Eskling2's picture

Pollack (Pollock)

Observed: 10th August 2012 By: Eskling2

Harbour fishing trip with 9 year-old nephew - all fish caught were returned to the water.

Species interactions

No interactions present.

Species with which Coalfish (Pollachius virens) interacts


nightfly's picture

Hi Grianoger, Thats a young

Hi Grianoger,

Thats a young coalfish/ coley/ Glashin/Blockan rounds these parts (Pollachius virens). Very similar to pollack.

Coley have a forked quite rigid tail, pollacks is square/unforked when opened. Pollack have a more pronounced undershot lower lip and at this size pollack are often brown and gold although not always as ones over sand can resemble coley in colour but not really in shape when observed to hand- photos can be a little more tricky. Not good on your fish but coley tend to have a white stripe up the lateral line, and the lateral line on a pollack is strongly arched behind the gills, straighter on a coley.

One of the ways I like to tell them apart is just look at the belly, coley invariably have a brilliant white belly with similarly white tiny pelvic fins. Pollacks little pelvic fins are lightly coloured to dark on a belly which is always coloured to some degree, Ive never seen a pollack belly as white as a coley belly. Familiarity is the key to distinguishing these 2 similar species.


Eskling2's picture


I did wonder that it didn't have the same bronze colour as the other tiddlers we caught.

nightfly's picture

They sound like young

They sound like young pollack, they are really nicely coloured with bronze/copper/gold and usually have a marbled pattern which coley never have. Coley tend to be the same green and white with a gold tinge regardless of age-with a pure white belly. Pollack mature into brown or green backed fish, can be coppery at times but not as ornate or metallic looking as when very small.

I think the reason your wee coley doesnt have the obvious white stripe up the lateral line is because its a juvenile. The white stripe develops in more mature fish- not that much bigger and it becomes apparent, unmissable.


Eskling2's picture

Revised ID

Don't forget to add the revised id for this one.