The ling is a long, slender bodied fish with a distinctive single barbel on the chin. It has two dorsal fins, the first fin is short and rounded in outline whilst the second is long and of uniform height. There is a dark spot on the rear side of both dorsal fins. Adult fish are usually silvery-cream in colour with brownish-green mottling on the back and flanks. Juvenile fish have a yellowish-olive coloration with lilac-blue irridescent mottling. Ling can grow to 2.2m in length but most are between 1-1.5m. Small ling may sometimes be confused with rocklings however the ling has only one barbel on its chin whereas rocklings have several.