Hmmm. Well, from what I remember from fishing with my dad & grandfathers, I recall (from piers, boats, & off the beach) catching flounder, fluke, striped bass (or, like you said, here in Virginia it's called Rockfish), Blackfish, Bluefish (& baby Blue "Snappers"), Tommy Cod, Weakfish, Porgies, Eels, & the occasional Blowfish. This was all off the North Shore of Long Island.
Here's a link to a forum I found where they mention fishing for Ling in New York during the summer. I'm really starting to think that perhaps besides the Pacific Ling, "Ling" is another name for Tommy Cod or Weakfish - both popular NY catches that not everyone considers worth keeping.
Here's another link with a pic, & I think this one solves the problem. According to the info here, Ling is also knowns as Red Hake, & is apparently commonly caught in NY & NJ waters. Apparently a completely different fish than the Pacific fish by the same name.
What's that you say? Not sick of Ling links yet?