Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 35

Thread: Two herring-related questions

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    230

    Default Two herring-related questions

    First question: Has anyone been down to Whittier or know if the herring are showing up near the harbor? Time to get some bait....

    Second question: Does it help to brine your herring if you're going to use them for trolling / mooching? I saw one method on the internet that calls for soaking them overnight in water with a mixture of salt, powdered milk and - this one surprised me - liquid bluing (the stuff you use for brightening fabrics...they say it makes the herring scales brighter). The salt and powdered milk are to toughen up the flesh, I guess. I've always just used my herring either fresh or thawed after freezing and haven't had many problems with the bait staying on the hook. Just wondering if anyone had any thoughts on this.

    Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coffman Cove ,AK
    Posts
    4

    Default Answer to question #2

    The extra time and effort of the brining in that solution gives you better bait.
    Firm fleshed bait trolls or mooches better.
    Plus brighter flashy scales bring strikes.

    Regards cdcinak

  3. #3
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Eagle River, AK
    Posts
    13,397

    Default

    The gulls and kittiwakes were swarming over by the ferry dock a week ago, so I've got to assume the herring were there.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by cdcinak View Post
    The extra time and effort of the brining in that solution gives you better bait.
    Firm fleshed bait trolls or mooches better.
    Plus brighter flashy scales bring strikes.

    Regards cdcinak
    That's been my experience too, especially with stuff you jig yourself. Same for tray herring of course, but the brining is the only way I've been able to make home-jigged herring last well for trolling.

    One thing though- I leave out the bluing now. Doesn't seem to make a difference. Can't say how the milk would make a difference, but it does. I've tried straight salt brine in various concentrations and it never seems to last as well.

    One final point- I leave mine in the brine longer than they say, especially the fresh jigged herring. On the order of 16-24 hours. It just makes the bait all that much firmer and it lasts longer, especially for plug cuts.

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    The gulls and kittiwakes were swarming over by the ferry dock a week ago, so I've got to assume the herring were there.
    I parked my boat right on those gulls last Saturday morning and only caught a few pollock with a sabiki rig. I saw what looked like a ball of bait on the fish finder 20-30' down.

  6. #6
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    So what's the secret? I've tried sabiki and cast net right in biords at Whittier and Seward and didn't catch squat. The price for herring isn't getting any cheaper...

  7. #7
    Member Queen of Kings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    560

    Default

    I just put my herring in a container with Rock salt and water. Works good for me and they last a long time!
    2003 220 Hewescraft Sea Runner 115 Yam'y, Soft Top "Schmidt Happens"

  8. #8
    Member AKBighorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Wasilla
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Kings View Post
    I just put my herring in a container with Rock salt and water. Works good for me and they last a long time!
    One of your containers stayed in the bow of my boat all winter. Wasn't prime bait for fishing but it worked for shrimping last weekend. Wait!! Maybe that is why you out shrimped me

  9. #9
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    BUMP!! Is this such a secretive fishery that I don't even get a response on did I just get overlooked. We're trying to find out how to effectively put some herring in or bait box. We have a prime opprotunity this weekend as we kill time between taking a group out and making the long run to Monte. I've always tried to be helpful where I can...

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    230

    Default

    Thanks for the feedback on brining the herring, folks. I haven't found bluing at either Fred Meyer or Carrs, so maybe someplace like Joann Fabrics carries it. I would have thought it would be easy to find.

    AKluvr95: I don't think there's any secret to herring. If they're there, they'll hit the sabiki rigs. If they're not, they won't. You can find them just about anywhere in Passage Canal, but they do tend to hang near the breakwater near the ferry dock/triangle right in Whittier. Over by the commercial dock is another place that has been productive in the past for me. (If they're processing fish you end up getting some scraggly pollock and cod grabbing the rigs, though.)

    If you have a boat it makes it pretty simple, because you can actually jig for them without losing rigs in the seaweed or rocks. I've always had best luck with a very slow up-and-down motion for the jig. The sabikis that have little bits of fish skin on the hooks seem to produce better action for some reason, at least for me.

    If the winds are calm or reasonable I'll try to get down there Thursday or Friday and will post a report if I make it.

    (By the way, I don't know if cast nets are legal there. I thought they were only okay for use in an area in Cook Inlet. I'll have to re-check the regs.)

  11. #11
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Thanks for the response and the heads up on the cast net. I surely don't want to get in trouble though I've never seen anything when looking at the regs. Maybe I can search the PDF and have better luck finding something.
    I have extra time this weekend and we plan on trying our luck at catching a few to plus up our bait supplies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bibico View Post
    Thanks for the feedback on brining the herring, folks. I haven't found bluing at either Fred Meyer or Carrs, so maybe someplace like Joann Fabrics carries it. I would have thought it would be easy to find.

    AKluvr95: I don't think there's any secret to herring. If they're there, they'll hit the sabiki rigs. If they're not, they won't. You can find them just about anywhere in Passage Canal, but they do tend to hang near the breakwater near the ferry dock/triangle right in Whittier. Over by the commercial dock is another place that has been productive in the past for me. (If they're processing fish you end up getting some scraggly pollock and cod grabbing the rigs, though.)

    If you have a boat it makes it pretty simple, because you can actually jig for them without losing rigs in the seaweed or rocks. I've always had best luck with a very slow up-and-down motion for the jig. The sabikis that have little bits of fish skin on the hooks seem to produce better action for some reason, at least for me.

    If the winds are calm or reasonable I'll try to get down there Thursday or Friday and will post a report if I make it.

    (By the way, I don't know if cast nets are legal there. I thought they were only okay for use in an area in Cook Inlet. I'll have to re-check the regs.)

  12. #12
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    I have tried a couple of times and got a hand full of herring. I would not say it was productive but it was fun and I used them in the shrimp pots as I did not have any salt with me. I just fished off the end of the jetty over towards the ferry dock. Going to pick up a few more rigs and make a rod out of pvc tubing for my next trip out. I did notice that the herring I caught were bigger than I would troll with, more like small bait herring size. They would work good for halibut and maybe if you filet them you could use strips to troll with.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  13. #13
    Member MRFISH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    1,315

    Default

    My experience with the herring at Whittier is similar to JR2's. Hit and miss...but I seem to do better later in the summer (maybe that's just me, though). And they are bigger than what I'd use as trolling bait.

  14. #14
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    We have some Mortins Kosher Salt like I use when I smoke salmon.

    Why does everyone need a special rod ~ maybe that's my issue...we use a regular spinning rod with a small barrel weight at the bottom.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    I have tried a couple of times and got a hand full of herring. I would not say it was productive but it was fun and I used them in the shrimp pots as I did not have any salt with me. I just fished off the end of the jetty over towards the ferry dock. Going to pick up a few more rigs and make a rod out of pvc tubing for my next trip out. I did notice that the herring I caught were bigger than I would troll with, more like small bait herring size. They would work good for halibut and maybe if you filet them you could use strips to troll with.

  15. #15
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    There are some regs allowing the use of cast nets on page 13 over in K-Bay.
    Didn't see anything for Seward or PWS so it looks like it falls under sport fish page 17 single line w/ 15 or fewer hooks.
    I can't copy from PDF's or I would've pasted the exact verbiage here.

  16. #16
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,852

    Default

    I will probably try my luck for some herring any day now. Just need a weather and free time window that coincide. I've had pretty good success right there next to the ferry dock, but you basically have to get your rig right through the middle of the school. If they are holding too far off and out of casting distance, you're outta luck. Also, the last few years that point has been taken over by several people who pretty much keep everything they catch, and they don't seem to move all summer. You have to get there early to get the good spot. Being able to freely cast to the corner of the ferry dock can make the difference between getting half a bucket and getting skunked.

    The trick for me seems to be to cast to wherever the fish seem to be holding, then just let the jig sink. They hit it as it falls. Once you feel one hit, start reeling but not super fast. The school will often follow that one and you can feel the sabiki rig fill up as you reel and more hook up.

    As for brining, I don't bother. Tried it once and it didn't make enough difference to me to go to the trouble of repeating it. Lots of people swear by it, but I just put rock salt in a ziploc, throw in as many herring as will fit in a single layer, leave it in the fridge for a day or two, shake out the salt and then freeze them.

  17. #17
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKluvr95 View Post
    Why does everyone need a special rod ~ maybe that's my issue...we use a regular spinning rod with a small barrel weight at the bottom.
    The only reason I plan on making a special rod is that I have two little boys, a 90 lb fur ball dog and my wife on the boat with me, that 15 hook sabiki rig seems to catch everything when on board the boat. The rigs also get tangled all up bad for me and being able to just suck them into a rod seems like a simple solution to both of the problems.

    I am going to try again next time I am in Whittier as I would like to have some fresh herring. I think I can fillet the herring and use strips to troll for silvers with or just use them for ling/halibut/rockfish/shrimp bait. Might also cut us some sabiki setups for my little boys to use, I figure 2-3 hook per rod will work better for them.
    2007 Kingfisher 2825 - Stor Fisk

    Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top. -- Hunter S. Thompson

  18. #18
    Member coho slayer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Anchorage
    Posts
    2,852

    Default

    Along the lines of what JR2 was saying, I also cut my Sabiki rigs to a more manageable length. Casting a six-foot leader with multiple shorter leaders with hooks attached is an interesting task. The sheer rip-rap wall behind you in Whittier makes it nearly impossible to get a good swing on your cast, so I usually chop the rigs down to 3-4 hooks. I can get decent casts a lot farther, which often makes the difference in getting into the herring or not.

    Even so, I can't tell you how many times I've had sabiki hooks in me or my clothing. I buy the barbless ones, not for the ease of releasing fish, but because it's much less painful to release myself.

  19. #19
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Posts
    646

    Default

    Makes perfect sense...
    We're loaded and ready for early departure.
    Hope to see you out there.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR2 View Post
    The only reason I plan on making a special rod is that I have two little boys, a 90 lb fur ball dog and my wife on the boat with me, that 15 hook sabiki rig seems to catch everything when on board the boat. The rigs also get tangled all up bad for me and being able to just suck them into a rod seems like a simple solution to both of the problems.

    I am going to try again next time I am in Whittier as I would like to have some fresh herring. I think I can fillet the herring and use strips to troll for silvers with or just use them for ling/halibut/rockfish/shrimp bait. Might also cut us some sabiki setups for my little boys to use, I figure 2-3 hook per rod will work better for them.

  20. #20
    Member JR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    2,129

    Default

    Wish I was going out, working on the slope until July 1.

    Have fun and catch something for me.

    Sent from my HTC Desire CDMA using Tapatalk 2

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •