Commonly, ling are caught at depths from 300 to 400 meters. However, ling are also caught in the entire depth range from 60 to 1000 meters. Juvenile ling commonly occur in relatively shallow, coastal waters and on sea banks, including banks in the northern North Sea. Ling become sexually mature between the ages of 5–7 years.
Ling are believed to undergo an age- or size-dependent migration to several spawning grounds, which are: in deeper parts of the North Sea; the Great Edge (Storegga); area around the Faeroes Islands; on sea banks west of the British Isles, and the region southwest of Iceland.