Two fish that are highly sought after by commercial and recreational fishermen are the haddock and cod. Haddock and cod are valuable because they are common in the fish department of grocery stores and restaurant menus. Each fish is a member of the cod family, but the fish offer unique taste differences despite the similar silhouette. Here is what to know about the difference between haddock vs cod. 

How Do You Identify A Haddock

The shape of the cod and haddock are nearly identical except for the tail and dorsal fin. The haddock has a more deeply forked tail and a more pronounced and pointed dorsal fin when compared side by side to a codfish. 

A black lateral line extends from the head to the tail and divides gray above and silver below. Lastly, look for a small black spot called a thumbprint behind the gill plates. 

How Do You Identify A Cod

Unlike the black lateral line on the haddock, a cod is equipped with a white lateral line extending from the head to the tail.

The fish ranges from brown to gray depending on the habitat and is covered in rust or dark brown colored spots. Lastly, the tail is squared compared to forked. 

What Is The Size Range Of A Haddock

The average fish ranges between two and four pounds but are frequently caught in the ten-pound range.

What Is The Size Range Of A Cod

In comparison, the cod is larger and heavier than the haddock. On average, cod weigh between eight and 12 pounds. 

Deeper offshore anglers frequently catch cod in the sixty-pound range; however, they rarely reach ten pounds close to shore. 

What Is The Range Of A Haddock

Unfortunately, neither the haddock nor cod are caught in the coastal waters of Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina. 

Although the fish ventures to Virginia it is most commonly found between New York and Labrador, Canada. 

What Is The Range Of A Cod

Much like the haddock, the range of the cod is similar. Expect to catch cod in the cold offshore waters between northern Canada and Virginia. 

How Do You Catch Haddock

The haddock prefers deep water over 100 feet over hard bottom. Although the fish is smaller in size when compared to the cod, they require heavy gear because of the lead weight needed to reach the sea bed.

Drop weights heavy enough to hold bottom and hooks baited with clams, squid, worms, or clams. Don’t be surprised to catch cod in the mix. 

How Do You Catch Cod

The fist is found along rocky and shell bottoms in depths greater than fifty feet. Anglers utilize medium to heavy spinning and conventional combinations.

Cod are bottom feeders; therefore, baits are presented on hooks with a lead weight holding the seafloor. The best baits include clams, cut bait, whole fish, crabs, or squid. 

What Is Better Cod Or Haddock

When it comes to taste and texture, when eating haddock vs cod, haddock is superior. We have eaten both a significant number of times. While haddock fillets are described as fishy by some, the flesh is white, flaky, and flavorful when cooked. 

Cod is not nearly as moist as haddock. The fillets of cod tend to dry more quickly when cooked. Either fish will substitute for each other when in a pinch, but despite the fishy reputation, haddock is tastier, and juicer no matter the cooking method. 

When it comes to preparing haddock vs cod, the approaches are the same. Cod tends to be firm when compared to haddock. Either fish is excellent when grilled, broiled, or breaded and deep-fried. Serve the fish with a side of tartar sauce for dipping. 

Haddock vs. Cod Which Do You Choose

Despite the inability to catch haddock or cod in the Atlantic waters of Georgia, South Carolina, or Georgia, both species’ fillets are widely distributed across the United States. However, the closest alternative is whiting along the southeastern coast. We suggest visiting a local grocery store to purchase both haddock and cod for a side-by-side comparison. You may be surprised at which you prefer. No matter what you choose, the meat is sweet and flaky and can be prepared in many ways.