People fish for Ling Cod along the entire Pacific Coast of North America, from the Northern Baja California peninsula to the Aleutian Islands off the west coast of Alaska. The species is a reef fish highly sought-after by fishermen and is commonly found along rocky shorelines, ledges, reefs, rock piles and submerged pinnacles. The largest Ling Cod are found along the coastline of the Gulf of Alaska down to British Columbia, where females commonly reach 75 to 100-pounds.
Many of the Ling Cod fishing grounds off the coast of Washington are deep sea humps near the continental shelf. The Ling Cod is an ambush predator that lies on the bottom and conceals itself around and under big rocks and overhangs. The fish also prefers areas with strong currents or tidal pulls that drag prey by its lair.
Fishermen often use GPS locators to record the spots where fish are caught. Ling Cod adults are highly territorial, but once a fish is caught from a spot, that place is usually re-inhabited by a rival Ling Cod soon after.
Fishermen commonly use drifting techniques to catch Ling Cod. They allow the boat and baited lines to move naturally with the current over a potential fish holding structure that has been identified using a fishfinder or a GPS waypoint from a previous catch.