Commonly referred to as Rankin’s!
Rankin cod are a highly sought after north western demersal species that can be targeted with a large assortment of tackle and techniques. They are prized for their fine eating qualities and good looks and are a common bi catch when targeting northern demersal species. Rankin cod are endemic to warmer, coastal waters of Western Australia and are one of the most highly prized table fish on most anglers hit lists!
Rankin cod can be located from as far south as the Abrolhos Islands up to as far north as cape Leveque here in Western Australian waters and are generally encountered in water depths of 30 – 80 meters in depth.
Rankin cod like all members of the groper family begin their lives as females before maturing at around 90cm in length and becoming male. They can then grow to a maximum length of one meter and weigh as much as 20kg. Average sized Rankin cod are generally around 600 – 800cm in length and weigh around 6 – 8kg.
Rankin cod prefer warmer, Western Australian coastal waters of around 24 degrees and can be encountered in depths ranging from 4 – 150 meters. They inhabit healthy, inshore reef systems as well as deep water locations and man made structures such as wrecks and oil rigs.
Rankin cod are a typical cod shape with a brown to grey colouration and whitish blue blotches on the body and head. These markings fade with age. Rankin’s have a large mouth full of small, sharp teeth designed for grasping and holding prey items before swallowing them whole.
Rankin cod are highly sought after for their fine eating qualities.
Rankin cod are reasonable scrappers when close to cover then tend to come a little easier mid water.
Medium to heavy bottom fishing combos spooled with 30 – 50lb braided, nylon or gel spun lines are required for landing large cod. Smaller specimens are easily managed on lighter spin and bait cast combos spooled with 20 – 30lb lines and are generally encountered whilst trolling deep diving lures for coral trout etc. Rankin cod can also be targeted using soft plastic lures and metal jigs on this lighter style of tackle with this more modern method starting to account for many demersal species of late and is soon set to replace the art of bait fishing all together. Leaders are always necessary when fishing with braided and gel spun lines with one to two rod lengths of 60 – 100lb proving ideal for most cod angling situations.
Whole, live and cut pieces of squid and fish make ideal baits for most cod species including rankin’s with lures such as deep diving hard bodies, soft plastics and metal jigs also proving to be incredibly effective on most cod species.
Fresh strips of tuna or grinner fish make an excellent bait source for most northern demersal species and are a lethal combination when fished on snelled hooks attached to Paternoster style rigs in deeper water. Brain spiking and placing all table fish into an iced slurry will improve the eating qualities remarkably when fishing in warmer, northern environments.
Rankin cod prefer to feed on a tide change or at low light periods such as dawn and dusk. Full and new moon phases at night are also great times to target Rankin’s.