Red Hake (Ling)

Red Hake tend to be a mottled red/brown to olive/brown on their upper sides with large irregular pale light brown patches and becoming a dirty white to bright white underneath.

They possess the distinctive barbel ("whisker") on their chin.

Red Hake (Ling) Illustration by Duane Raver, Jr.
Season Open Year-Round
Size Limit No Size Limit
Daily Limit / Person No Limit
Delaware Range Atlantic Ocean and Delaware Bay
Abundance in Delaware Waters Common
General Habitat and Food Preferences Red Hake are common on soft sediments and much less common on gravel or hard bottoms. Red hake also inhabit inshore artificial reefs.

They feed primarily on small shrimps, crabs, fishes, and squids.
Did You Know? Red Hake will create a depression on the sea floor to hide and rest in. They are sluggish creatures.

The chin barbel ("whisker") has taste buds that they use to detect bottom-dwelling food items.
Common Lures and Baits Red Hake are usually caught accidentally by anglers fishing for other species.

They can be caught on bottom rigs with clams, strips of squid, or cut pieces of fish.

Bigger fish are usually caught in deep water.
Typical Sizes Caught In general, Red Hake caught by Delaware anglers are less than 18 inches in length.
Citation Minimum Length and Weight Red Hake are not currently eligible for a Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament or Live Release award.
Delaware State Record Red Hake are not currently eligible for an individual Delaware record.