer to the salmon runs. The month of May symbolizes chasing Lings on the fly, which is one of my favorite pursuits. I’ve learned my lessons over the course of the years after breaking several 8 wt rods that this is not meant for the salmon sticks but the 2×4’s.
11 and 12 wt Sage RPL and Rplx are my hardware of choice with big salt water reels and stout tippet. When I first started fishing for lings I thought a wire leader was needed but not so. 40 lb maxima is adequate, more concerning is keeping a big ling from holing up once it’s hooked.
The tide was an 8:50 am high and we got on the water by 5:30. The best action was from 7 am until 10. We landed 8 keeper sized fish and kept the last 3 for the dinner table. While I have to admit that I didn’t prepare Ling cod correctly and was disappointed in past years. I did elect to keep one to try this time around and I can attest with many other afficiandos that it is a great fish for the table. The white flaky mild tasting and non fishy meat is wonderful when deep fried, stir fried, poached, and baked.
A favorite Chinese restaurant of ours prepared it 5 ways:
1. Ling Cod Head soup with bitter melon
2. Deep fried with salt and pepper and jalapeño peppers
3. White garlic sauce with snow peas and mushrooms
4. Stir fried with ginger and green onions
5. Black bean sauce with peppers.
Our household eats very well from the bounty of the sea!