The large eyes and mouth make it clear that the pollock is a predatory fish that feeds by hunting. While most fish are either demersal (feed on or near the seabed), or pelagic (live and feed in mid-water), pollock are unusual in the sense that they will feed at all water levels. They will hunt for small fish such as sprats, small mackerel and sandeels between mid-water and the surface, and also scour the seabed for flatfish, worms and crabs and shellfish. Bigger fish tend to live in deeper water, and especially favour feeding over wrecks, while smaller pollock form into loose shoals and tend to stay in shallower water where they will feed on a wider diet including mussels, crabs, worms as well as any small fish they can catch. Pollock fishing is synonymous with rock marks as pollock favour hunting among or over rocky and weedy seabeds.
Pollock appear to be non-migratory and stay around the same area for the whole of their lives. They will, however, move into deeper water in the colder winter months and may go as far as several miles offshore. During this time they will also spawn. For this reason pollock is seen as a summer species by UK anglers as this is the only time they will be caught from the shore with regularity.
Pollock fight very hard, and many anglers would say that pound-for-pound they are one of the hardest fighting fish that British anglers are likely to encounter. Once hooked pollock will dive, often seeking cover in weed beds or heavy kelp. Pollock that are hooked on light gear and allowed to dive are often lost as they cannot be removed from the weed beds once they have secured themselves there. The variety of methods that can be used to fish for pollock, and the fight that they put up once hooked, mean that they are one of the UK’s highly regarded sporting fish.