The fish is a whiting. They’re a small fish in the cod family. I don’t think they look much like a codfish. Cod don’t have teeth like these. Whiting, also called silver hake and frost fish, travel in large schools and tend to hug close to the bottom.
Many a fisherman has gone numb in the head while catching whiting. So many fish. So small and bright. Your eyes and hands lose focus; your brain wanders. Hours pass into days. Onward your thoughts rush: when is this work going to be done. And then it is done, and the fish hold is full, and the helm is put toward home.
In New England much of the harvest ends up going down to New York. I have little idea where it goes from there. The meat is white as paper but spoils very quickly especially if it is not iced down right after it is landed.
I think in the photo above the fish looks something like a barracuda, though, of course, they have nothing in common with barracuda except they both have teeth and fins and have many small silver scales.
Many years ago when whiting were more abundant than they are now, Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, used to see a winter run of beautiful and large whiting well up to Warwick Neck. Those fish are gone. Large schools can still be found and many people consider this fish to be very abundant, which I agree with, until I talk with some of the fishermen who are many years older than me. They tell a different story. It’s a good idea when you’re in the company of older fisherman to listen. Their experience is a different ocean than the one we have today. Not so much better then than it is now, only different.