Charles Zinser caught a 30-pound Ling cod – that’s a BIG fish!

About two weeks ago, Charlie Zinser and Lyle Bassett headed out of Point Arena harbor. North of Saunders Reef, and south of Point Arena, in about 70 feet of water, Charlie had a 30-pound Ling cod strike his jig. I asked him what it was like to hook one. Here's what he said:

"It was like hooking a big log! And then it began to pull hard. I knew I had to get him off the bottom before he got in the rocks, so I pulled hard on him. I managed to get him about halfway up, and he decided to go back to the bottom.

I went through a few tug-of-war cycles with him, and finally got him to the surface, and we then realized how big he really was. I gaffed him and pulled him into the board. That’s when he really got mad!



The big Ling thrashed around long enough to rearrange our fishing gear, and then we finally got him in the fish box. I knew that whatever went into that Ling’s big mouth never came back out, so we had to be careful of those teeth.”

It's rather unusual for such a big fish to be in that shallow of water. Ling cod, though, are abundant off the Mendonoma coast. Once in a while, some lucky fisherman will catch one off the Point Arena Pier.

Lyle Bassett took the photo of Charlie, and I thank him for allowing me to share it with you here.


4 thoughts on “Charles Zinser caught a 30-pound Ling cod – that’s a BIG fish!

  1. Tim

    Great catch, but too bad he killed it. The bigger fish like this do most of the reproducing and are vital to the long-term health of the fishery. We should have a maximum size limit for groundfish, rather than a minimum.

    1. Jeanne Jackson

      Post author

      Yes, when I shared this in my column in the Independent Coast Observer a fellow wrote me a similar sentiment. I queried a local fisherman who is extremely ethical when it comes to taking of fish and abalone. He said Ling cod are abundant and he sees no problem with Charlie keeping this fish. I do know where you are coming from though. Thanks for writing.

    2. Brent Anderson

      Ling Cod are one of the most abundant fish in our waters. There is not fear of them being overfished. On the contrary; they are impacting other species numbers.


Leave a Reply