Haddock and cod are some of the most popular fish for eating, with milder flavors than many species and phenomenal texture almost every seafood lover will find appealing. Although both are eaten regularly and look similar, there are differences between the two every angler should know when catching their next meal.
In this article, we’ll examine haddock vs. cod and discuss ways to identify them, how each one tastes, and the best places to catch these delicious fish.
Haddock is a saltwater member of the Gadidae family, which includes other codfish such as whiting, pollock, and the Atlantic and Pacific cods, among others. This is why haddock and cod look so similar and can sometimes be hard to tell apart.
Compared to other members of the Gadidae group, haddock fish have small mouths and small faces, with tapered bodies that are more rounded on the top than they are on the bottom. Like other codfish, the haddock features three distinct dorsal fins along its back, with the first being pointed like a triangle.
This is one identifier for knowing when you’ve caught a haddock, although coloration can help as well. Haddock are colored more deeply near the dorsal fins (deep brown, almost black) and quickly fade to a light gray, silver, or light brown before the color turns silverfish-white on its belly. Its lateral line is black and curves with its sloping upper body.
When you fish for haddock, most will measure between 14 and 23 inches in length, with weights in the 2- to 8-pound range.