Silver Hake (Whiting)
The silver hake or whiting is one of several long slender fish that occur off the Mid Atlantic states. Silver hake can be distinguished from true hake by their two soft rayed dorsal fins, finlike ventral fins, prominent teeth, and lack of chin barbel. Silver hake reach a maximum size of 32 inches and weigh up to 5 pounds.
Silver hake may appear from the surf out to around 400 fathoms. Silver hake are voracious feeders, often moving throughout the water column in pursuit of prey. Groups of silver hake have been known to pursue baitfish up onto beaches, stranding both predator and prey.
Silver hake move inshore in winter and late spring. This phenomenon led to the development of a cold weather headboat fishery off the New York - New Jersey Coast. The nickname of "frostfish" was inspired by the frigid conditions of the fishery.
Silver hake readily take most baits such as squid, clam, and crab. The flesh of silver hake is excellent fresh but becomes mushy if not used quickly. Silver hake should not be confused with kingfish which are also known as whiting.