White hake are demersal, meaning they live on or near the ocean floor. This species ranges from the Western Atlantic from southern Labrador and the Grand Banks southward to North Carolina, but it can occasionally be found in the deep waters off Florida and Iceland. They can be found in a wide range of depths, from 180 - 1000 m below sea level.
The white hake is not actually white at all. They vary in colour, but are typically muddy-coloured or purple-brown on the dorsal area, bronze or golden on the sides, and white or yellow-white on the belly with many tiny black spots. The white hake is a large fish, and can weigh up to 48 pounds. This fish is popularly prepared pan-fried, with a lemon and herb butter sauce.
The white hake reproduce between June and September. Males and females reach sexual maturity at different ages; males at approximately three years and females at approximately 4 years of age. Mature female white hake are among the most fertile of the commercial demersal fish species in the Northwest Atlantic. They produce several million eggs each when they spawn.
Once released, white hake eggs are buoyant, floating near the surface until they hatch. The larvae and juveniles inhabit the upper layers of the open sea, and they remain so until they are about 50-80 mm in length. White hake return to the sea floor once they reach sexual maturity.