Best Cod Fishing Baits – The Top 10

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Best Cod Fishing Baits – The Top 10

Top 10 Cod Fishing Baits – In No Particular Order

1. Number 1 The Peeler Crab – The Number 1 Cod bait.

1. Number 1 bait whilst fishing for cod on the north east coast has to be the peeler crab. One, Two or even Three common shore or velvet peeler crabs whipped onto a 5 or 6 hook with elasticated cotton has to be the way to go. If its a big north east cod your after then peeler crab will give you the very best chance.


Peeler Crabs – The number 1 UK fishing bait

2 Lugworm Is An Essential Bait When Fishing For Cod

2. Lugworm – On its day the Blow or black lugworm (lug) will out fish anything you can lay your hands on. I’ve had to go home before today because I’ve sickened myself watching others catch fish whilst I couldn’t get a bite simply because I had no lugworm in my bait bucket. If the cod are hunting lugworm no other bait will do. A fantastic fishing bait if there are small codlings (1-2 pounds) about.

3. Mussel As A Fishing Bait – Very underrated

3. Mussel – A very underrated cod bait. Mussels are abundant along the shore line on the north east coast of England and offer an angler as much free bait as he needs (but only take what you need and avoid the babies – they are your next years supply). Excellent for cod fishing in heavy seas or when there is fresh water about. No north east rock angler should leave home without mussel in his bait bucket. Elasticated cotton is essential for keeping them on the hook, another method often used is to freeze them onto a hook and carry the snood in a bait flask to keep the mussel frozen until required. Then simply hook the snood onto your rig and cast in whilst the mussel is still frozen.

4. White Ragworm – A Deadly Cod Bait

4. White Rag – On its day the White rag is deadly for cod and most other north east fish species – Sometimes they will catch you a fish when you thought there was nothing alive, other days your wasting your time. Its great as a bait for tipping cocktails or used whole on their own. Unfortunately they are in ever increasing demand and decreasing supply, so anglers tend to keep their whereabouts a  secret. If your lucky enough to find a supply only take what you need and look after them well. White Ragworm is a truly great fishing bait for cod.


White Ragworm In Coaldust – A great bait for cod

5.Black Lugworm – Fresh (Arenicola defodiens)

5. Using Fresh black lugworm is like placing a huge piece of best fillet steak in front of a fish. Cod love black lug and many sea anglers would say they are the best all round bait for catching cod. Yellow tail lug as they are sometimes referred to are different from normal blow lug in that they have a thicker tougher skin and leave a tell tail yellow stain on your hand when you are putting them on the hook. To use black lug as bait simply slide them up the hook. sometimes 1 on its own is sufficient to tempt those winter codling to feed whilst some anglers will often put 3 or more on a single hook. Black lug are also a great bait used as a cocktail with other baits such as peeler and mussel.

6. Frozen Black Lug – Gulley Worm – Runny Down

6.Another great cod bait is the black lugworm. Many anglers fish these worms fresh whilst still alive but some anglers think they make great cod bait after being frozen and wrapped in newspaper. For several months of the winter cod season black gulley worm is one of the best cod baits on our coastline. They are usually available in packs of 10 from your local angling shop. Demand is usually high hence the price of between 3 and 4 pound for ten.

7. Ragworm – An Often Overlooked Cod Bait

7. Ragworm – The normal ragworm is also a great bait for beachcasting for cod on the north east coast of England. It also makes one of the very best bass baits when fishing in the surf from beaches throughout the summer and autumn months. A decent supply can be found in most tackle shops with farmed ragworm proving as good a fishing bait if not better than rag dug from the shore. Ragworm seems to catch fish best on the sand or over shallow scars. Some days you won’t catch fish without it.

8 Razor Fish – An Excellent Cocktail Bait For Cod

8. Razor Fish – Seems to be a decent fishing bait for north east rock anglers when used from the shore especially after very heavy seas. Makes a great cocktail bait and many anglers swear it often sorts out the better fish.

9 Squid – Small Calamari Make A Great Fishing Bait for Cod

9. Squid – Again very underated but used for tipping off a cocktail bait often including lugworm the squid can add that final bit of flavour that tempts the bigger cod from the north east coast. If your going fishing and your hunting that specimen cod be sure to include squid in your bait selection. Small calamari squid used whole are also a top fishing bait especially for the double figure cod.

10. Hermit Crab – Tell Pie

10. Hermit crab – Also locally called tell pie. This has to be the most underrated north east coast cod bait of all time. It is said to catch fish wherever there is sand and can at times make all the difference to a nights fishing on the north east coast of England. I’ve seen it in action and if I can get a supply I wouldn’t be without it.

hermit crab

Hermit Crab – Cod love them, especially when fishing over sand.

Don’t forget to experiment, although these cod baits work well on their own they often work better when mixed together to form a cocktail bait.

By | 2018-03-23T08:48:39+00:00 October 5th, 2014|Bait, Cod Fishing, Featured|8 Comments

About the Author:

Site Administrator Glenn Kilpatrick has a passion for all types of sea angling. Past winner of the Whitby Sea Anglers fishing club on 2 occasions, Glenn now mainly focuses on summer fishing with bass and pollack being his favoured target fish. Glenn now also prefers Kayak Fishing over any other type of Sea Fishing.


  1. mark August 22, 2011 at 1:57 am - Reply

    great advice thanks the lot

  2. conor August 25, 2011 at 12:27 am - Reply

    isnt mackeral a good bait because ive caught nice cod of hat but i got a lil secret spray it with wd40 and this winter im gunna try muscles and squid i also like to catch whiting the same time

  3. […] Rock Fishing For Cod – Best Baits […]

  4. tony September 12, 2013 at 7:19 pm - Reply

    i dont now is squid and sprats any good 4 cod im new 2 it

  5. […] Top 10 Baits For Cod Fishing – Whitby Sea Anglers Association Sep 17, 2012 … Number 1 bait whilst fishing for cod on the north east coast has to be the peeler crab. … Lugworm Is An Essential Bait When Fishing For Cod. 2. […]

  6. tony November 25, 2014 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    WhT size. Tide should I fish divers rock sudbrook enyone help. Me thank s

  7. DAVID February 22, 2015 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Back in the early 1950s our catch of cod were cod of 6 – 7 feet long.
    Any one tell me if they are still that size ?

  8. Jordan May 9, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Is small fish any good for catching cod

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